Thursday, September 2, 2010

Why Aren't You Reading This Comic? Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton

Think about your life. Think about your choices. Why aren't you reading this?

History is one of the things that I think most schools royally fuck up when teaching kids. I mean, for starters, 3/4ths of it is whitewashed or just plain wrong. You hardly learn about anything that isn't Western history. It's more or less "Look how rich white men built the world while making things pretty shitty for people who aren't rich white men." And dear lord, do they manage to make it dull. History shouldn't be dull! It's full of wars and crazy people and silly hats and great art and pirates and scientific advancement and social upheaval and heads on pikes! History is exciting and ridiculous! Every kid should love history.

For a Canadian, she has being an American down.

And that's why I love Kate Beaton's comics. Hark! A Vagrant puts all the ridiculousness of history right up there in the forefront. I honestly think I've learned more about history from reading her comic than I ever did in high school. Possibly because I slept through large portions of high school, including, I'm pretty sure, my entire sophomore year. But also because of the way the comics inspire me to learn more about the historical figures in them. Every time a comic mentions a person or event I've never heard of, I end up googling them, and inevitably start chasing wiki links till it's three in the morning and I and engrossed in a page about union suits and no recollection of how I got there. That's why I think we should just replace all history textbooks with Hark! A Vagrant. I mean, they pretty much cover everything you need to know.

Great Literature...

Scientific Discoveries (with a bonus lession in Sometimes Men Are Dicks)...

Even some of the Unsolved Mysteries of History...

Ok, the mystery was actually solved. And the answer is "James Joyce was kinda gross."

Alright, in order to keep myself from just posting every one of Kate's comics that I like (which is just about all of them), I'm just going to post a link to her site, and tell you that, if you don't read Hark! A Vagrant, rabid weasels will devour you in your sleep. Or something.

Hark! A Vagrant: Read It Or Else

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