Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
I didn't make this cartoon, but Hype Williams has copied my favorite Ralph Bakshi movie, "American Pop" shot-for-shot. Hilarious! If you have a copy of the Bakshi film, compare them. Great job!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
In animation, the "inbetweener" is the assistant animator who does the drawings which help create the illusion of movement from one lead animator's key pose to the next pose. When stacked in order, the assistant's drawings are literally in between the lead animator's art.
My current inbetweener is a robot, and he made this funny face. In the finished film, it's onscreen for 1/30th of a second, but I discovered it while editing, and wanted to share this goofy drawing. Great job, robot! Work faster!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
CLICK HERE FOR FULL SCREEN PLAYER
"In Nat Turner (Abrams, 208 pp., $12.95), Kyle Baker focuses on a slice of history closer to home: the bloody rebellion led by the Virginia slave in 1831. Not since the heyday of Mad magazine's Jack Davis has a comic artist exaggerated the human figure with such beautiful brinksmanship. Baker's propulsive storytelling leads this recounting of the brutal uprising into a state of visual grace." - 2008's Best Comics, Clip Art, and Pedophilia, R.C. Baker, VILLAGE VOICE, Tuesday, December 16th 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
I love it when people send me my own artwork as a gift. It happens more often than you'd think. I guess everyone knows I'm my own biggest fan. The little girl in this picture is my niece, Elizabeth, which is why there's an "E" on her Xmas stocking. She's grown now. The red boots coming down the chimney belong to the Flash, which was revealed inside the Christmas card this drawing was originally done for.
Other pictures on the flash drive include pictures by Mort Drucker, Bruce Timm, Jeff Smith, and Alex Ross, so it is all pretty cool to look at. Thanks, DC! I didn't get you anything!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Dan Kois at NEW YORK MAGAZINE has a great list of the BEST graphic novels of 2008! It also makes a great Christmas shopping list!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The current issue of VIBE magazine (Obama cover) features a full-page comic strip about Rick Ross, illustrated by Kyle Baker! This is a fun follow-up to the full-page Barack Obama illustration VIBE published a couple months back (see below). We can't wait to see what Kyle and VIBE will do next!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
For a blog with "Funny" in the title, we've been running an awful lot of severed heads and weeping superheroes lately, so here's some ruffs for another upcoming DC story in a more lighthearted vein.
Just like the "Hawkman" story, this Supergirl/Wonder Woman tale isn't due in for months.
After all, we still have to finish "Special Forces".
Enjoy the art 'til then!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Heeb Best Comics of 5768: Nat Turner
#1 (of 10) Nat Turner by Kyle Baker (Abrams)
With brutal attention to historical detail, writer/artist/animator Kyle Baker draws the story of Nat Turner and his 1831 slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia . This punch-you-in-the-soul charcoalishly-illustrated nearly-silent graphic novel doesn’t glamorize, heroicize, politicize, or judge what some deem a killing spree, and others, the beginning of the civil rights movement / resistance; it just shows it—packing a visceral and emotional whoomph. In fact, much of the material was adapted directly from Turner’s matter-of-fact prison diary. One for the libraries. JEFF NEWELT
Thank you, HEEB...Happy New Year! -eg
Thursday, September 25, 2008
FUN FACT: The AWESOME folks at Comicmix.com will videotape the event!
Kyle will also be a guest at the convention on Saturday, Sept 27 & Sunday, Sept 28.
His location will be listed in the program.
Kyle will be signing copies of his graphic novel NAT TURNER at Abrams booth #1701 on Saturday from 10 to 11 am.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Barnes & Noble
396 Sixth Ave (at 8th St)
Friday, September 26 @ 7:30pm
For directions, map, etc. click here
Saturday, September 13, 2008
12:00 p.m. Cartooning Today
at the North Stage (Borough Hall Plaza)
Critically acclaimed cartoonists Kyle Baker (How to Draw Stupid, Why I Hate Saturn) and Mo Willems (The Pigeon Wants a Puppy/Elephant & Piggie Books) in conversation.
2:00 p.m. Signing at the Forbidden Planet Booth
For more info:
Monday, September 01, 2008
Bring the kids! Hanley's store is right across from the Empire State Building and has one of the largest selections of CHILDREN'S comics on earth!
