Review: Hugo Tate / Created by: Nick Abadzis / Published by: Blank Slate Books / Format: Paperback / Release Date: April 2012
Eighteen years after Nick Abadzis completed his critically-acclaimed strip Hugo Tate in the pages of Deadline the comic’s six-year run is finally being collected by Blank Slate Books.
Ostensibly a cutting humour-strip that served as a raw counterpart to more polished strips from Deadline like Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin’s Tank Girl, Hugo Tate begins as a meandering account of a young man yet to find his place in the world and grows from there into an epic journey of self-discovery that became the heart of Deadline. Speaking to Starburst Magazine, creator Nick Abadzis confessed that he has been overwhelmed by the positive response to news that Hugo Tate is finally being collected, but the real surprise here is that it was ever allowed to go out of print. When Abadzis relocated to America the UK lost one of our most insightful and honest comic creators, an artist whose work should be cited as an influence by generations to come.
Across the course of Hugo Tate the eponymous protagonist evolves from a stick-figure into a fully-realized character surrounded by a complex cast that captures the very essence of growing up in that period. Like the very best work of the Beats, Abadzis somehow collates everyday social experiences and downfalls into a body of work that transcends genre and culminates in a mind-bending road trip that perfectly depicts the aimless growing-pains of a generation.
We’ll soon be hosting an interview with Nick Abadzis on our website that covers the spectrum of his feelings about creating comics in the UK and America, how important the truth is in his art and what chances there are for continuing Hugo’s adventures in the future. If you have even a passing interest in British comics, well-realised characters or Fear and Loathing-inspired road trips then you owe it to yourself to read a copy of Hugo Tate.