Hark! A Vagrant, by Kate Beaton ISBN 9781770460607
Five out of five stars
These comics are amusing as many things in the human experience and many that have helped create those experiences are lampooned. Saints, writers, explorers and political figures are some of the major targets, including their works. For example, there is a set of 12 three caption pieces satirizing the Nancy Drew mystery series.
Some of the comics will require some background knowledge if the reader is to understand them. For example, four pages are devoted to a subject called “Raskolnikov.” If the reader is unfamiliar with the novel “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, then most of it will not be understood. Another section features a dispute between Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. Fortunately, most of the comics that have a more complex meaning have a paragraph of text at the bottom, explaining the context of the comic.
These cartoons are often silly and sometimes profound, requiring a bit of background thinking. Beaton demonstrates that her artistic and textual pens are both sharp as in combination they skewer many people.