Kyle will be signing his newest books, BABIES AND KITTENS and NAT TURNER, and his horribly offensive SPECIAL FORCES (not for kids!). He will also tell you lots of jokes and funny stories unless you stop him.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Kyle Baker: When Stupid is Smart
This story originally appeared in PW Comics Week on August 19, 2008
by Frank Santoro -- Publishers Weekly, 8/18/2008 3:33:00 PM
Kyle Baker's new art book should be shelved in the self-help, self-improvement, new age-y section of the bookstore where folks try to find some direction in life. Kyle Baker has a message for THE PEOPLE.
And what is Kyle Baker's message? Learn How To Draw, Stupid! No,wait, it's: Learn How To Draw Stupid. No comma after the word "draw", heh.
That's right. Draw stupid, stupid, and you'll feel better. You'll laugh. You'll learn how to draw and in the process learn how to live free of bitterness, cynicism and indifference. Baker basically says that if you can draw a funny cartoon with a pen and a piece of paper that you will make someone laugh and by doing so unlock a secret code that gains you access to higher levels of consciousness.
Just who is Kyle Baker? Basically, he was a teenage cartooning wonder in the mid 80's who worked his way through the infamous bullpens of both DC and Marvel Comics. He paid his dues and then went on to create two of the most groundbreaking graphic ovels of the late '80s: The Cowboy Wally Show and the still remarkable Why I Hate Saturn. After a stint in Hollywood doing Hollywood stuff he returned to comics in the mid '90's with a vengeance and hasn't let up on the pace, producing an average of two books a year for a decade. Presently, he has every demographic covered with a war comic, a kid's comic, a comic about the Nat Turner-led U.S. slave rebellion, and a How To Draw book all crowding the same New Releases shelf.
He’s prolific, and he’s good—a rare combination. His comics are straightforward. They’re realistic when they need to be and funny when they have to be. Kyle Baker can shift stylistic gears like no one else in the business. Maybe I was just high, but I laughed through the entirety of How To Draw Stupid;, every page is, well, funny. It just might be Baker's best book to date, his voice is so well represented. Structured like most "How to Draw" books yet devoid of the typical step-by-step, rote instruction that typifies the genre, this book serves more as an advertisement for Baker, his oeuvre, and his philosophy.
Baker completes this "advertisement for myself" by proudly displaying all the covers of his books from every stage of his professional cartooning career in the middle of the book. He writes honestly about how he didn't want to lose himself, his vision and creativity by working for some big animation studio or by continuing to slave away for the big comics publishers. He somehow literally draws a picture of his life, and it's quite refreshing: "There are some professional cartoonists who hate their jobs. [...] Why on earth are they working on cartoons they hate? It couldn't possibly be for the money. If I were going to do a job I hated just because I needed the money, I'd sell weapons. It pays better than cartooning."
Baker's "Yes! You can!" philosophy and the way he presents it in 14 clear and concise chapters is broad and expansive and really pulls the reader in. I couldn't put this book down. Reading it feels like you’re really getting the inside dope. He explains how to draw simply and how to create iconic images and characters and how get inside their heads "even when there's nothing there!" His technical specificity is minimal but that is his point. "It's just a freakin' cartoon! It's not the Sistine Chapel!" He has very real helpful advice, but he knows that he doesn't need to make a How-To book like everyone else. Baker admonishes and encourages the reader to just try it, to just pick up a pen and make something happen, what have you got to lose? "Zero start-up cost!"
And after years of flying just a bit underneath the pop culture radar, Baker's comics like Nat Turner are attracting a very diverse audience and he, as a professional, is growing beyond the confines of the comics industry. He seems poised to unleash his positive attitude towards life on to the masses, and when The Bakers (his comic-book-ification of his family life) materializes as a Fox TV show, he might really end up creating a new template for the modern cartoonist. So I'm thinking as I read his How to Draw: maybe this guy knows what he's talking about.
The thing that strikes me the most about Baker's approach is his range. The guy can draw "realistically" and also demonstrates how exaggeration is the key to all characterization. Meaning his characters act. He draws cartoons; it's visuals first, words later, like Charlie Chaplin, like Jack Kirby. It's not War and Peace. And by reminding us of this page after page through his own very successful (Scott McCloud approved!) stories, he truly does instruct the reader/student on what does work, how to draw stupid, how to make something funny. Baker's example, his sense of humor and killer timing really inspires one to act, to create, to find one's way.
[Kyle Baker's How To Draw Stupid And Other Essentials Of Cartooning is published by Watson-Guptill and costs $16.95.]
[Frank Santoro is a cartoonist the author of Storyville, which was reissued this year by Picturebox. He lives in Pittsburgh.]
