images of comic character hugo tate from his initial stick figure stage to his more realistic and detailed final look mirroring the evolution of man image

This will STAND THE GENERATIONS

This will STAND THE GENERATIONS award

There’s an urge in me to make this contrarian and go look for the more obscure option here. But that’s just daft because the whole point of this is to put out the work I most immediately feel has lasted, has maintained a relevance to the world and to those that are working here and now.

So – this one goes out to Nick Abadzis for Hugo Tate – details on Nick’s site here

And I sort of dealt with all this a while back on twitter – thread here  and another here

I was having a conversation with someone and was reminded of Hugo Tate by Nick Abadzis

It’s such an incredible piece of comics. It’s not a work that blew my mind, it’s a work that formed a small part of me, at points visualising what was hidden in me. It also made me think about life and about comics and stories, how to tell them, what they’re worth within this world.

In particular, the scene with his father, early on in the series and just after his father’s death struck me then and continues with me now. It’s nearly 30 years later, but I can still see that page, with its stick figure characters and how rawly, openly and cleverly it details that emotional situation. That truly was and still is a high-water mark for comics storytelling.

Kenny Penman did the world a huge service bringing the book back into print and in putting it out in such a suitable format, a manner that evidences it’s worth very clearly. I don’t know how easy it is to get hold of copies of that book currently. I do know my library has a copy, as I’ve flipped through it many times, settling in to read 5 or 10 pages of I have a moment of quiet with my kids when there.

This is one of those things that episodic or chaptered comics does so well that doesn’t really exist in any other medium. You can grab 10-15 minutes with a work and get an excellent bit of a story in that time.

early Hugo Tate page depicting his visit to his father's house it is sad in tone
early Hugo Tate page

 

That string of tweets initiated a fair amount of feedback from UK comickers on how influential in opening their minds to what comics could do Hugo Tate was.

It’s a work that needs reprinting and distribution to as wide a base of readers as possible, both because of it’s worth to the medium and because of the great beating heart of humanity that lives within the work.

iestyn

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