These Go To 11 Mixtape

The Hot 8 Brass Band - Jisten To Me (Hint mix)
HK119 - C'est La Vie (Rusko mix)
Machines Don't Care - Beat Bang (Trevor Loveys mix)
The Young Lovers - Love You Madly
Speaker Junk - Run The Track (Switch remix)
Matt Helders - Dreamer
Capleton & Mr Oizo - Flat Tour
Remi Nicole - Rock N Roll (Lee Mortimer mix)
Dillinja - Twist Em Out (Proper Villains mix)
Minuit - Room Full Of Cute (Rico Tubbs mix)
Benga - 26 Basslines
Chase & Status - Eastern Jam (Riz MC version)
Chase & Status - Saxon
DJ Donna Summer - Sweet Assed Child O Mine
Klaxons - Atlantis To Interzone (Tapedeck mix)
Late Of The Pier - Bathroom Gurgle (Drums Of Death mix)
Bassnectar - Roustabout (Bassnectar mix)
The Ganja Kru - Super Sharp Shooter

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Peter Bagge (Part II)

Hello! So this is the second part of my interview with Peter Bagge (part one is here:, and we’re going to start with a bit of a history lesson.

Marvel was born when a comics company named ‘Timely’ was hitting the skids. A team of writers and artists including Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko decided to just go for it, and put out mad stuff that was unlike anything people had seen before. What they came up with were titles like Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk - characters that had real things going on in their lives that readers could relate to (and, obviously, the added bonus of superpowers).

At the end of the nineties Marvel were in a lot of trouble. They had no money and readers were abandoning their titles in droves so they decided to pull the trick they had got away with when the company was first started.

They had nothing to lose so they recruited a bunch of artists and writers who would never normally write about superheroes, and gave them free reign to do as they pleased with their characters.

One of these artists was Peter Bagge and his Marvel comic ‘The Megalomaniacal Spiderman’ was released in 2002. In his story Peter Parker gets sick of the whole ‘saving the world’ biz and packs it all in to become the CEO of Spiderman Inc. If you look really hard you must be able to get an actual copy of the comic somewhere, but for now you can download it from

So the Spidey comic did well and a plan was hatched that Bagge would write stories about each of Marvel’s key players.

He had completed ‘The Incorrigible Hulk’, when the first Spiderman film came out and suddenly Marvel was big business again. Overnight the characters became valuable commodities and the company was bought out. The new owners didn’t want to take any chances and were quick to sever any links with anyone who could screw with the brand, and this included Bagge. His Hulk comic was completed and Bagge was paid in full, but to this day it remains locked away in some secret vault somewhere. Marvel won’t rule out publishing it, so hopefully one day it will be set free. Fingers crossed.

In 2003 DC Comics put out Bagge’s next project, ‘Sweatshop’.

It’s about the team who put out a daily syndicated strip. There’s the “genius” behind the strip, who lately has become more concerned with thinking up wacky catchphrases than actually doing anything useful, and his band of writers, artists and designers.

Sweatshop deals with subjects like comic conventions, cheesy gags and troublesome family members. In my opinion it’s some of Bagge’s best and funniest work and I strongly recommend you try and hunt it down.

Because of time constraints, many of the stories were only written by Bagge, with others including Bill Wray and Johnny Ryan on art duties.

I recently read Sweatshop and I think it's great. I got the impression that it was quite personal for you, that you were bringing out some personal annoyances. Is this true? was it a cathartic experience?

Ha! Well, it wasn't nearly as gut-spillingly cathartic as some of the work of my youth, but I certainly enjoyed working on it, and yes, I did use it to air some of my pet peeves.

In issue 2 one of the artists, Carrie, puts out with a successful comic of her own. The comic is optioned for TV and she finds herself stuck in the development hell it seems you've spent a lot of time in. That must have been fun to write.

That entire series was fun to write! But yes, that story not only closely reflected my own experiences but the experiences of people I know who were even less prepared for the ways of Hollywood than I was.

I've read numbers 1-6 of Sweatshop. Are there any more? Will there be?

No, DC pulled the rug out from under that project after only 2 issues were in print (and selling fairly decently as well, I'm told). Because of the lead time, we were already working on issue 6, so they released the first 6 issues before killing it. It made me wonder why they agreed to publish it in the first place!

