Krewe Du Vieux 2017 crowns cartoonist Bunny Matthews king

Bayou Maharajah at the New Orleans Film Festival
Bunny Matthews, King of Krewe du Vieux 2017 (Erika Goldring Photo) (ERIKA GOLDRING)

A representative of Krewe Du Vieux, that most politically rude and sexually risque of Mardi Gras parades, has confirmed that cartoonist Bunny Matthews will reign as king of this years' Feb. 11 procession.

Mathews is much beloved by Big Easy baby boomers for his irreverently indigenous cartoons of 9th Ward barkeeps Vic and Nat'ly Broussard that appeared in The Times-Picayune, Offbeat and other publications from the 1970s into the 20-teens.

Matthews' work is distinguished by his endearingly jittery drawing style, his acidic observations, his unaccountable affection for tiny Chihuahua dogs and enormous cockroaches, plus his devotion to old-time Crescent City culture and elocution.

Leidenheimer truckA Leidenheimer bread truck, with its iconic Bunny Matthews artwork on the sides, makes deliveries in the New Orleans French Quarter June 24, 2015. (Photo by G. Andrew Boyd, | The Times-Picayune)

Simultaneous to his cartooning career, Matthews was one of New Orleans premier music writers.  Over the decades he venerated the great R&B music of the era by James Booker, the Neville Brothers and others, while heralding the rise of punk and rap. 

"To me, he fits the role of our monarch perfectly," said the Krewe du Vieux's Poobah of Publicity Keith Twitchell. "He's revered for what he's done to create one more little bizarre piece of New Orleans culture."

In 2015 Matthews announced that he was undergoing treatment for brain cancer. 

Tennessee Williams would be shattered to learn that the theme of KDV 2017 is Crass Menagerie.