Bust-A-Gut Historical


Whenever my life seems indistinguishable from shit, I pay a visit to Kate Beaton’s website, Hark! A Vagrant. I wouldn’t say the Canadian comic artist has a surefire way of cheering me up—many times, our encounters result in a draw—but her nuanced, simply-drawn cartoons, strongly reminiscent of the work of Jules Feiffer, do remind me that my forebears had it worse than I did. Beaton’s specialty is historical cartoons—funnies based on Jane Austen (who rejects a reader’s fawning request for “a make-out scene”), Nikolai Tesla (apparently a Tom Jones-like sex symbol in his day) and—why the hell not?—Wonder Woman, who chain-smokes and impatiently suffers a young girl’s probing questions. (“Don’t Amazons chop a boob off?”) And speaking of superheroes, it’s only a matter of time before Beaton’s “Strong Female Characters”—three modern vigilante feminists clad in torpedo bras and ass-less chaps, hell-bent for Activia—becomes an expensive action movie. That’ll cheer me up.

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