Hark! A Vagrant has awesome riffs on history and literature, and is done so in an intelligent and hilarious manner.

Author Kate Beaton who is now a regular contributor to the New Yorker, was formally a history major and worked in museums for a time, now takes her sharp wit and skewers historical and literary figures with a modern lens.  Beaton illustrates mostly in black and white, and sketches out caricatures of recognizable people in absurd situations. Her ironic strips point out the foibles of the past, and how that would play out in modern day. No one is immune from her humor- as she pokes fun at Edgar Allen Poe, Jules Verne, David Bowie, St. Francis, Ben Franklin, Andrew Jackson, many European kings and queens plus so many others.  I found the satire surrounding the characters of well loved novels the most amusing and picked just a few to highlight.

Why do some women love bad boys? Heathcliff was horrible! Not brooding, not sexy, not misunderstood…he was an ass! Sorry Brontë sisters, but your romantic leads suck.

Case in point- are we supposed to be rooting for the marriage of a guy who locks his mentally ill wife in the attic???

As a girl, I was so into the Nancy Drew books…she had my name, people! However they were terribly dated, and these explanations of the content are hilarious!

I could add dozens more, but why, when you can go to her website yourself and check these smart cartoons out yourself! I would definitely recommend this witty collection of strips, especially if you have rolled your eyes at a ridiculous plot point, literary trope or questionable historical fact. Enjoy!

-Nancy

** You can usually tell when I have less time to blog and I review comic collections instead of graphic novels. I have been very swamped with family, work and grad school commitments, so my recent posts reflect my lack of time. In fact, I am fitting in this blog during my lunch break at a library conference I am at this weekend. Hope to have some reviews based off longer books soon!

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