When Krewe du Vieux rolls on Saturday (Feb. 11), the irreverent parade will have as its monarch Bunny Matthews, the artist and writer whose own story is as colorful as the cartoons he draws. Thirty-five years ago, Matthews' most famous characters, Vic and Nat'ly Broussard, first appeared in the pages of Dixie Roto, a weekly tabloid published on Sundays by The Times-Picayune. The cartoon mixed social commentary and local color like few others could. The cartoon couple, whose home base is a "Nint' Ward" bar and po-boy shop, also have appeared in Gambit, New Orleans Magazine, Offbeat and on WYES-TV.
Born in Monroe but raised in Metairie, Will Bunn Matthews III's early writing appeared in the now-defunct Figaro newspaper. In 1975, he debuted a comic strip titled F'sure! Actual Dialogue Heard on the Streets of New Orleans. It was a precursor to Vic and Nat'ly, which premiered in 1982. Matthews' art has been seen in galleries, books, ad campaigns and even the Krewe du Vieux logo. In 2015, Matthews was diagnosed with brain cancer, but as Krewe du Vieux organizers said when they announced him as their monarch this year, he has faced it with "an exceptional mix of determination and good humor." To which we say, "Yeah you rite."