On the website of Home, the centre for contemporary art, theatre, film and more in Manchester (UK), cartoonist and illustrator Nick Burton has been running a weekly comic for almost a year now that eerily (and probably quite purposefully) coincides with the pandemic mess we are currently in.
Our Plague Year chronicles the events in the year 1665, when the Plague (the real one) devastated Western Europe and continuously crept closer to the daily goings on in the town of Eyam, a village in Derbyshire.
It is a great little comic that continuously manages to avoid the trappings of the “historic tale” by presenting its characters as contemporary people who don’t speak the language of “dost” and “thou”, while at the same time often present ideas that are not really of our time anymore.
In terms of style, Burton heavily borrows from the school of Ware, with ironic juxtapositions, in-your-face captions and characters that act rather like paper dolls in a table-top theatre. Still, there is an originality in the mix of all these things that makes we look out for a new episode every Wednesday. And I hope you will too.
Our Plague Year art by Nick Burton, © 2017 Home (I think)