During a Saturday panel at Emerald City Comic Con, Peter Bagge and Eric Reynolds of Fantagraphics sat down to chat about the 30th anniversary of Hate. One interesting point of conversation had to do with how Peter Bagge came up with the title of the book.
Well, it turns out that it was particularly important for Bagge to hand letter each title on the cover in order to make the cover art look nicer. For that reason, he wanted the title to be as short as possible. He was considering titling it 'Hey Buddy,' after the comic's main character, but he was worried that, with that title, the comic would be mistaken for a children's comic (as Bagge's earlier comic 'Neat Stuff' was). Another title option would be 'Love and Hate,' but there would be a cataloguing issue at Fantagraphics with the title being so similar to Love and Rockets.
Eric Reynolds points out that Hate is a very loaded title, not only now but also back then too. To illustrate the point, Bagge says that when Fantagraphics decided to make Hate merch, Bagge argued that the merch should just feature Buddy's face to avoid all of the baggage that came from the title being divorced from the book. Fantagraphics ended up making hats that just said 'Hate' on them, which led to Bagge getting phone calls from people who would be harassed about them and what the hat might mean.
Bagge simply responded, "Don’t' wear the hat!"
To read more about what's been happening at Emerald City Comic Con, check out this roundup of all of Popverse's coverage this weekend.