A few months back, I was having one of those ultra-crappy days at work and was severely needing a good laugh. I had heard from coworkers and friends, about the wondrous Nova Scotian comic artist, Kate Beaton, but was late getting on the wagon. I went to my local bookstore and picked up Hark! A Vagrant, and went home to unwind. Just the title and soldier buddy on the front of the book will elicit a smile from most.
Beaton is a gem! At only 30-years-old, she has to be one of the wittiest, smartest people I have read. Her comics reference everything from history, to literature, to politics. She has her hand in centuries worth of knowledge, from every classic you can imagine, to the wars of Napoleon. I found myself having to Google certain characters, as I had only read their names in passing in old textbooks. This was not just a fantastic romp through history, it was like being in a fun-filled classroom!
Beaton’s comics are drawn to perfection. I adore her characters: their facial expressions, their hilarious commentary. (I’ll put a few at the bottom of this post for you to browse through. Click the image for the original link.)
Hark! A Vagrant is Beaton’s webcomic put into a book, and there are more all the time. Check out her website at harkavagrant.com. The Black Prince is up there now and is HILARIOUS.
So, if you like comics, literature, politics, history, enjoyable books.. you know where to go next.
If you’ve already read Kate Beaton, may I recommend Isabel Greenberg, whose first book The Encyclopedia of Early Earth came out a few months ago. Greenberg and Beaton share a similar style and are both equally talented!