December 3, 2009

Golden Age Artist Spotlight - Matt Baker

Matt Baker (Clarence Matt Baker) is famously known as one the Golden Age's most provocative artists, primarily for his "headlights" covers on Phantom Girl.  "Good girl" art, as it's commonly known, is one area of comic book collecting where you can get more or less what you ask for dollar-wise on eBay and at conventions (well-drawn chicks appeal to nerdy dudes -- who'da thunk it?).  What's less known about Baker is that he is commonly considered as the first major African-American artist in comics.  He also died far before his time, passing away from a  heart attack at age 37, in 1959.  Who knows how much stellar art (and personal fame) he could have achieved had he been able to draw any of the major superheroines of the time (say Wonder Woman, Supergirl, or Mary Marvel, for example), because there are few artists with a better command of the female form.  And as related in several books about that period in comics, Baker knew women, because he KNEW women.  A snappy dresser, he was reported to have said:  “Why make one woman miserable when I can make many women happy?”  Don't hate the playa, hate the game.   A collection of great covers after the jump.


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