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Hey, it’s Black History Month! Naturally, as a nerdy white guy, it’s my duty to inform you readers out there of this, and stuff. Throughout the course of the month, you may notice an increased spotlight on some of our favorite characters and creators of African descent. That is, unless you find it offensive. Then it won’t happen. In the end, it doesn’t matter what race someone is, so long as they are totally awesome.
Take today’s creator, for instance…
32. Kyle Baker
Kyle Baker is the eight-time Eisner award winning writer/artist of such cool works as Why I Hate Saturn, You Are Here, King David, Nat Turner, The Cowboy Wally Show, and Plastic Man. He may have started as a “lowly” inker at Marvel, but he’s gone on to do some great runs and graphic novels.
I’m not as experienced in Baker’s work as I’d like to be. Highly reputable sources have touted his brilliance, though, and I’m inclined to believe them from what I’ve read.
He’s known for a (usually) cartoony style, which has attracted a fair share of bashers on the comics interweb. Above you see an example from his critically beloved, woefully undersold Plastic Man series that DC put out recently. I’m no fan of Plastic Man (I’m an Elongated Man guy) but Baker turned the series into a charming, funny romp. And no one bought it.
Of course, Kyle Baker is a big proponent of making comics fun, and making them accessible to kids. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t done his fair share of adult material, but he’s also put out a lot of cool, more whimsical stuff.
The Truth mini he illustrated for Marvel a few years back, detailing the story of the black man who acted as a prototype Captain America, gained quite a bit of controversy at the time. Sadly, I’ve seen more bashing and discourse over the continuity issues it raises then, say, the importance of the racial commentary within. That’s fandom for you.
Kyle Baker runs his own little self-publishing company, and he’s put out cool stuff like Nat Turner and The Bakers. You should check them out, for I am certain they are good. And comics should be good, after all.
The man has a graceful art style. He’s a cartoonist’s cartoonist, making it look effortless, and never ceasing to entertain. So, yeah. He’s totally awesome.
Be sure to stop by http://kylebaker.com!
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