The long awaited second collection of Kate Beaton’s madly popular Hark! A Vagrant comic is finally on its way, and it’s called Step Aside, Pops, a phrase we’ll all be saying a lot come September. Tom Devlin acquired the book for Drawn & Quarterly.
“Kate’s wit is sharper than ever in Step Aside, Pops,” said Devlin in a statement. “She’s found the perfect way to explore her love of history, while effortlessly deflating the pompous, self-righteous figures of authority we were taught to respect in school. Her restlessness has made her drawings even funnier.”
2011’s Hark! A Vagrant spent five months on theNew York Times graphic bestseller list, and is one of D&Q’s all time best-sellers. It won the Publishers’s Weekly Critics poll and propelled Beaton to the Beat’s Comics Industry Person of the Year.
In case you’re not familiar with Beaton’s comics, they are impeccably researched and slyly drawn, with a keen eye for the human foibles of blow-hard, the fretting parent, the bicycle riding vixen, and more.
Beaton has a brief interview in the LA Times:
HC: How much historical research goes into a comic? Are your comics based on things you’re reading anyway, or do you go in search of information for specific cartoons?
KB: A little of both here. I’m always reading, I’m always sort of trying to pull in ideas and information and hoping that there is a comic in there somewhere. But once you pick a subject and say “I’m going to do this one,” if it’s a literary parody or a historical figure, then yeah there is a lot of research in it. I want to make sure all my ducks are in a row, and I feel like people would know if I hadn’t bothered to look at the thing from all angles before commenting on it. There is always an essay that will make you think more, an angle that will surprise you, a whole closet of things you never read before. History and literature live many lives after the fact, years of opinions and interpretation.
Also, in case you’re in the mood for Kate Beaton merch there’s a ton of it here:
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.