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Step Aside Pops

Step Aside Pops

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By Kate Beaton. Published by Vintage Publishing in the UK. Originally published by Drawn & Quarterly. 

Softcover, 160 pages, B&W, 2015. 


Ida B. Wells, the Black Prince, and Benito Juárez burst off the pages of Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection, armed with modern-sounding quips and amusingly on-point repartee. Kate Beaton's second D+Q book brings her hysterically funny gaze to bear on these and even more historical, literary, and contemporary figures. Irreverently funny and carefully researched, no target is safe from Beaton's incisive wit in these satirical strips.

Beaton began her infectiously popular web comic, Hark! A Vagrant, in 2007 and it quickly attracted the adoration of hundreds of thousands of fans. It was an unequivocal hit with critics and fans alike, topping best-of-the-year lists from E!, Amazon, Time, and more. Now Beaton returns with a refined pen, ready to make jokes at the expense of hunks, army generals, scientists, and Canadians in equal measure. With a few carefully placed lines, she captures the over-the-top evil of the straw feminists in the closet, the disgruntled dismay of Heathcliff, and Wonder Woman's all-conquering ennui. Step Aside, Pops is sure to be the comedic hit of the year: sharp, insightful, and very funny.

Praise for Step Aside, Pops

I am happy to recommend [Step Aside, Pops] to anyone who likes history and comics and things that are blindingly hilarious.


... Beaton is the leading light of North American cartooning right now, a human wellspring of laugh-out-loud punch lines with a fantastic visual and verbal lexicon that is wholly her own. Step Aside, Pops has everything that has made her an emerging titan ...

Vulture: Top 10 Graphic Novels 2015

In Beaton’s sublimely skewered world of revolutionaries and usurpers and female heroes who won’t move to the back of history’s train, the art of the knowing line is its own beautiful subversion.

The Washington Post

When Beaton takes on the benighted gender politics of today, the burden of history no longer weighs down the brickbats she hurls. Instead they hit home with elegant accuracy – as well as enough cutting sarcasm to make pops step aside, and nasty boys realize they don’t mean a thing.

The Globe and Mail

Along with a finely tuned sense of comic timing, Beaton has an unerring eye for the human folly at the heart of great works of art and great moments in history, which is why her work only gets funnier each time you read it.


From Julius Caesar to The Secret Garden and from the late Romantics to Kokoro, Beaton knocks it out of the park, having a go at anything and everything with her razor-sharp wit.

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Sharp, charming, and weird, Step Aside, Pops is a fine sampling of Beaton's work, and I can't recommend it enough.


Her assured doodles and ability to find absurdity anywhere are unmistakable. So is her orthography: Nobody’s ever gotten so much comedy out of omitting punctuation.

New York Times

This new collection showcases her fully-evolved storytelling and humor, scouring history for satirical springboards and laugh-out-loud sight gags. Beaton’s deceptively simple art style is the essence of great cartooning.

Forbes: Ten Best Graphic Novels of 2015

From Wonder Woman dealing with the demands of realist critics, to Mary and Colin getting high in The Secret Garden, Step Aside, Pops will keep you in stitches.


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