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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kyle Baker featured in Arie Kaplan's MASTERS OF THE COMIC BOOK UNIVERSE REVEALED!

Kyle was one of eleven comics creators featured in Arie Kaplan's MASTERS OF THE COMIC BOOK UNIVERSE REVEALED!

From Arie's website (which has Amazon links):

My first book, Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed!, was published in September 2006 by Chicago Review Press. It's a series of Rolling Stone-style biographical profiles of great artists – in this case, comic book creators. By chronicling their lives and careers, I'm presenting a sort of oral history of the comics medium itself. I interviewed and profiled eleven innovative and influential comic book luminaries – Will Eisner (The Spirit), Jerry Robinson (Batman), Stan Lee (Spider-Man), Trina Robbins (GoGirl!), Art Spiegelman (Maus), Gilbert Hernandez (Love & Rockets), Kyle Baker (Why I Hate Saturn), Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Dwayne McDuffie (Static Shock), Ho Che Anderson (KING), and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis).

From the 20-page Kyle Baker chapter:
"Kyle Baker is the cartoonist who put the "comic" back in comic books. In an industry where graphic novels conern either brooding, jaded superheroes or brooding, jaded Gen-X (or Gen-Y) loners, Baker tells defiantly funny stories. There's no hidden agenda here, there are no existential musings on whether we're alone in the universe or the fact that with great power comes great responsibility. His graphic novels like WHY I HATE SATURN are about everyday people falling in love, fighting, xxxing, stabbing each other in the back, and generally making the audience guffaw with their infantile shenanigans. The fate of the world isn't at stake; the only thing at stake in a Kyle Baker book is often the protagonist's rent check, which may or may not bounce. His stories are a welcome breather from the all-too-dramatic fare normally found in most comics, and their relatability and lightness of tone make them not only welcome, but necessary.

But like a film or television comedian who's decided he needs to broaden his range, he's used his growing clout to found his own publishing company and divide his time between frothy, humorous fare like THE COWBOY WALLY SHOW or his PLASTIC MAN series for DC; sprawing biblical epics like KING DAVID; and serious works with political and historical significance, like his breath-taking self-published NAT TURNER miniseries, or the political satire graphic novel BIRTH OF A NATION, his collaboration with HOUSE PARTY director Reginald Hudlin and BOONDOCKS creator Aaron MacGruder. And somehow the polymath workhorse has found time to write and direct various animation projects for film and television, often overseeing every aspect of each production in true auteur style from his studio in Manhattan's SoHo district. As a renaissance man and a storyteller with an innate sense of the theatrical, Kyle Baker is more than comics' court jester, he's its Woody Allen."

I really enjoyed this book. Learning how successful individuals get from here to there, so to speak, is fascinating to me. While each creator's journey was unique, they all share talent, determination, and work incredibly long hours.

As Marjane Satrapi said "...you have to be almost like a monk to be able to make comics."

Liz

p.s. Thank you Arie and Nadine!

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