This may be my shortest post ever, because I really don’t know how to review a comic book, except to say: it’s funny, and you should check it out. If I have to explain why I burst out laughing at a strip with nothing but 2 faces and a guy shouting “Kierkegaard,” I can only conclude that humor takes place on a subconscious, maybe subatomic level, because there’s no rational reason for that to be funny.
Kate Beaton is the artist; she’s Canadian; she took her degree in history and then went into cartooning instead. As you can tell from leaping Napoleon on the cover, history is still her thing, along with 19th-century English novels, Shakespeare and–surprise!–glam rock stars, preferably all in the same panel. You can find her comics online at harkavagrant.com, they’re indexed by subject, even! but the book is handy and portable if you’d like to laugh somewhere not in front of a computer.
If you like 19th-century novels, or maybe you just like to make fun of Jane Eyre, if you would like to mock Canadian stereotypes; the covers of Nancy Drew books; Marie de Lamballe’s head on a pike; the dueling egos of Byron, Shelley, Chopin and Liszt; Isambard Kingdom Brunel vs. the Steampunk movement; or the story of the Shoemaker and the Elves, only the elves are members of KISS and make high-heeled glam boots, then this is the book for you. To English-lit geeks like myself, I recommend Dude Watching with the Brontës and anything to do with Jane Austen. I hope you’re not offended by four-letter-words.
Oh, and you’ll learn a little bit about Canadian history! Because apparently Canada has history too, who knew?
Check the WRL catalog for Hark! A Vagrant.