Friday, August 15, 2008
This is a great clip from a guy who's been a huge inspiration forever. I had hoped to finally meet up with him at San Diego Con, but our schedules conflicted. I didn't know what he was up to now, and I had wanted to ask him why he didn't just produce his own digital film instead of dealing with a studio. I find this clip fascinating because he's describing exactly my experience these past few years: I was at Warners and Disney, listening to everyone complain how salaries were plummeting, and how the jobs were all being outsourced. I dropped out, invested my own money, starved for a couple years, and now I have better contracts with bigger clients. That's just like Bakshi says. Follow his advice. There will always be a demand for product. If you're talented enough to work for Disney or Marvel, you don't need Disney or Marvel. I actually missed Bakshi's speech because I was in another room giving almost the exact same speech. Coincidentally, we both got the biggest laugh when we mentioned how important a supportive spouse is.
"As a kid, Kyle Baker was obsessed with comic books and built a career in kids’ animation working on shows like Looney Tunes and Rugrats. Baker’s new book, NAT TURNER, is the furthest thing frhttp://www2.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifom kid stuff. It’s a graphic retelling of the violent 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia. Drawn in black and white and shades of grey, Baker depicts the historic revolt with a vivid, pulpy intensity. Baker tells Kurt (Andersen) how he ended up telling this story.”
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
NOMINATED FOR ABSOLUTELY NO AWARDS! (Wow.)
The most offensive thing Kyle Baker's ever done! And that's saying something! He outdoes himself with SPECIAL FORCES #3, a book that will hereafter be known throughout fandom as THE CREEPY BONDAGE ISSUE. It gets so much worse from here.
IN STORES THIS WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6
Read the first five pages online at CBR!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
A book tells the story of Nat Turner's uprising -- in cartoon form
By JAMIN BROPHY-WARREN
August 2, 2008; Page W2
On Aug. 21, 1831, a self-educated slave named Nat Turner sparked an uprising in Virginia that left more than 50 adults and children dead and served as one of the opening salvos in the fight to end slavery. Nearly 200 years later, award-winning cartoonist Kyle Baker is exhuming Turner's story and presenting the tale as a graphic novel aimed at readers of all ages.
"Nat Turner" uses stark black-and-white graphics to portray Turner and his band of rebel slaves. It follows Turner from childhood to his execution of the bloody revolt.
As a youngster, Mr. Baker had wondered why there were so few details about Nat Turner in his history books. "There are no statues and there's no plaque where the rebellion was," Mr. Baker says.
In 2003, Mr. Baker launched his own publishing company and began researching the uprising and slave conditions before printing "Nat Turner" as a three-part series a year later. (The recent edition collects those comics into book form.) "The thing I thought was preposterous was that people wonder why he did it," he says, noting that the brutal conditions under slave masters were "worse than jail."
"Nat Turner" is a more serious turn for Mr. Baker, who had specialized in lighter fare. Born in the New York borough of Queens, Mr. Baker started his comic career at Marvel Comics as an intern in high school. Mr. Baker went on to work in animation, and also published several graphic novels. His work for DC Comics' "Plastic Man" series won him one of his nine Eisner awards, considered the Oscar of comic books.
"People say history is boring and they don't want it in comics," says Karen Berger, a senior vice president and executive editor for DC Comics, who worked with Mr. Baker on his graphic novel "King David." "He brings such a contemporary take. He can make stories like Nat Turner seem like they happened today."
Mr. Baker's instincts as a visual artist drew him to Nat Turner's story. "I thought it would make a good comic book," says Mr. Baker, noting the story has "lots of visuals, action, and fights." Mr. Baker's most recent series about the Iraq War, "Special Forces," features similarly explosive content.
The artist hopes his book will appeal to young readers. His publisher, Abrams Books, is promoting the story to schools with its other young-adult fare. Mr. Baker says he even passed a copy to his mother at a family reunion. "That was one of my happiest days," he says.
Write to Jamin Brophy-Warren at Jamin.Brophy-Warren@wsj.com
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I also met my old buddy Plastic Man. My son Isaac is a Lego fiend, so I thought he'd enjoy seeing Batman, Indy, and Star Wars six-foot tall figures made of Legos.
My favorite moment, though, has to be when I sat down at the Watson-Guptill booth for my second signing of HOW TO DRAW STUPID.
"I've got bad news, Kyle," said one of the editors, looking perturbed.
