- Posted by Johanna on December 31, 2013 at 7:20 pm
- Category: Books and Prose
- CREDITS: edited by Jim Amash and Eric Nolen-Weathington
- PUBLISHER: TwoMorrows Publishing; $39.95 US
This wasn’t the book I was expecting. Although Matt Baker: The Art of Glamour opens with two short Phantom Lady story reprints (in color and authentically off-register) and a “Sky Girl” tale, most of the volume contains third-party biographical memories about Matt Baker, an early African-American comic book artist.
I think I was hoping for more substantial reprints, fewer recollections about the long-departed (he died in 1959) creator. Although a handsome hardcover, the book reads like an extended issue of Alter Ego or another TwoMorrows magazine. There are a good number of black-and-white art reprints, but I would have liked to have seen more complete stories, which would demonstrate more of Baker’s skill with storytelling instead of focusing just on his ability to draw attractive pinups. (Given that reputation, there is some nudity in the book, so it’s recommended for mature readers.)
It’s not really fair to criticize the book too much on these grounds, since other publishers have been filling the gap. Baker fans will appreciate the annotated checklist found here, given the variety of publishers he worked for. The interviews are with family members and former co-workers, who interestingly can’t agree on whether Baker was gay or not.
The final full story reprints are stories for Canteen Kate, Kayo Kirby, and Tiger Girl. For more detail, see this review by J. Caleb Mozzocco. (The publisher provided a review copy.)