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Hark! A vagrant
2011
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Summary

FEATURED ON MORE THAN TWENTY BEST-OF LISTS, INCLUDING TIME, AMAZON, E! AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY!

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 unscathed 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. As the 500,000 unique monthly visitors to harkavagrant.com already know, no one turns the ironic absurdities of history and literature into comedic fodder as hilariously as Beaton.

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Booklist Review
Beaton's erudite, anachronistic webcomic gag strips have become something of a sensation over the past five years. With targets from literature (Dude Watchin' with the Brontes; The Adventures of Sexy Batman) and history (Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, anyone?), her humor is an exercise in both feeling smart and appreciating a well-timed poop joke. With hilarious economy, she's able to sum up the entirety of something like Crime and Punishment and then summarily deflate it in a handful of strips, if not words (Porfiry is tipped off by Raskolnikov's article, Murdering Old Ladies: Not Even a Big Deal). And while the artwork has a kind of effortless, dashed-off quality to it, don't be fooled: the precisely rendered figures and facial expressions are often just as crucial to delivering the punch lines as the jokes themselves. If you didn't know there was much funny stuff in Kierkegaard, Kepler, or King Lear, think again. Better yet, let Beaton show you.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist
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