"Damn, what's wrong?"
"We sold out of your book."
"What's the bad news?" I laughed. I sat down and autographed other books and did sketches for fans who showed up anyway.
I'm a lucky guy.
My pal Jeff posted a lot of neat photos as well! See them at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/royalflushmagazine/2715805266/in/set-72157606443845246
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
“A hauntingly beautiful historical spotlight. A-” —Entertainment Weekly
“Baker’s storytelling is magnificent.” —Variety
“Intricately expressive faces and trenchant dramatic pacing evoke the diabolic slave trade’s real horrors.” —The Washington Post
“Baker’s drawings are worthy of a critic’s attention.”—Los Angeles Times
“Baker’s suspenseful and violent work documents the slave trade’s atrocities as no textbook can, with an emotional power approaching that of Maus.”—Library Journal, starred review
Thursday, June 26, 2008
For those of you wondering where the latest animation of THE BAKERS is, here's the story: The next episodes are being financed by a major Hollywood studio. We're still closing the deal, so I don't want to say which (Hint: The studio's named after a Jim Morrison song). Anyway, since I'm not sure when these cartoons will be released, I thought you'd at least like to see some frames from the finished animation alongside the original drawings used as storyboards. Enjoy.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The Disney Channel has posted the second of the PHINEAS & FERB episodes I worked on! This one's about a Mummy! I had a lot of fun working at Disney. Everyone there is so talented! There was always a lot of singing in the offices.
CLICK HERE TO SEE "ARE YOU MY MUMMY?"
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Addison is a very talented blogger who uses cutting-edge graphic techniques to make her book reviews POP! Addison proves it's never too early to teach pets to read.Read Addison's blog to find out what other books she enjoys.
Creative people of all types find inspiration in the works of Mr. Baker. Check out this excellent YOU ARE HERE tattoo, with Quality Jollity, too!!
I found this on CHEAPÉs myspace page.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
"Since Archie has been around more than 60 years, we asked, "Shouldn't they be old geezers asking for pills instead of going to college?” Mr. Silberkleit asked if anyone wanted to read those stories, and only a few people said, “Yes.”
We also asked, “Why do Betty and Veronica like Archie so much? He’s the nerdiest guy in the school. He drives a crappy car. He doesn’t have any money. He doesn’t look great and he has freckles and crosses on his head.” Dan Parent said all of this gave hope to him when he was a kid."
Monday, April 21, 2008
It seemed like everyone was having fun at this year's New York Comic Con, and things ran smoothly. Our booth in the small press area was like a mini-sitcom with cameo appearances by so many great people in comics, stopping to say hello: Joe Kubert, Bill Plympton, Mo Willems, Ray Alma, Paul Levitz, Mike Richardson, Danny Fingeroth, Arie Kaplan, Martha Thomases, Arthur Tebbel, Anne Bernstein, Harvey Richards, Jim Salicrup, Paulette Powell, Scott & Ivy McCloud (celebrating their 20th Anniversary!)...and that is just during the limited time that I was there, helping set-up and break down the booth.
Nine year old Lillian was there much of Saturday and Sunday, helping her father Kyle Baker sell THE BAKERS: BABIES & KITTENS and drawing sketches. She heard "Look at how big you got!" and "You're so pretty!" quite a lot.
Speaking of pretty, Lillian reported Saturday night: "Mom, there were some women dressed inappropriately." The gal in the neighboring booth made Felony from SPECIAL FORCES look modest. She used our power strip to charge up her Iphone. I'm sure that wasn't the only thing she charged up over the weekend.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
He’ll be selling copies of THE BAKERS: BABIES & KITTENS (Image) – nominated for an Eisner (Best Writer/Artist-Humor)! - selling sketches and displaying his award-winning animation on a giant flat-screen TV!
For more information about the convention check out the official NYCC website:
P.S. Ask Kyle about his recent trip to the West Coast...
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Inspired by news of an 18-year-old autistic kid from Oregon recruited into the Army without any idea the Iraq War was going on, Special Forces follows in the bootsteps of Catch 22, Dr. Strangelove and Slaughterhouse Five. Zone, the perfect soldier because he's autistic and therefore loves to follow orders, is teamed with Felony, a badass super-hot sadistic babe who enlisted to avoid prison. Baker's in-your-face explosively dynamic art evokes the best of comic-gods Frank Miller and Harvey Kurtzman while presenting an utterly unique, compelling and disturbingly fresh vision. JN
Monday, March 24, 2008
This week, Disney's got an episode of PHINEAS AND FERB posted online that was storyboarded and co-written by Kyle Baker! It's the second half of the show, but the first half's fun, too, so watch 'em both! CLICK HERE TO WATCH PHINEAS AND FERB: CANDACE LOSS HER HEAD!
