Monday, 4 July 2016

Step Aside, Pops by Kate Beaton


Hark! A Vagrant is not updated as frequently nowadays, but it still remains one of my very favourite webcomics, and I was delighted to get my hands on the second collection of Kate Beaton's fabulously funny work. As always, they're a delightful mix of history and literature.

The book feels a bit sparse at times - I don't think there's the sheer number of actual comics here as the first volume has. I'm not entirely complaining, and if my chief issue was that I wanted more, that's a pretty good complaint to have. But there were several sections where larger drawings were scattered over the page to take up more space, and it gave me a tiny twinge of disappointment.

On the other hand, we have such wonderful moments as Liszt and Chopin feuding that had me laughing out loud. Some great Julius Caesar jokes. (The one with Mark Antony giving his big speech over Brutus' body is another killer one.) Wonder Woman being badass.

I also think that the different series Kate Beaton does riffing on different book covers are just brilliant. The one Edward Gorey one with a duck and a person at a pond and the duck saying "Awww yiss. Motha fucking bread crumbs" also left me almost hysterical. 

In other words, these are really really funny comics, and Kate Beaton is a very, very funny person, and you should definitely read both books if you haven't already.

That seems like a short review, but it isn't like there's a plot here. Or deeper themes, other than that playing with historical and literary stories can be very enjoyable and irreverent indeed. 

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