Almost Hidden – Kyle Baker’s You Are Here
Even with this large amount of comic books that have been collected in trade paperbacks, there are still a number of great comic books that have never been reprinted (I’d say roughly 60% of them are DC Comics from the 1980s through the mid-1990s). So every day this month I will spotlight a different cool comic book that is only available as a back issue. Here is an archive of the comic books featured so far.
I want you folks to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions for comics that I should feature this month. I’d like to see what you all would like to see get more attention.
Reader Chris S. just asked for Kyle Baker uncollected goodness, so let’s go with the incredibly awesome You Are Here!
This original graphic novel that has fallen out of print is about a jewel thief who got out of the thieving business to become a painter, only now he has been pulled back into his old life (while trying to hide it all from his perfect, innocent girlfriend). It is a hilarious romp with stunning Baker artwork.
The introduction of the comic sets up the dichotomy between the two sides of the protagonist’s life…
The dialogue is done as if it is from a script, which is a neat concept that works really well.
In any event, Noah’s girlfriend, Helen, is basically a literal Disney princess. She actually talks to animals!!
However, what Helen does not know is that Noah used to be a jewel thief before he found that being a painter made him more money. The problem is that he has lied to Helen for the past year, pretending that he doesn’t drink or smoke, and all he draws is paintings of flowers.
The wheels come off the cart when Noah goes back to New York City to sell his apartment and gets caught up with his old friends (who at first don’t believe that he has gone straight)…
Things get worse when a guy with a vendetta against Noah gets out of prison…
To top it all off, Helen shows up in the city! Baker gets a TON of great humor out of contrasting Helen’s personality with that of New York (there is a scene with her, a mugger and a sunset that needs to be seen to be believed).
Baker’s dialogue format is used beautifully in a joke here…
So anyhow, everything comes together for a frantic story that works really well as an adventure story, even if there were no jokes. Baker’s art is magnificent. I won’t spoil anything else – go pick up this book! You can still get it pretty cheaply even though it is out of print! But DC really ought to put it back into print (then again, maybe Baker would prefer it stay out of print because the rights might revert to him. In which case, sorry Kyle!).