Friday, November 11, 2016

NONFICTION NOVEMBER: Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton

It's that time of the year, November, when I get around to reviewing some of the nonfiction books I read or listened to this year. This one is from February!

Hark! A Vagrant - Kate Beaton

Beaton is from Cape Breton and started her comics online. Her blend of literature and historical figures, plus Canadianism fit right in my wheelhouse. Some of these were very funny.

Laura Secord, Jane Eyre, Nikola Tesla, (and you know how I enjoy him); even Tycho Brahe with his fake nose get mentioned. The references come fast and furious and there were many I certainly didn't get. But if you enjoy irreverent humour from a vast range of sources, this might be for you. 
Each comic is short (3-4 panels) but is jam packed with ideas.

Sometimes an idea gets a series of comics. There was a whole section of guessing the content of a book based on the cover and title. I might have enjoyed this more if I were more familiar with many of the books, but this might be the point. Many of these seemed obscure and were chosen due to their terrible covers! Then Nancy Drew gets the treatment all for herself with the cover and a short synopsis. Then, imagine a Victorian sitcom. 

My take after this book is that Kate Beaton is a very well-read person with a broad range of knowledge and interests. Speaks well to one of our small Maritime universities, Mount Allison, her alma mater. Also, she should be more famous, in Canada, and elsewhere. (Comics are posted here and archived. You can even buy a print if you want)