Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hark, A Vagrant!

I have to briefly gush about one of the books we have in right now, Hark, A Vagrant! Seeing it on the counter a few weeks ago was definitely one of the most pleasant surprises I've gotten working here. Hark, A Vagrant! in its original form is an excellent webcomic by Kate Beaton, and I had forgotten that it was being collected into a book. For those that have never spent entire afternoons going through Hark comics, they're mostly about historical figures and events, with a heavy dose of classic literature as well. Whether you're more into the history or literature side of things, this book definitely provides plenty of entertainment.

One my favorite things about Hark, A Vagrant! is the little notes on many of the pages giving some of the historical context behind the joke. For example, the strip about Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne is funny by itself, but is even better once you know that Verne wrote Poe "fan mail" - by way of writing an entire sequel to one of Poe's works. These notes are especially useful for the occasional Canadian history comic, as I have to admit I'm not exactly up to speed on the finer points of former Canadian prime ministers. At any rate, I wholeheartedly recommend Hark, A Vagrant! for anyone that enjoys both history and laughing, preferably at the same time.


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