I’ll take a wild guess and say that because you’re reading this on a comics & illustration blog, you’re already familiar with Kate Beaton’s comics. I’ll also guess, since it’s been reviewed everywhere from NPR to Time Magazine that you also already know about her new book with Drawn & Quarterly, on sale today.
I’ll refrain from reviewing the book itself, which is a nice, big, beautiful, hilarious thing because there’s not much I can say that Dustin Harbin didn’t already put so perfectly in his review.
But I did want to draw attention to the book because I know that readers of this site are cartoonists themselves, both professional and aspiring. Kate’s book, which topped the comics and graphic novel sales chart on Amazon well before it was even released, is a notable Internet success story, and it’s worth trying to steal her secrets.
Okay, yes, talent. Talent aside — and she has it in boatloads — I think Kate’s secret is in how thoughtful a cartoonist she is. It’s a thoughtfulness that informs her work, and gives her the observational skills that allows her to capture the expressions, emotions, body language, and speech patterns of real people that makes her comics about historical and literary characters so funny.
But if you know Kate, have seen her speak, or follow her on Twitter, you’ll know it’s her thoughtfulness that also gives her autobiographical comics such heart, her thoughtfulness that gives her opinions on comics, humour, art, and culture such weight, and her thoughtfulness that makes her fans love her:
Let’s all buy her book.
EDIT: Here’s our first post about Kate from 2007.