Monday, May 7, 2012

Hark! A Vagrant

Hark! A Vagrant
Kate Beaton
Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux, 2011
$19.95, Hardcover
April 28th, 2012

Genre: Humor
Age: 14+
Description: This book is a collection of comics that appeared on Beaton’s website. An artist who studied history, Beaton combines her love of history and literature with comic strips in her own comic that will really appeal to literary teens and adults.
Opinion: This book deserves a spot in the YA section for its intellectual humor. It might be a little mature for some younger tweens because it does feature inappropriate language. However, there are many comics here to appeal to all sorts of humor. There are non-literary comics (such as a boy refusing to go to his room until his mother says “fine you’re father and I will just walk around the house naked then” which gets him running) and one of my favorite features is when she takes a bunch of old classics with covers illustrated by Edward Gorey and writes comics of “what this book is about according to the cover.” She also has a run of strips where she does this with old Nancy Drew covers. Super literary teens will probably fall in love with the first comic which shows Emily and Charlotte Brontë drooling over jerky men while Anne looks on horrified and the other girls tell her she has no taste in men. According to Benton’s comments at the bottom of the strip, “Anne, why are writing about how alcoholic losers ruin people’s lives? Don’t you see that romanticizing douchey behavior is the proper literary convention in this family? Honestly. Losers who ruin people’s lives are who we want to dream about at night.” Astute teens who can’t stand the obsessive love of Edward and Bella will take to such as strip here even though it’s referring to characters written about years ago. There are some gems here that older tweens and teens will get a kick out off. Just be aware of the language.