BEATON Kathyrn “Kate” Moira

“They [The Rankin Family] were stars. It was like, they grew up in that house and now they’re on TV. It was really a big deal to someone like me just to have an example. … Maybe without them I would have been a bit more hesitant.”                Kate Beaton about the inspiration of having the Rankin Family as members of her community. “If Monty Python did Heritage Minutes”.

Born 8 September 1983 in Mabou Cape Breton.

This cartoonist has won the 2009 Doug Wright Award for “Best Emerging Artist”, for her Never Learn Anything from History; the 2011 Harvey Award “Best Online Comics Work”, for her Hark A Vagrant and three 2012 Harvey Awards for “Best Online Comics Work”, “Special Award for Humor in Comics” and “Best Cartoonist”.

She began drawing as a young girl. She attended Mount Allison University where she graduated with a degree in history and anthropology. During her last two years she began drawing humorous cartoons based on her interest in literature and history for The Argosy, the university paper.

After graduating from Allison, she moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta, where she “lied” her way into a job at one of the mining sites. She told them her dad owned a Home Hardware and that she knew a lot about tools. Years later she produced a webcomic, Ducks, which described her experiences there. As Medley describes them, “… the strips are more personal, scrutinizing and plaintive.”

In 2006 she moved to Victoria, B.C. and got a job as administrative assistant at the Victoria Maritime Museum in British Columbia, where her work ranged from grant applications to fund raising. There she met artist Emily Horne to whom she showed some of her work. Horne recommended that Beaton post them on the Web.

A watershed moment occurred for Beaton in 2007. One day “she drew a gaggle of squealing 19th- century teens throwing their bloomers at inventor Nikola Tesla, then posted the illustration on her website.[12-13]

I was reading about Tesla, and the book mentioned that he never married, though there were people interested. He chose to be celibate because he thought that love addled your brain,”…”So I wrote a comic where he’s trying to show everyone his invention, but women are throwing their underwear at him. He’s like, ‘Ladies, please,’ but they’re just screaming at him like he’s Elvis.” [12-13]

This strip caught the attention of thousands of new readers worldwide and established her as a cartoonist to be noted. She self-published Never Learn Anything from History” in 2009. Her cartoons have appeared in the New Yorker, Harpers, National Post and anthologies The Best American Comics and Marvel Comics Strange Tales.

In 2011, Drawn & Quarterly published Hark A Vagrant another collection of her online cartoons. The book was launched at San Diego’s Comic-Con to which they brought 300 copies. They began selling it Wednesday night and were sold out by Thursday morning. Drawn & Quarterly immediately ordered a second print run. It won the 2012 Doug Wright Best Book Award. In 2009 Beaton received a Doug Wright Best Emerging Talent Award for the same title as a website cartoon.

In 2015 Drawn and Quarterly published her third collection of strips, Step aside Pops, they printed 50,000 copies the largest first printing in the company’s history. In the same year, she published her first children’s story The Princess and the Pony.




Content story & Cover book front & back:

Hark A Vagrant. Drawn & Quarterly, September 2011.

Step Aside Pops. Drawn & Quarterly, September 2015.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands. Drawn & Quarterly, September 2022.


Content story:

Drawn and Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years …. Drawn & Quarterly, May 2015:                               “No Problem/Just Kidding” : 58-59.                                                                                     “Canadian Stereotypes”: 592. First appeared on, then in Hark A               Vagrant, 2011.                                                                                                                   “Great Gatsbys”: 593-595.                                                                                                   “Raskolnikov”: 596-597.                                                                                                       “Goreys”: 598-601.                                                                                                             “Jane Eyre”: 602-603.


Content story:

Canadian Notes & Queries, 89, Winter/Spring 2014: “The North Wing: Selections from the Lost Library of CanLit Graphic Novels Episode Ten, Alistair MacLeod’s, No Great Mischief”, as adapted by Kate Beaton”: 62-63.



Content story & Cover dust jacket front & back:

The Princess and the Pony. Arthur A. Levine Book/Scholastic Inc, July 2015.



Beethoven Birthday Party: A 2013 Hark! A Vagrant Literary Calendar. Montréal: Drawn & Quarterly,

There She Blows: A 2013 Hark! A Vagrant Literary Calendar. Montréal: Drawn & Quarterly,

Tee Shirt:

“In Shatner Canada We Trust.” (Coat of Arms). American Apparel.


Article book:

Canadian Alternatives: Cartoonists Comics & Graphic Novels. Ed., Dominick Grace & Eric Hoffman. University Press of Mississippi, 2018: “Hark Anachronism: Kate Beaton’s Historiographic Metafiction.” Writ., Daniel Marrone: 176-188.

Drawn and Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years …. Drawn & Quarterly, May 2015:                               No title. Writ., Kate Beaton: 480-481.                                                                                “Kate Beaton: an appreciation.” Writ., Margaret Atwood: 590-591.

Hark A Vagrant. Car., Kate Beaton.: Drawn and Quarterly, Sept. 2011: “Biography”: 168.

Article periodical:

Quill & Quire Oct. 2011: “Drawn to History: How a 28 Year Old Wunderkind Became the Next Big Thing in Comics.” Writ., Micah Toub. 12-13.

Walrus, November 2022: “Lines in the Oil Sands”. Writ., Gabrielle Drolet: 66-69. A book review of Ducks.

Article newspaper:

The Globe & Mail, 26 Sept. 2015: “If Monty Python did Heritage Minutes.” Writ., Mark Medley: R7


“Kate Beaton” Wikipedia. Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. 10 July 2015. Accessed. 4 Aug. 2015.