Thursday, August 05, 2004

Bought a collection of Kyle Baker's strips called Cartoonist.

Now, Kyle Baker's main attraction used to be his sharp, cynical, talky approach to the graphic novel; in addition, his deceptively simple monochrome art style relied on a deeply expressive sense of character design. I still regularly re-read my battered and much-foxed copies of Why I Hate Saturn and the Cowboy Wally Show, nearly a decade after I first read them. Baker's older work is right up there with Bujold and Glen Cook for re-readability.

Later on, Baker started getting into a more cartoonish, garish style, with books like You Are Here and I Die At Midnight, but the continuity was pretty clear. I even liked the graphic novel which was what was left over from his abortive run at animation, the sardonic King David. I'm just not sure what to make of Kyle Baker, strip cartoonist. It isn't really his thing, I don't think. The collection isn't bad - I laughed a couple of times - but his pacing and timing isn't really suited to this sort of thing. He really is a graphic novelist, and his humor relies on a sense of accumulating absurdity to really kick into gear.

I don't know. I don't regret buying the book, but mostly because I'd be willing to pay him another ten dollars every three years after I re-read Why I Hate Saturn or Cowboy Wally.

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