It's not exactly what people think of when they think of DC, how did it come about?

It was a pet project of one of their staff editors, named Joey Cavilieri. He had recently edited a book collection called Bizarro that was a surprise hit, so they threw him a bone by letting him do something like Sweatshop. At least that's how I recall it coming about.

In your opinion how is the comics scene at the moment?

There seems to be more alternative comics and cartoonists than ever, which is good. It's also great that bookstores are so open to selling graphic novels these days, though I personally mourn the death of the traditional comic book format.

I must add, though, that the future of comics (as well as everything else) will be on the internet. For better or worse!

Do you think the internet will ever completely take over from physical comics? I think that would be a shame. I like having physical comics and books.

Not completely, since like you most people will always want physical copies of their favourite works. But as is the case with music and film, the internet will eventually be HOW we discover and keep up with new comic work, and comic books (as well as ALL books) will be published "on demand", where if you conclude you want a hard copy of something you'll order it online, Cafe Press style. Both comic and book stores and their distribution system will cease to exist as we know it, as will the publishing industry in general.

This is actually a good thing, as far as the environment and costs to the consumer are concerned.
You've said before that no current alternative comics really grab you. Is this still the case or have you made any hot new discoveries?

I'm always coming across newer younger artists whose work I like. I just haven't experienced the "shock of the New" and been floored by anyone in quite a while. It may simply be that I'm hopelessly jaded at this point. Who knows!

Peter Bagge’s next project ‘Apocalypse Nerd’ tells the story of Perry and Gordo, two normal chaps who happen to be on a camping trip as Seattle is nuked. They have no choice but to get on with it and try their very hardest not to die.

For a few years Bagge contributed satirical strips to ‘Reason’ magazine on subjects from Christian rock to homelessness, via fascism and libertarians. There’s an archive of these at:

He had a foray into animation with the excellent ‘Murry Wilson - Rock ‘n’ Roll Dad’, a series of short episodes chronicling the life and times of Murry, the constantly choleric father of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Episode one is here:

And so to the future…

Are there any projects in the pipeline?

I'm doing a graphic novel for DC/Vertigo called ‘Second Lives’. It's very time consuming! I also just started doing a monthly strip for ‘Discover’ Magazine, and a book collection of all the strips I've done for ‘Reason’ Magazine will be out sometime this year. It's called ‘Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me’.

Tell me about this graphic novel, it sounds interesting.

It's called ‘Second Lives’, though it is partially inspired by the online community Second Life. It's about 4 people who's imaginary and/or virtual lives start to dominate their real lives, and also clash with each other's real and imaginary lives. It's a hoot! No release date is set - I'm guessing late '09.

And the Discover magazine strip - will it be the same sort of thing as your Reason strips? Discover seems to have a science slant while Reason had a political slant. Will the strips reflect this?

They're just one page strips, where we pick a scientist from the past and tell a joke or story that also reveals not only his or her achievements but also any personality quirks they make have had. A tall order, actually! And like my Reason strips, they involve a LOT of research. I hate homework!

Happy Hour

Bad Sneakers 07/01/09

“Every time I look into your eyes I see the future”

The world of science is usually pretty dull. However, in the last few weeks a couple of things happened which are nothing short of fucking awesome.

First up, they found an animal that lives forever.

It’s a type of jellyfish called a Turritopsis Nutricula, and after it reaches sexual maturity it just turns back into a little jellyfish foetus. Basically, it does reincarnation without bothering to die. Pretty cool.

As if that wasn’t good enough, Jurassic Park is going to be very real, very soon. Sort of.

Basically some sciencey chaps cloned an extinct animal from frozen cells. It was a Triceratops and it’s currently roaming the streets of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Not true. Actually it was a Pyrenean Ibex and it died. But still! It’s a good start! It sort of worked! Once they perfect the technology we will all be able to have our very own pet sabre-toothed Tigers.

If dinosaurs went clubbing they would probably go to Bad Sneakers. It’s held every Saturday at the lovely Faversham and it’s put on ‘before they were massive’ gigs by acts including Klaxons, Hot Chip, Lily Allen, The Gossip and the Arctic Monkeys.

