“Hark! A Vagrant” by Kate Beaton, Comic Strips Starring Jane Austen, Hamlet, etc.

“Hark! A Vagrant” by Kate Beaton  (2011) – 166 pages

Once again I feel like I must be the last person in the world to discover something new, different, and exciting.  Many of the comic strips in “Hark! A Vagrant” star historic and literary personages.  There are comic strips about F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Moses, young Ada Lovelace, and Jane Eyre, among many others.  Then there are comic strips about no one in particular such as ‘Hipsters Ruin Everything, Parts I and II’ or ‘Sitcom, Victorian Style’.  The comics have an immediate spur-of-the-moment quality that makes them fun.

Kate Beaton, originally from Cape Breton in eastern Nova Scotia, started out making fun of Canadian history and has since branched out to make fun of the rest of the world’s history and literature.  Her work can be seen also at the Hark! A Vagrant website. Her website is enormously popular with over a million hits per month.

The drawings are offhand, quick, and simple.  They give a free, spontaneous, and playful feel to the cartoons.  Many of the cartoons juxtapose modern attitudes on historical figures; the cartoons are irreverent and humorous.   You must see them for yourselves in order to really appreciate them.  Let’s just say that it is hugely refreshing to have a young person interested enough in history and literature so that she can make fun of them.    Beaton started out as a webcomic writer but now has sold her work to the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and other magazines.

These cartoons are very easy to like.  You probably will enjoy this book.


4 responses to this post.

  1. I do not drop many remarks, but I read a few of the remarks here “Hark!
    A Vagrant” by Kate Beaton, Comic Strips Starring Jane Austen, Hamlet, etc.

    | Tony’s Book World. I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s
    okay. Could it be just me or does it look like a few of these remarks come across like
    they are left by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional places, I’d like
    to keep up with you. Could you list of every one of your shared
    pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?



  2. Hi Joe,
    I suppose some of my commenters may be brain dead, but most of them seem quite sharp to me. So maybe I’m the one who is brain dead. I’m not active on twitter, facebook, or limkedin, so you will have to settle for Tony’s Book World. I do leave a lot of comments on Huffington Post as GoodDay.



  3. Posted by Alba on March 31, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Hi, jusst wanted tto mention, I love this post. It
    wwas practical. Keep oon posting!



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