A personal illustrated journal of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020
Written and illustrated by Vic Lee
Published by Frances Lincoln ISBN: 9780711263741
Review by Derek Brazell
The discovery of several potential vaccines for Covid 19 do nothing to take the edge off illustrator Vic Lee’s impactful Corona Diary. The book, in Lee’s familiar black and white, tracks the unfolding events in the UK, and worldwide as the virus spread across the globe in a seemingly unstoppable manner.
Typography is at the core of Lee’s artwork, and here it acts as information giver, page divider, emphasiser and also eye candy as his illustration skills keep the ‘sound bites’ of events dashing along. Presented in chronological order, it’s interesting to compare one’s own experiences against the dates Lee ticks off (‘oh, that’s the week I got Coivd!’), and the familiar situations such as the mad, lunatic dash for loos rolls and the new wariness of people getting too close is shown alongside Lee’s personal thoughts on working alone, the emotional toll and, of course, world leaders’ denial of the snowballing events.
Frustration and incredulity build as the book progresses through the year and the busy page layouts of text, typography and illustrations mirror the mind set of many of us over the course of 2020.
Both personal and expansive, it’s fantastic to see the Corona Diary out so soon after the real-life events. As the lives of all of us have played out over through the pandemic the book will be a great visual read for many as a reflection and reminder of what we’ve been through, via the lens of a visual artist who was compelled to take up his brush and document the worst global crisis of recent times.