Every now and then they take a break from all the guitar-based shenanigans and put on DJs. Last Saturday was one of those nights.

Opening the show were the seemingly ubiquitous house party hell raisers the Heads Up DJs. These three very busy guys seem to be getting booked for everything these days, and very good they are too, playing a very tasteful blend of techy electro.

Our headliner for the night was Surkin, a young whippersnapper from Paris.

A few years ago he released ‘Radio Fireworks’ in the epicentre of the whole ravey sounding French house craze, and the track was as popular as Pokemon. Guys like Erol Alkan, Mylo, Boys Noize and Justice could not get enough of it.

Since then he’s been playing gigs, putting out new tracks and remixing the likes of DJ Mehdi, Chromeo, Foals and more.

So Surkin rocked the packed room with some crunchy electro, dropping a couple of cheeky crowd-pleasers every now and then - stuff like Rikkalicious, the Soulwax mix of Tiga’s Mind Dimension 2 and his own remix of Klaxons.

Youth Attack tidied things up nicely after Surkin had done his thing, playing some quality fidget house and general banging shit. Bit of Fake Blood, bit of Dada Life, bit of Herve - spot on.

So far all very good, but Bad Sneakers had an ace up its sleeve. If the relentless duf-duf-duf of the main room got a bit overpowering, there was room 2, where Jonny Strangeways offered a delightful change of pace.

He played all those songs you love, forget about for a while, then randomly hear and remember why you loved them in the first place. There was some Iggy and the Stooges, a bit of the 5, 6, 7, 8s and my personal highlight of the night, ‘Raspberry Beret’ by Prince. Classic.

Bad Sneakers have some sizably stonking events lined up for the next couple of months. Highlights include Sway on March 5th, Filthy Dukes on March 21st, and the queen of (totally deserved) hype, Little Boots, on March 14th. Get on down to these and you’ll enjoy yourself, promise.

Insomnia 31/1/09

The Superbowl happened the other day, and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals. But viewers in Tuscon, Arizona, were treated to an extra special surprise.

Straight after a Cardinals touchdown with less than three minutes to go, the feed was cut out and replaced with something rather different. A very short but really rather moving film of a particularly well endowed young man standing up, pulling down his trousers and shaking his penis about as a disembodied voice explained "You can shake a little air into it". Nice. Makes Janet Jackson look pretty tame.

Anyway, the slightly inappropriately named Insomnia (would you call a sex toy company “Parkinson’s”?) happened the other night. They brought us Eric Prydz, Kissy Sell Out, and a bunch more super sexy DJs.

Eric Prydz stepped up to the decks early on to play us a song or two. An awful lot of people seemed to really like him. Personally I’m not convinced. I think he makes sort of the dance music equivalent of the TV show ‘My Family’, you know what I mean? Kind of watered down, lowest common denominator stuff that everyone sort of doesn’t mind, but no one really loves unless they don’t know any better.

Kissy Sell Out was up next. He’s a guy who really should be crap. He has a stupid Hoxton mullet, he used to be a graphic designer and he seems to be allergic to sleeves. He comes across as the kind of guy who’s all style and no substance and maybe just a bit of an arse.

In fact Kissy Sell Out is awesome and there’s a fairly simple explanation as to why. Firstly, he loves Alan Partridge. So much so that he remixed Gary Numan’s ‘Music For Chameleons’, the Partridge air-bass anthem. That scores him a lot of points.

Last year Kissy released an album, and lately he’s been touring a live show which consists of him dancing around in his PE kit wielding a keytar. Despite these glorious ingredients by all accounts the show was slightly underwhelming. But at Insomnia he returned to what he does best, hopping around like a loon behind the decks and putting on a proper party. It is during his DJ sets that Mr Sell Out proves once and for all that he is unequivocally not crap.

A Kissy Sell Out DJ set is fun. Simple as that. His sets are completely unpretentious and he tears through all sorts of mad tracks making it impossible not to crack a smile. He’s a bit like a more ravey DJ Yoda. Music snobs may turn their noses up and deplore all the silliness (“How dare he play that? Good lord!”), but people that realise going clubbing is really just about having a good time quite rightly love him. Life’s too short for Ricardo Villalobos.

