Monday, October 27, 2008

web comic review: kate beaton

I would like to take a moment her to express my luurve for Kate Beaton. I do not know this person, I have never met her, but her web comics tickle my funny bone and delight me like none other.

In some of her strips, Beaton takes parts of her everyday life-- living in Nova Scotia, working as an administrative office personage in the oil fields-- and turns them into strips that KILL me with this weird blend of gentle humor and sweetly disguised sarcasm. Even when her jokes are way over my head Canadian in nature, and I don't really get them at all, because I know next to nothing about Canada or oil fields or whatnot, I laugh.

Here is an example:

Did you know there were stereotypes about sailors in Nova Scotia? Neither did I! Hilarious! And poignant.

In other strips, Beaton illustrates funny, candid moments in history and literature. Yes, that's right, funny comics about history. She finds this odd space between the big event we all read about in history class and the real (historical) person and illustrates it with sly, yet still good natured, humor.

Here's one about being an American with George Washington that literally had me choking on my own spit at my desk, trying to conceal inappropriate guffaws at the workplace:

Also, this one on Richard III. I never read Shakespeare's Richard III and most of the history I know about R3 is from a tour of the Tower of London and the vague historical references in the song, Ghosts of Princes in Towers.

Which part is funnier, terribly creepy R3 saying "Who wants cake?" or the soon-to-be-dead kid going, "yum, yum dagger cake!"-- this may be a question for the ages.

What I like best about Beaton is that she is smart and yet never heavy-handed or mean. When I laugh at her comics, I sort of feel that the two of us have been having a funny conversation about some half-forgotten memory we share of a high school history class.

Obligatory warning message: All of these comics belong to Kate Beaton and you shouldn't steal them or anything.