Step Aside, Pops is a continuation of Kate Beaton’s popular Hark! A Vagrant. It includes awesome riffs on history and literature and is done so in an intelligent and hilarious manner.
Beaton who is now a regular contributor to the New Yorker, was formally a history major and worked in museums for a time, takes her sharp wit and skewers historical and literary figures with a modern lens. She illustrates 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 the modern day. No one is immune from her humor- as she pokes fun at America’s Founding Fathers, Frédéric Chopin, Nancy Drew, superheroes, Puritans, plus so many others. I found the satire surrounding the characters of well-loved novels the most amusing, especially about how horrible Heathcliff is in Wuthering Heights. An additional bonus is the commentary she added at the bottom of some of the pages. The only criticism I have is some of her drawing’s dialogue is very small, and unless it is in bold, it is hard to read.
Check these smart cartoons out yourself on her blog: http://www.harkavagrant.com/ 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!