Things are coming up roses for Kate Beaton. Her print compilation, Hark A Vagrant!, scored the #7 spot on Time Magazine’s Top Ten Fiction Books. (Coming in at #1, by the way, was George R.R. Martin, and given the Game of Thrones mania sweeping the nation this year, the bearded one is a tough guy to beat.) Here’s what Time had to say:
It’s tough to say what list this book belongs on, but it’s the debut of a smart, funny, wholly unique voice, and it ought to be somewhere, so let’s put it here. Kate Beaton is a cartoonist who draws wildly expressive portraits of historical and literary figures and then makes them say funny things. Quite often her comics reveal basic truths about who these people were or are. (Lenin: “Is the right time for revolution.” Russian: “I do not wish to be communist.” Lenin: “Would murderous atrocities convince you sir.” Russian (rubs beard thoughtfully): “Go on …”) But the main point is that they’re hilarious. Whatever else it might be, Hark! A Vagrant is the wittiest book of the year.
And before you can write that off as perhaps cold, calculated commercial pandering, these words were written by one of Webcomic Overlook’s favorite modern authors, Lev Grossman. (Mr. Grossman was also once a video game critic, which makes him a soul brother of sorts.) When the author of The Magicians and Codex speaks, El Santo listens.
This also proves, by the way, what trendsetters we webcomic readers are. While the rest of the world is just now catching up to Ms. Beaton’s works, we can all put on our lensless glasses and sneer, “Psssh… I was totally into Kate Beaton 3-and-a-half years ago.” Webcomics: turning all of us into hipsters one webcomic at a time.