Hark! A Vagrant: the book

Somehow, I missed last year's publication of the long-overdue Hark! A Vagrant collection, which puts Kate Beaton's fantastic webcomic between covers. Beaton is a Canadian who studied history but plumped for the glamorous life of a cartoonist instead. We're all richer for it, as she captures the true spirit of history with her mixture of biting sarcasm, spot-on comic timing, and skeptical take on history's heroes. Click through for a look at some of my favorite Beaton toons, and get a sense of why this book is a completely awesome treasury of snark, history and science.

Hark! A Vagrant


  1. Seriously, everyone — if you don’t already read “Hark, A Vagrant” you should start now. It’s sort of like XKCD for history and literature. Kate Beaton makes me cry laughing on a regular basis.

    Some of my all-time favorites include:
    Canadian Stereotype Comics (Kate Beaton is Canadian)
    Queen Bess at Tilbury
    Great Gatsbys

    Oh, just go read the whole website. Your life will be better with “Hark, a Vagrant” in it.

    1. Yup.  You’ll lose a day or so clicking through all the panels, but it will have been worth it.

    2. Complete surrender is the only way; just start at the beginning. You have no idea how funny the Bronte sisters, Chopin and Liszt, Nancy Drew, Andrew Jackson, and a strangely overweight Shetland pony can be.

      And, buy the book! It’s very satisfying to own and display for others.

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