They update the Disney site often, so the episode probably won't be there more than a week. You can also see it on TV, so check your local TV schedule!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Large Screen (Monitors, Apple TV)
Small Screen (ipod)
Friday, February 22, 2008
Anyone following recent business news probably needs cheering up. Maybe that's why the new BUSINESSWEEK magazine features three awesome illustrations by our own comic-book hero, Kyle Baker! Unlike the rest of the country, employment is UP at the Baker studio!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
- Wednesday, February 13 2008 22:49:43
HARLAN ELLISON ON THE WRITERS STRIKE SETTLEMENT
YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO RE-POST THIS ANYWHERE:
Creds: got here in 1962, written for just about everybody, won the Writers Guild Award four times for solo work, sat on the WGAw Board twice, worked on negotiating committees, and was out on the picket lines with my NICK COUNTER SLEEPS WITH THE FISHE$$$ sign. You may have heard my name. I am a Union guy, I am a Guild guy, I am loyal. I fuckin' LOVE the Guild.
And I voted NO on accepting this deal.
My reasons are good, and they are plentiful; Patric Verrone will be saddened by what I am about to say; long-time friends will shake their heads; but this I say without equivocation...
THEY BEAT US LIKE A YELLOW DOG. IT IS A SHIT DEAL. We finally got a timorous generation that has never had to strike, to get their asses out there, and we had to put up with the usual cowardly spineless babbling horse's asses who kept mumbling "lessgo bac'ta work" over and over, as if it would make them one iota a better writer. But after months on the line, and them finally bouncing that pus-sucking dipthong Nick Counter, we rushed headlong into a shabby, scabrous, underfed shovelfulla shit clutched to the affections of toss-in-the-towel summer soldiers trembling before the Awe of the Alliance.
My Guild did what it did in 1988. It trembled and sold us out. It gave away the EXACT co-terminus expiration date with SAG for some bullshit short-line substitute; it got us no more control of our words; it sneak-abandoned the animator and reality beanfield hands before anyone even forced it on them; it made nice so no one would think we were meanies; it let the Alliance play us like the village idiot. The WGAw folded like a Texaco Road Map from back in the day.
And I am ashamed of this Guild, as I was when Shavelson was the prexy, and we wasted our efforts and lost out on technology that we had to strike for THIS time. 17 days of streaming tv!!!????? Geezus, you bleating wimps, why not just turn over your old granny for gang-rape?
You deserve all the opprobrium you get. While this nutty festschrift of demented pleasure at being allowed to go back to work in the rice paddy is filling your cowardly hearts with joy and relief that the grips and the staff at the Ivy and street sweepers won't be saying nasty shit behind your back, remember this:
You are their bitches. They outslugged you, outthought you, outmaneuvered you; and in the end you ripped off your pants, painted yer asses blue, and said yes sir, may I have another.
Please excuse my temerity. I'm just a sad old man who has fallen among Quislings, Turncoats, Hacks and Cowards.
I must go now to whoops. My gorge has become buoyant.
Respectfully, Yr. Pal, Harlan Ellison
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Download this video.
IN STORES TODAY! Run to your local comic shop for the ALL-NEW Bakers adventure "BABIES AND KITTENS". This beautiful full-color hardcover features the first book-length Bakers story. If you love someone who loves babies, kittens, or both, this book will get you kissed on February 14th!
Get more great BABIES AND KITTENS gifts at the KB B&K SHOP! Cute apparel,mugs, and more!
SEE SOME PAGES FROM THE BOOK
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
COMIC BOOK CLUB
A Live Weekly Talk Show about Comic Books
***BEST OF NEW YORK PRESS 2007***
Hosted by Justin Tyler, Pete LePage, and Alex Zalben
Tuesday, January 8th @ 8:00 PM
Kyle Baker (Special Forces, The Bakers)
R. Sikoryak (Nickelodeon, Drawn & Quarterly)
The Peoples Improv Theater
154 West 29th Street, 2nd Floor
Between 6th and 7th Aves.
Check out our recent feature in the New York Times:
Check out our website:
Check us out on MySpace:
The show is sponsored in part by Midtown Comics