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Hark! A Vagrant
Hark! A Vagrant
Hark! A Vagrant
Ebook166 pages3 hours

Hark! A Vagrant

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

4/5

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About this ebook

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 unscasthed 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.
LanguageEnglish
Release dateMay 4, 2021
ISBN9781770464452
Hark! A Vagrant
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Reviews for Hark! A Vagrant

Rating: 4.025179856115108 out of 5 stars
4/5

556 ratings42 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    LOVE HER! So upset that LUC and ME Comic Arts Festival and my reunion are all the same weekend so I probably won't meet her :(
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Graphic novels are a great way to teach historical moments. It provides a visual aid and an amusing take on history. This one in particular was not only comical, but also informative as it prompted me to look up people in history that I had not been interested in previously.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    A collection of cartoons that pokes fun at various people from history and literature. I've read a few of Beaton's cartoons before and the ones about literature are quite funny. I know very little about Canadian history, so those cartoons missed the mark. Reasonably amusing collection that didn't do it for me 100%. The Gorey's were quite funny, though.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Intellectually wacky comics for literary and history lovers alike. Teens will find the irreverent take on classics such as Jane Eyre and The Great Gatsby highly entertaining and the spin on historical characters, both American and Canadian, subversively educational as well. Nancy Drew, Lewis and Clark, Jane Austen--none are immune to Kate Beaton's satirical pen. Some swearing, which only adds to the humor in most cases.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Kate Beaton makes some of my favorite comic on the Internet. Its nerdy and cute and utterly fantastic!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    This is the first collection of the hilarious webcomics on historical and literary themes from the brilliant Kate Beaton. I was going to post links to my favorites but I lost the file so you'll just have to find the book and read. And laugh. And then say, "hmm...yes, I've learned something." Cuz they're that good.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Several years ago, a student emailed me a link to one of Kate Beaton's cartoons of Mary Shelley; we were reading Frankenstein at the time. Since then, I've browsed the Canadian cartoonist's work online, and I decided to indulge in this hardcover collection. Spending an afternoon reading Hark! A Vagrant was pure delight. Beaton takes on a number of literary and historical figures, including the Brontes, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Goethe, Kerouac, Elizabeth I, Montcalm, Ben Franklin, and more. I particularly enjoyed the section where she reproduces a popular book cover, then creates a three-frame comic of what the cover suggests the book might be about. If history and literature are not your thing, never fear: there are plenty of pop culture comics here, too: Wonderwoman, Wolverine, pirates, Canadian sterotypes, and hipsters, to name just a few. Beaton's comics display a wry, somewhat sardonic humor. Many of them are accompanied by brief background comments which are often just as clever.If, like me, you're not a regular reader of comics, give Beaton a chance--she's hilarious. You can browse them by topic on her Hark! A Vagrant website.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    She is so funny.
    The drawings look sort of crude at first but she is a genius at making very specific facial expressions out of like, two dots and a jagged line.

    I think my favorite one is p. 40: "SICK MANUSCRIPT BRO"

    First monk: That illuminated manuscript is looking niiice. What is it man?

    Second monk: Gospel of Mark.

    First monk: Rad.
    Check out my Gospel of Mark fanfic.

    Second monk: You are not a very good monk.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Among the many things I like about Beaton's comic strips, the two that stand out the most are her sense of timing (her dialogue bubbles are perfectly timed, if that makes sense) and her removal of the mask of historical and literary glory to show its petty and mundane core.Her strips seem to work better online, though. It's probably the commentary at the bottom of some pages, which tends to explain some obscure references or to offer some sassy opinion on the subject of the comics, but which on the page is distracting and a bit of a rant. Still, a very funny book.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    I am a huge fan of her cartoons online, and was very excited to preorder this. But for some reason it just doesn't work for me as a book. Online, her drawings seem brighter and bigger, and I focus more on the drawings than on the message. Also, I look at the strips one at a time. As a book, the work seems less interesting, more repetitious and, unfortunately, almost pedantic.I do think she's a talented artist. I really recommend the website. But her work may be more suited to the medium of the internet than the printed page. I can hardly believe that I, a book and magazine nut, am saying this. As much as I'd like to support her, I can't really recommend this book, personally.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Hilarious and now I have to go look up a bunch of stuff.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Characters: Elizabeth Bennet, Nancy Drew, Napolean Bonaparte, Jules Verne, Jane Austen...

