Kate Beaton

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Kate Beaton
Kate Beaton smiles for the camera
Beaton at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo in BMO Centre, Calgary (19 June 2011)
Born (1983-09-08) September 8, 1983 (age 32)
Nova Scotia, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Notable works
Hark! A Vagrant
Signature of Kate Beaton

Kathryn Moira Beaton (born 8 September 1983) is a Canadian comics artist, and creator of the comic strip Hark! A Vagrant.

Early life[edit]

Of Scottish descent, Beaton grew up in Mabou on the isle of Cape Breton.[1] She has three sisters.[2] She graduated from Mount Allison University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and anthropology.[3] Beaton began drawing comics for the university newspaper, The Argosy, during her third and fourth years at school. Previously she worked in the maritime museum in Victoria.[4]


In 2007, at her friends' insistence, Beaton decided to publish some of her history-inspired comics on the Web. She posted comics to a new website, katebeaton.com, and to a LiveJournal blog. In December 2007 she published the first of two popular batches of history-themed comic strips; the subject of each comic was one that at least twenty of her readers suggested.[5] She moved to her current website, Hark! A Vagrant, in May 2008.[6]

Beaton publishes her webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant, occasionally.[3] Its subjects are usually historical figures (such as James Joyce[7] and Ada Lovelace[8]) or fictional characters from Western literature. In several comics, Beaton caricatures herself, past and present. All were drawn by Beaton using MS Paint during her breaks at work.[3] Beaton has a simple artistic style, with great importance given to characters' facial expressions; her skill at comic pacing has also been noted.[9] Hark! A Vagrant won the 2011 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Online Comic.[10]

Her work has been profiled in Wired,[4] Macleans,[11] and Comic Book Resources.[12] "The Origin of Man", a comic strip by Beaton celebrating Charles Darwin's 200th birthday, was showcased by MySpace Dark Horse Presents in March 2009.[12] In June 2009 she released a book titled Never Learn Anything from History.[13] Two of Beaton's cartoons have been published in The New Yorker.[14] Drawn and Quarterly released her newest book, also titled Hark! A Vagrant, in September 2011.[15][16] Time magazine named it one of the top ten fiction books of the year, with Lev Grossman calling it "the wittiest book of the year."[17]

Beaton's self-published Never Learn Anything from History won the 2009 Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent.[18] Hark! A Vagrant won the 2011 Harvey Award for Best Online Comics Work, having been nominated the previous year,[19] and was also nominated for Joe Shuster Awards in 2009 and 2010.[20][21] Beaton followed up her 2011 Harvey win by taking home three Harveys in 2012, for Humor, Online Work, and Best Cartoonist.

Beaton has also contributed to Marvel Comics' Strange Tales anthology.[22]

Beaton's work has topped the ″New York Times″ graphic novel bestseller list.[23]

In a 2015 poll, Beaton ranked #14 among the top female comics artists of all-time.[24]


  • 2009 Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent[25]
  • 2011 Harvey Award for Best Online Comics Work[26]
  • 2011 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Online Comic[10]
  • 2012 Harvey Award for Best Online Comics Work[27]
  • 2012 Harvey Award Special Award for Humor in Comics
  • 2012 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist



Comic collections[edit]

  • Never Learn Anything From History (2009)
  • Hark! A Vagrant (Montréal: Drawn & Quarterly, 2011)
  • Step Aside, Pops (Montreal, Drawn & Quarterly, 2015)

Children's books[edit]

  • The Princess and the Pony (New York, NY: Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2015)
  • King Baby (forthcoming, 2016)


  1. ^ "Top Stories". M.ctv.ca. 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  2. ^ Kate Beaton [beatonna] (19 June 2015). "I called my Da for Father's Day, he's a good fella. Four girls ain't easy" (Tweet). 
  3. ^ a b c "About". Hark, a vagrant. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  4. ^ a b Hodge, Nathan (March 11, 2009). "Web Comic Artist Redraws Military History". Danger Room. Wired.com. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  5. ^ Hark! A Vagrant History Comics by Kate Beaton - MetaFilter (13 Feb 2008)
  6. ^ Beth Dunn. "Interview with Kate Beaton". Bethdunn.org. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  7. ^ Hark, a vagrant: 32
  8. ^ Hark, a vagrant: 141
  9. ^ Weldon, Glen (September 22, 2011). "Cartoonist Beaton's "Hark! A Vagrant!" Finds Drollery in Drawing Rooms". NPR: Monkey See. 
  10. ^ a b "Ignatz Awards 2012". SPX. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Shimo, Alexandra (March 13, 2009). "Making fun of Canadian history". Macleans. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Manning, Shaun (March 25, 2009). "Kate Beaton Debuts w/ Darwin at MySpace DHP". CBR News. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved March 28, 2009. 
  13. ^ Wolfe-Wylie, William (June 2, 2009). "History in the making". Toronto Sun. Retrieved July 22, 2009. 
  14. ^ Hains, David (June 3, 2010). "Kate Beaton in New Yorker". Sequential: Canadian Comics News and Culture. Retrieved September 3, 2010. 
  15. ^ "D+Q to Publish Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant". Drawn & Quarterly. January 12, 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2011. 
  16. ^ Hark! A Vagrant. Amazon.com. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  17. ^ Grossman, Lev (December 7, 2011). "7. Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton". Time. 
  18. ^ Wong, Jessica (May 10, 2009). "Outsider tale Skim, quirky History Comics nab cartooning awards". CBC News (cbcnews.ca). Retrieved May 22, 2009. 
  19. ^ a b "2010 Harvey Awards Ballot". Retrieved 25 Feb 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "Nominations for the 2009 Joe Shuster Awards". The Joe Shuster Awards. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  21. ^ a b joeshusterawards (2010-03-17). "Nominations for the 2010 Joe Shuster Awards". The Joe Shuster Awards. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2015-10-04/hardcover-graphic-books/list.html
  24. ^ http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2015/03/25/top-25-female-comic-book-artists-15-11/
  25. ^ "Doug Wright Awards: Past Winners". Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "2011 Harvey Awards". Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  27. ^ "Congratulations to the Harvey Award Recipients!". Retrieved 13 September 2012. 

External links[edit]