interview originally appeared on Rorscharch,
an Italian webmagazine distributed weekly via email
Baker is a master illustrator and writer, with a cutting and refined
sense of humour. He is one of the most representative artists in
the world wide comic medium. He has won two consecutive Eisner Awards:
in 1999 with "I Die at Midnight" and in 2000, with his
recent controversial story "Superman's Baby Sitter". Kyle
Baker has also authored of several multimedia projects that allow
him visual and narrative experimentation. Kyle Baker represents
a perfect synthesis of what we want from a good comic.
info about Kyle Baker at his home page: http://www.kylebaker.com
of your recent work, from Break The Chain to You Are Here, has got
a very "New York" feeling. Do you get inspiration from people you
know, to create your characters?
The character of Noel was pretty much based on me. I lie all the
time. I was born in New York, and still live here.
have worked (and you still work) for other media, but you still
seem very keen on the comics world. What is the aspect that you
prefer about working in comics?
freedom. Nobody tells me what to write or how to draw. Only an idiot
would dare tell Kyle Baker how to make a good cartoon. Hollywood
and the magazine world are full of idiots. They water my stuff down
and make it unfunny. But I have a family to feed, so I let Hollywood
and the mags do what they want to me. Besides, just because a movie's
full of idiotic clichés and not funny, it doesn't mean it
won't be a success. Look at the most successful Hollywood movies.
Do you really think they're the best movies?
you have worked mostly on graphic novels and "literary" stories
more than on comic books. Would you like to do something more "mainstream",
as a regular series, for some time?
there any character or book that you would like to do?
currently working on a graphic novel based on the Bible's King David.
of your material is considered ground-breaking, and you have been
awarded with several prizes (congratulations for the last Eisners,
by the way). What do you think is your best work so far?
for congratulating me. I'm really pleased with YOU ARE HERE, and
I really like the new book I'm working on. I think the new book's
my best yet. I'm still studying and learning and practicing. I'm
you got any regrets about your comic career? I'm thinking about
Break The Chain, that was an excellent comic. What happened?
THE CHAIN was very experimental, a comic book packaged with a read-along
hip-hop audiocassette. I don't think anything like it was done before
or since. Whenever I do something new and different, there is no
way to predict what will happen. That's why people keep doing the
same old thing. It's easy to predict how a new Spider-Man book will
sell. Marvel had no experience marketing to hip-hop fans. The creators
of the project, Marshall Chess, Kris Parker, and I went with Marvel
because nobody else wanted to publish us. The only way we got Marvel
to go for it was we did it without being paid, and the production
costs were out of our pockets. We just wanted to get it made and
distributed. They were made, but only 25% of the print run was actually
distributed. The rest of the books sat in a warehouse while Marvel
tried to find a distributor with record store connections. It never
happened. I don't know what happened to the books and tapes, they
were probably destroyed. But a few people got to see it, which is
better than nothing.
are your current projects?
got three movies in the works right now, and one TV show. The chance
of any of them getting released is impossible to predict.
"KING DAVID" graphic novel will be out next summer. It looks awesome!
160 pages full color. It's an epic. Sex, violence, a heavily
armed violent child who beheads thousands, and God Almighty
Himself. My favorite part so far is when young David, a little boy,
the world's toughest soldier, presents the king with
PHILISTINE FORESKINS! A KID DOES THIS! I didn't make this up, it's
in the Holy Bible, Samuel 18:27. This book's gonna flip a lot of
censors out, but what do they want me to do? Rewrite the Word of
you know anything about the Italian comic world? Is there any Italian
author that you like?
is our trademark (scary!) question. Name three comics a real fan
ARE HERE by Me, FAMILY MATTER by Will Eisner, THE BIG FAT KILL by