    If the first line of the cast list doesn't intrigue and sell you, I don't know what will. I adore Kate Beaton and this review will struggle to be anything but a biased mess of adoration.

    She's witty, she's silly and she tells history the way I wish it were taught. And by that I mean she includes women, first nations people and people of colour in her comics. She calls out Charlotte Bronte's Mr. Rochester and giggles at the problematic lives of peasants in Medieval England.

    And I laughed right along with her. Thanks, Ms. Beaton, for taking some of the world's most problematic characters (fiction or otherwise) and making them loveable again.

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Likes: Witty and irreverent comics that poke fun at history and literature. Plenty of laugh out loud moments, as well as some huh? moments. I also really love the notes Kate Beaton provides under some of the cartoons.Dislikes: I probably wouldn't recommend this to teens, as you would have to have a fairly broad familiarity with world history and literature to get many of the jokes (although I didn't have a clue about a lot of it, but still found it amusing). Maybe older teens with a high level of interest in those subjects.Warnings: Prevalent language.Bonus points: Canada!
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Very funny. One that sticks in my mind is "Young Ada Lovelace" and the frame where Ada's mother is keeping Ada away from poets. Another, "A Bad Affair", has a delightful frame where a girl tries to convince her father that she loves a yeti. The way the daughter's hands were drawn to her heart and the look on her face was simple and humorous, that is, perfect. The book is full of this delightful entertainment.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Unlike most readers, I don't find this book hysterically funny -- mildly amusing, is more like it. This may, in part, be because I'm not Canadian, which means some of the material isn't embedded in my brain. But the rest of the history material, and the literary stuff, definitely is in there, so it's not entirely a question of missed references. Chacun a son gout.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    "Hark! A Vagrant" is a print collection of Beaton's webcomics that poke fun at history and literature through the lens of modern life. Subjects range from Beethoven's nephew to "the Great Gatsby."Beaton has a distinct and hilarious illustration style. While some comics do not require knowledge of the historic or literary reference, others are confusing without it. As such, this collection is a hit or miss of hilarity, depending on where you stand on your exposure to Western history and literature.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Some of the strips made me laugh or smile, but most of them didn't do much for me. I think I'm getting old :)
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton is a collection of her webcomics in print form. When the book was first published (2011) I was following the webcomic semi-regularly when Google Reader was still a thing.The comics are three panel comics that go for a few sets in a theme before moving onto the next thing. These are running gags, or variations on a theme.Now as a semi-regularly read webcomic, these on going gags are funny. Read back to back in print form, the gags do become repetitive. As I was reading a library book in the course of a weekend of reading before the start of reading for the CYBILs, I didn't give myself enough time between themes.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    If you are interested in comics about the Bronte sisters, Hamlet, Dracula, and Nancy Drew then you may just enjoy Hark! A Vagrant by cartoonist Kate Beaton. This young Canadian has made waves in the likes of the New Yorker, Harper’s and the National Post and she continues to skewer both people and things that have long been considered literary, historical and political icons in this collection.There isn’t much that is not considered fair game by Kate Beaton and paging through her simple caricatures and funny, witty writings is an enjoyable activity. She has studied history and now turns her knowledge into irreverent and hilarious 3 panel cartoons that manage to satire both the past and the present. An excellent blend of pop culture and history.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    These bring me a lot of joy. 1980s business women barking orders into giant cell phones, Brontes crushing on scowling jerks, Nancy Drew covers come to life. The drawings are as funny as the words.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Unfortunately, I haven't gotten ahold of a physical copy of this yet, but I can vouch for the webcomic. It's hilarious and historical, and I'll recommend it to everybody I know who likes history. I'm completely serious. Look at the silly faces, learn about Canadian prime ministers. I beg you. It's for your own good.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I first saw Kate Beaton's work being reblogged all over tumblr, and I fell in love with it. Literary cartoons! Historical cartoons! Canadian history jokes I don't really understand! This is great stuff. I think my favorites are the pirate nemesis strips, though. I love those.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Love Kate Beaton. Discovered her after seeing the brilliant Bronte sisters comic, and I've been mad for her ever since. A really good collection of her comics.