THE ICON: Bunny Matthews
THE LEGACY: As an artist, cartoonist, writer and musician, Bunny Matthews hasn’t stopped creating since his first strip was published some 50 years ago. Far and away, though, his most enduring — and beloved — creations are the comic-strip characters Vic and Nat’ly Broussard, two fictional Yats who, with their exaggerated 9th Ward patois and equally exaggerated features, have held up a mirror to New Orleans “cultcha” since being introduced in 1982 in the pages of The Times-Picayune. Distinctively drawn in Matthews’ instantly recognizable style — with its echoes of counterculture cartooning — Vic and Nat’ly have for decades had New Orleanians laughing at themselves by both celebrating the city and satirizing it all at once.
THE ARTIST: Gabriel Flores, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “Even more than funny, I want to make it real. And to me, Vic and Nat’ly are really like the New Orleans that I always loved. It may even be nostalgic, people’s idea of the New Orleans they remember. A hundred years from now, I’d like people to look at these drawings and say, ‘That’s the way New Orleans was.'” — Bunny Matthews, in a 1992 interview with The Times-Picayune