Any nerd will tell you that niche humor is hard to come by. Thankfully, Kate Beaton has come to the aid of literature and history buffs with Hark! A Vagrant. This comic strip collection will have you rolling with laughter — provided you enjoy academic humor.
Admittedly, while Hark! A Vagrant hit all the right notes for me, some readers may be turned off by the lengthy sections Beaton devotes to more narrowed interests. Take, for example, her Gorey Covers series, which interprets classic novels based solely on their covers, all drawn by Edward Gorey. I found them hilarious, but my family — who, largely, are not fans of literature- and history-based humor — were less than enthused.
That isn’t to say that Beaton’s humor won’t appeal to a wide crowd. Many of the strips contained in Hark! A Vagrant will be funny to anyone who knows that the Dark Ages sucked, or that women had to fight for the right to vote, or that there are certain stereotypes about Canadian politeness.
Fans of Texts from Jane Eyre and Hamilton will enjoy Beaton’s smart lampooning of literature and history. If you’ve ever given a chuckle to R.E. Parrish and Zach Hanson’s “No Parties” comic, Hark! A Vagrant is the book you’ve been waiting for.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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