In the spring of 2020 as we huddled in our bunkers Matthew Thurber was up on the ramparts, pen in hand. Thurber edited and published six issues of Quaranzine from May to July of 2020, while also posting to Instagram dozens of comic strips about the pandemic-times adventures of a boy named Hugo. Sixty pages of these strips are collected in this volume.
Hugo is a world-weary ten-year-old trying to figure out what the virus wants. Fantastic elements like time travel and talking cats mingle with the all-too-real 2020 backdrop of pandemic isolation and protests against systemic racism. There’s a delightful nimbleness to the storytelling that keeps the foreground lively, rules of time, space, and narrative be damned.
The drawing likewise has a spontaneous energy oozing with hilarious flourish. Each strip is a tight statement by an author creating with utmost confidence. Nothing is tossed off or merely cute.
Vector Hugo is a comedic, insightful wallow in the chaos of our times. Thurber continues to post new Vector Hugo strips as of this writing.