I love webcomics, but I have a horrid problem with keeping up with them on a daily basis. I’ll go a few weeks giving them all of my attention and then completely get distracted by something else. This binge-and-ignore pattern is on a self-repeating cycle, so when I realize that there is a print BOOK of a webcomic or a comic that I can only find online, I get really excited! I’ll actually be able to read all of it!
The Worrier’s Guide to Life is my latest online-comic-to-print discovery that can be found in the nonfiction 800s section. Gemma Correll, the author and illustrator, has a website that highlights her sketches, lets us see into her studio where she creates all of her magic drawings, and my favorite part: she even illustrated whole days of her life and posted them! (If you’re looking to stay up-to-date with Correll’s life and drawings, she’s moved almost exclusively to her Tumblr page where she posts things she finds funny and also where she will be doing events! Yay!)
The Worrier’s Guide to Life is a collection of illustrations that Correll has put together highlighting the daily struggles of any and every over-thinker. They’re all so relatable! If you’re on social media a lot, like I am, you may even notice that some of her illustrations have been posted all over Facebook and Tumblr. She covers anything and everything you could possibly over-think about: health, fashion, food, love, traveling, holidays, modern problems, and there’s even an extra special section for all those grown-up worries we find ourselves obsessing about. One of my favorite parts of this book is that Gemma creates lists of advice and information about life to help us all feel better by showing us that things could always be worse. Lists of “Reward Stickers for Grown-Ups”, some non-committal Valentine’s cards if you’re just not sure about the relationship that you are in, and a new list of what the different kind of flowers you could be receiving or giving really mean! Check out this book to laugh about all the crazy advice Gemma has gathered for you in one tiny package.
Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection is Kate Beaton’s third published book of comics, but fourth overall. (Other ones by Beaton that the library owns are Hark! A Vagrant and The Princess and the Pony.) This new graphic novel is a collection of strips from her webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant. Webcomics are generally self-published online and are sometimes even published into books or as single strips in magazines or newspapers depending upon their popularity.
In Step Aside, Pops, Beaton takes a turn at digging into the lives of various literary, historical, and contemporary figures and characters. Think of this graphic novel as a collection of Beaton’s musings and ideas about different people throughout history. Her obvious love of all things literature, historical, and pop culture related flow through this graphic novel as she dissects the lives of Wonder Woman, what it was really like to be a peasant in a time of no medicine or deodorant, and how different famous Alexanders handled rough situations throughout time. Crack open this graphic novel and you’ll see how Beaton reimagines the lives of Achilles, the founding fathers when they find themselves in a shopping mall, and even how Cinderella would have played out if she had been a bodybuilder.
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.