My review of Kate Beaton‘s new collection, Step Aside, Pops, appeared at NPR Books today. I read the book in Ottawa, started reviewing it in Halifax, and finished reviewing it in Glasgow, so it’s a well-travelled sort of thing.
Here’s a bit of what I thought of it:
There wasn’t a single strip in this collection I didn’t enjoy, whether with giggles, guffaws, or an amused nod of agreement — but I was especially impressed by Beaton’s capacity for teaching while being equal parts funny and considerate of her subjects. Included in Step Aside, Pops are sequences introducing the reader to Tom Longboat, an Onondaga distance runner who broke records and fought for Canada during WWI; Ida B. Wells, a black American journalist and early civil rights activist; and Katherine Sui Fun Cheung, the first Chinese-American woman to receive a commercial flying license in the U.S. Reading these strips I marveled over the fact that I’d never heard of these amazing people — but marveled more at the fact that Beaton managed to tell jokes while being fiercely respectful of their struggles and achievements.
In other news I mentioned MY HUSBAND in the review, and I am still grinning over it.