Webcomics collected for the printed page rarely hang together as cohesive singular works, and this book is no exception. They also rarely deliver a consistent laughs-per-page number or manage to be as fresh on page 50 as they are on page 1; and for these, Hark! A Vagrant is indeed an exception. Kate Beaton’s comic is very funny and accessible; she pokes fun at various literary and historical figures (both infamous and obscure), in addition to hipsters and teenagers and even superheroes. If you like smarmy, witty, smart comedy and drawings that range from the moody and surreal to the supremely cute, this book is a great choice!
Since the humor is hard to describe, just check out this comic. If you like humor about 200 year old inventors or have a soft spot for Tesla…
For more awesome, check out Kate Beaton’s comics at their original home: harkavagrant.com.
Be sure to stop by one of our local comic book shops on Saturday, May 1st, in order to pick up a free comic book!
Died, killed, slayed…these comedy concepts are many and nebulous. They do not detract, however, from the chronicling in I’m Dying up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy’s Golden Era by William Knoedelseder. We get late 70′s snapshots in time of the rise (some meteoric, some not) of fresh-faced twentysomethings from all over the country dead-set on staking their claim in the stand-up comedy gold rush.
We meet a big-chinned pipe-wielding kid out of Boston College named Jay Leno and a young Indiana ex-weatherman Dave Letterman (turns out management didn’t like his wisecracks during weathercasts). Three decades ago they were friends, galvanized through the common cause of working pro-bono for comedy tastemaker Mitzi Shore in her Hollywood clubs. Some of these bell-bottomed quipsters achieved the ultimate goal of sharing a two-shot with Johnny Carson. Some experienced the kind of bohemian poverty that would shock a college student on Ramen noodles. Still others among these clowns exhibited the kind of offstage sadness that got them into rehab clinics and cemeteries.
This work tells the kind of unflattering after-closing stories that keep the pages turning. I wish there were more photos.