Step Aside, Pops - Kate Beaton
For pure hilarity, Canadian cartoonist Kate Beaton is unparalleled. Her comics originally featured on her website and were collected by Drawn & Quarterly under the title Hark! A Vagrant. Beaton glories in the anachronistic treatment of literary and historical figures and all periods and genres are grist to her pop cultural mill. The strips in her latest collection Step Aside, Pops (Jonathan Cape) consistently deliver unexpected, delightful and plain laugh-out-loud funny pay-offs. They also highlight Beaton’s ability to simultaneously poke fun at and celebrate a subject.
SuperMutant Magic Academy - Jillian Tamaki
Taking a knowing and more mature take on the Harry Potter universe is Jillian Tamaki’s SuperMutant Magic Academy (Drawn & Quarterly). Tamaki’s diverse cast of students are endowed with magical and superhuman powers, but they still struggle with all the attendant problems of adolescence from peer acceptance to sexual identity. Crucially they possess the most magical quality lacking in Harry Potter: attitude.