Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
Genre: Graphic Novels
Dates Read: January 12-13, 2019
Synopsis: Hark! A Vagrant is an uproarious romp through history and literature seen through the sharp, contemporary lens of New Yorker cartoonist and comics-sensation Kate Beaton. No era or tome emerges unscathbed as Beaton rightly skewers the Western world’s revolutionaries, leaders, sycophants, and suffragists while equally honing her wit on the hapless heroes, heroines, and villains of the best-loved fiction. She deftly points out what really happened when Brahms fell asleep listening to Liszt, that the world’s first hipsters were obviously the Incroyables and the Merveilleuses from eighteenth-century France, that Susan B. Anthony is, of course, a “Samantha,” and that the polite banality of Canadian culture never gets old. Hark! A Vagrant features sexy Batman, the true stories behind classic Nancy Drew covers, and Queen Elizabeth doing the albatross.
I‘d seen many of these cartoons before here and there online, and it’s really a nice, funny, and sometimes poignant collection. I liked that there are both historical and literary figures mixed into it. Beaton also included little footnotes under some of the strips, which give you extra tidbits of information that you might not otherwise have learned about. I also really liked how Beaton was pretty snarky in those footnotes, too, which added to the overall humorous effect of the book.
*All of these images link back to Beaton’s site, so you can browse at your leisure.