Monday, February 15, 2010

Matt Baker

Sometimes I make a bit of noise about being a second-gen comic artist, apples do make some noise when they hit the ground, after all. If my father is considered a "pioneer" of color in comics, then I guess that makes Matt Baker the first established African-American comic book artist. I'm totally cool with that. Andrew Pepoy, who possesses a wealth of knowledge, first told me about Baker some months ago, "Consummate Good-girl artist...". This was no lie.
So as I move into this next phase of my professional life in comics, it will be with the added sense of something kindred, in addition to what my father shaped in me. The title to this entry is linked to a short article about Baker, who died young less than two years before my birth. slick Devil!


Tim Jackson said...

I am glad to see others honoring the art of the Pioneering Cartoonists. There is an entry for Matt Baker on my Website, A Salute to the Pioneering Cartoonists of Color.

Tony Akins said...

You've done so much to bring these artists into the fore Tim. In fact it's on your site that I found my pop, Doug Akins of The Chicago Defender.

rafael said...

As a self-taught student of comics, I'm always happy to learn about those cats what came before, and this is no different.

Thanks for sharing.

Frankell Baramdyka said...

Hi Tony, a coworker of mine introduced me to your blog (juan Gomez)
Your stuff is freaking awesome man, I've had a good time checking it out.

I have recently started working on a book of my own and was wondering if you could share some of your experience with me an any way.

you can check out my first stab at comics at

I will put the new stuff there this afternoon. I understand you must be busy so if you don't have time to check it out no worries.
keep up the great work and thanks for posting it up!


Quiche said...

Hi Tony! I realize this post is a year old...but it's about Matt Baker!
I'm a Graphic Design major and huge fan of Matt's fabulust illustrations, and he deserves so much more attention than he has gotten (!?!). I don't think it is a far stretch to say he might just be the pioneer of the graphic novel, reading that he had the idea of more of an illustrated book as opposed to the usual comic book format. I was sad to read of his short life, but what a legacy and impression he created in such a short time! I have an assignment that requires writing a paper on someone in my field of study, and being known to choose the less obvious/popular choices, my husband said, "Hey! Why don't you do your paper on Matt Baker?" Great idea, and a way to show him off! There is a book out about him: Matt Baker: The Art of Glamor, by Jim AMASH and Eric NOLEN-WEATHINGTON, I found today in my search. Anyway, just thought I'd share the Baker admiration. I would love to see some of you and your father's work. How wonderful to be a second generation artist! Wishing you happy illustrating and much success!

Tony Akins said...

Wow, thanks Quiche, I'll look that up! I'd like to read your paper, too!