|2013 DEBUT||Lost Art of Matt Baker: The Complete Canteen Kate|
|Book Author(s)||Matt Baker, Steven Ringgenberg, Joseph V. Procopio|
|Publisher||Picture This Press / Lost Art Books|
|Book List Price||$14.95|
Picture This Press, a publishing house devoted to the graphic arts, will release the first volume in a planned three book set devoted to golden age “good girl” artist Matt Baker. As part of the ongoing Lost Art Books imprint, The Lost Art of Matt Baker: The Complete Canteen Kate will debut in paperback and hardcover formats at SPX.
Every Canteen Kate story ever published—22 in all—is collected for the first time in The Lost Art of Matt Baker, Volume 1, judiciously restored and enlarged 20 percent over their original published size. A rich introduction by veteran comics writer Steven Ringgenberg provides insightful historical and biographical context, and a bonus gallery spotlights Baker’s skills as a cover artist. Best of all, Baker and his good-time gal bring you weapons-grade guffaws as well as art that will leave you eager to see more from this master draftsman.
Baker honed his skills through the 1940s for several comics publishers, but his tremendous talents came to fruition at St. John Publications, where his realistic style was showcased in western, mystery, and especially romance comics. But regardless of the comics’ genre, one quality emerged in whatever Baker drew: his naturalistically gorgeous women. During this prolific period in his career, this master of “good girl” art latched onto one of St. John’s only recurring characters, Kate of Canteen Kate. Baker drew every installment of the candid wartime cutie, from her premiere in Fightin’ Marines (1951) to her final bow in Anchors Andrews (1953).
Unlike the jingoistic comics typically published during the Korean War, Canteen Kate tales were designed to be morale-boosting screwball fun. Without radically changing his style, Baker managed to make Kate equal parts comely and kooky in a series of stories that leaned heavily on silly hijinks in a military mess hall.
Volume 2 in The Lost Art of Matt Baker series will collect his entire output for the Wartime Romances comic, and Volume 3 will provide a sampling of his best war, western, and suspense stories. Both of those volumes are slated for a 2014 release.