So Mr Sell Out rocked the stage, playing all sorts of mad shit and making sure everyone had a jolly lovely time. Heroic.

In conclusion, call on meeeeeee, Valerie. Good day to you all.

Mystic Brew 14/02/09

I did something very romantic once. I got amnesia and spent an evening denying that me and my girlfriend were together.

In my first year at Uni I went on the Leeds Snowriders trip to Val D’Isere. I had never snowboarded in my life before but my friend is a qualified snowboard teacher so he said he’d get me up to speed. Big mistake.

By ‘get me up to speed’ he meant show me what which end was which, and then take me with him and a group of other people he knew from his ski and snowboard instructors course.

At first it was fine, I got the hand of it pretty quickly and got to the bottom of my first red run in a couple of hours on the first day (despite a slightly hairy moment involving the edge of a cliff).

So I started getting a bit cocky and threw myself down everything in sight, taking a few nice chunky falls on the way. At one point I had a particularly surreal experience when I crashed into a midget.

Anyways, on day three I got down my first ever black run and I was quite proud of myself. Later that day I took one too many hits on the head and gave myself concussion and pretty serious amnesia. Despite the fact that I had been wearing a helmet the whole time.

For the rest of that day I had about a 20 second short term memory. I knew who I was and sort of had a vague idea of where we were but couldn’t remember much of anything that had happened in the last three weeks. I kept saying the same thing over and over as I forgot what I had just said. I also kept going on about the film ‘Memento’, which I’ve still never seen.

It was in these three weeks that my girlfriend and I had taken the plunge from being ‘just friends’ to the uncharted waters of ‘more than just friends’.

So in my damaged little mind we were still in the friend zone and I was pretty effusive to this effect, laughing in the face of anyone who told me things were otherwise.

As you can imagine the dear young lady in question was none to pleased to hear about this, especially as the tale was regaled to her thusly: “Jon got amnesia and forgot you were going out then he got off with a girl”. While the former claim may be true, the latter was nothing but calumny. Luckily she didn’t believe the cad who told her and all was well.

On Valentine’s Day it is important that you do not forget you have a girlfriend or she may well get a bit cross.

This is really weird, but Valentine’s Day was originally a celebration of chicken intercourse. Seriously. There was a conventional belief in England and France in the Middle Ages that on 14th February the birds began to pair off and mate. There’s a bit in Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules that says “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate”. Humans noticed this trend and decided to make it their own. Very peculiar.

Valentine’s is a pretty grim night to be going out. Most venues put an awful lot of pressure on people either to really get into it or to very conspicuously ignore it. You have to pick between either embracing the day and being all keen about trying to have sex with someone or participating in a sulky ‘Anti-Valentine’ and trying to have sex with someone to show how little you care about having sex with people.

It’s usually pretty easy to avoid, just stay in, but this year it’s on a Saturday. And there’s no reason why some dead guy (actually there were three St Valentines, and all of them were martyrs) should spoil a perfectly good night out.

So avoid any of this silliness and go to the utterly indifferent party put on by Mystic Brew at the lovely Smokestack club.

There will be the usual concoction of quality resident DJs from Asylum and Hang The DJ, there will be cheap drinks and this month entry is only £4 before 11 and £5 after. As usual they will be welcoming a high calibre guest, and in February your designated driver will be James Holroyd.

James is a proper legend. In 1992 he became one of the original residents at Back to Basics and a year later he joined forces with the Jockey Slut Magazine team to create the legendary night Bugged Out!

As in Bugged Out!, the guys who put on parties in places like Milan, Japan and Matter in London, and put out those quality mixes by guys like Simian Mobile Disco, Erol Alkan and Klaxons. He’s still a resident at Bugged Out! nights in Manchester.

A few years later Holroyd’s DJ style impressed Tom and Ed from the Chemical Brothers so much that he became their tour DJ. He’s played across the world in countries as diverse as Croatia, China, Malaysia and Australia.

On the 14th he will be in Leeds and he’ll be digging deep in his record box to play a set of disco, funk and rare house. Should be a good one.

Happy Chicken Sex Day everybody xxxx