by Peter Bagge; with Stephen DeStephano, Bill Wray, Stephanie Gladden, Jim Blanchard, and Johnny Ryanwww.fantagraphics.com/sweatshop
152-page full color 6.75" x 10.25" softcover • $19.99
Mel Bowling is the unhappy, out-of-touch creator of a very bad daily comic strip called Freddy Ferret (a cross between Dilbert and Garfield). He spends most of his time listening to Rush Limbaugh and coming up with horrible catchphrases to merchandise, while his "sweatshop" cast of studio assistants grind out all the hard work. Sweatshop is a hilarious situational comedy from acclaimed author Peter Bagge (Buddy Does Seattle, Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story) that ingeniously incorporates the visual styles of cartoonist guest stars like Stephen DeStefano (Popeye) and Johnny Ryan (Prison Pit) to give voice to Bowling's colorful cast of misfit, aspiring cartoonists (plus a cameo by Neil Gaiman!), all attempting to make it big like their boss, but on their own terms. Originally published as a six-issue series by DC Comics in 2003 that was never collected, this is one of the best and most undervalued works of one of the key voices of his generation.