Cartoonist Kate Beaton Plays on Literary Classics — The Great Gatsby, Julius Caesar & More

Lis­ten, Old Sport, as far as that Leonar­do DiCaprio Gats­by movie goes, I haven’t seen it. But I’ll bet a swim­ming pool of gin it’s nowhere near as  fun­ny as car­toon­ist Kate Beat­on’s 3‑panel takes on F. Scott Fitzger­ald’s clas­sic nov­el.

Of course, F. Scot­t’s orig­i­nal was­n’t exact­ly what one would call a knee slap­per — where­as Beat­on’s com­ic col­lec­tion, Hark! A Vagrant, mer­its a per­ma­nent spot in one’s bath­room library. Beat­on’s take on The Great Gats­by is by no means a lit­er­al adap­ta­tion, but her mean-faced, ven­om-tongued cre­ations get it spir­i­tu­al­ly right. They also do a num­ber on Bronte, Jane Austen, Niet­zsche and Shake­speare’s Julius Cae­sar, to name but a few of the author’s oth­er lit­er­ary tar­gets. (See her archive here.) Not bad for a Cana­di­an with degrees in His­to­ry and Anthro­pol­o­gy. Is it wrong to think Zel­da would approve?

At any rate, it’s high time some­one blew the lid off of what’s behind the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eck­el­berg. Grat­i­fy­ing, too, to see Tom and Daisy’s child get­ting some long past due con­sid­er­a­tion. Now that I think about it, our com­pul­sion to keep beat­ing on boats against the cur­rent is kind of fun­ny. Top draw­er stuff, Old Sport, top draw­er stuff.

Find works by F. Scott Fitzger­ald in our col­lec­tions of Free Audio Books and Free eBooks.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Phi­los­o­phy Made Fun: Read the Free Pre­view Edi­tion of the Action Philoso­phers! Com­ic

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the author of a half dozen some books includ­ing No Touch Mon­key! And Oth­er Trav­el Lessons Learned Too Late.

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  • sgtoox says:

    Well, the Gats­by ones were actu­al­ly pret­ty fun­ny, but most of her comics are more along the lines of “LOOK I am ref­er­enc­ing a famous literary/philosophical fig­ure” with usu­al­ly noth­ing more sub­stan­tive than that. 90% of the comics don’t reflect any­thing more than vague famil­iar­i­ty with the names or a quick brief­ing from a wikipedia page.

    It is sort of insult­ing to my intel­li­gence to have these comics per­ceived as “smart”

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