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I've been following Kate Beaton's "Hark A Vagrant" webcomic for sometime now and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the book. And I wasn't disappointed. First off yes most of the comics can be found online, but there are times that I want to spend away from my computer and still enjoy something light, funny, and somewhat educational. And this book meets all three of those qualities. Kate makes the past come alive by poking fun at the light moments or highlighting moments that you've never heard of before (sometimes because she makes them up, but still.) And her artwork...she has a way of capturing expressions on the characters faces, even the fat ponies, that will have you howling with laughter within seconds after seeing them. She makes the characters come alive.Every time I read one of her comics I have a desire to break out a reference book or website just to found out more about the people/events that she highlights in her strip. After reading some of these comics I even view literature in a new way. The 18th/19th century stuff that I once thought of as boring, such as Anne of Green Gables, has new meaning after I see it through Kate's eyes. I highly, highly recommend this book for any fan of literature or history.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A laugh-out-loud collection of comics that skewer historical figures, events and literature. Providing comic relief in some 'what-if' moments, this is a quick but really fun poke at Shakespeare's Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, Jane Austen herself, King Richard, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Kennedy, Conan Doyle's Holmes and Watson, among others.It does help, though, if you have some knowledge of history and have read the classics, otherwise, I think the humor would be lost to you. Or perhaps it will encourage the reader to seek out books on those particular chapters in history or add some of the classics to their list.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    A collection of comics that rewards lovers of history, but is perfectly accessible to anyone with an enjoyment of human nature and an touch of the absurd. In particular, Beaton loves to poke fun at those who take themselves, and the subject matter of history and literature, too seriously. I cannot recommend this comic highly enough!
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    I had heard a lot of good things about Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant and since the premise of it (historical parody + comics) sounded intriguing I naturally thought it would be a winner for me. Well, I can't in all honesty say that it was a winner in my books. There were certainly some comics that I thought were really funny but I feel like those few didn't override my overall reaction of "wow this wasn't as good as I had hoped". I think this is largely due to my sense of humor. I know many people who would probably fall out of their chairs laughing at this (and many others who would totally give up within the first couple of pages). Essentially Kate has selected different little themes (based on historical figures, events, etc) and written short comics to accompany them. Sometimes she writes a little explanatory paragraph at the bottom but this isn't always the case. There is something very "Tumblresque" about her work which might be the biggest draw for you...or it might make you very wary. I always feel strange giving a "negative" review especially when it's more a question of my taste and not really anything to do with the writing itself. However, this is my blog and I can only review books based on my own tastes (as well as basic stuff like grammar, setup, and so on). For me, this was a 3/10 and I'm not likely to search out any of Beaton's work in the future.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I first found Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant comics through Tumblr (which, frankly, is how I learn about most of my favorite things in pop culture these days) when someone posted my favorite of her Gatsby comics ("We're old money." "How old?" "Old as balls."). I soon found the originals and spent several days pouring over the full backlog of her work, which is absolutely delightful.So, upon learning that a printed edition existed, it was a must buy for me.Here we see some fantastic comedic takes on history, literature, and even occasionally the mundane both then and now. Beaton has a fantastic comic wit and I'm glad she has decided to share it with the world. I recommend this one to everyone. It's fantastic!
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Originally, this is a web-based comic by Kate Beaton. She published it in hardcover format and I've enjoyed her comic strips from the start. I particularly enjoy the 'Brontës' adventures, or historical/literary adventures. Obviously, the whole is rather Canadian in terms of historical or political figures, I wish it was less Canadian-centric, but hey, there's Napoleon, so I shouldn't complain, really. This book is a gem, making fun of historical/literary or fictional figures, with a light humour or the occasional irony, but still very spot on in places. This is a great read that is sure to make you laugh out loud, I can't recommend it enough to get you in the mood for more. I'm going to buy the next one in the series!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Every single page here is funny, smart, and totally unlike any other comic out there.

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Hark! A Vagrant - Kate Beaton

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