Kyle Baker's reworking of the stretched-out DC hero Plastic Man combines the best of MAD Magazine, Tex Avery cartoons, political satire, and balls-out Animaniacs-style mayhem.
Kyle Baker is one of the most versatile comics creators working in the business today. My gateway to his work was his side-splitting Why I Hate Saturn, a decidedly adult graphic novel. Since then, I've sampled his histories of slave revolts, family comedy collections, and many other works with wildly varying artistic and narrative styles.
In the Plastic Man books, Baker invokes the maddest, wildest spit-takes of comic and cartoon history, with silly plotlines that had me spraying water out my nose -- Plastic Man and his FBI girlfriend borrow Superman's time-machine to take Abraham Lincoln (who turns out to be John Wilkes Booth in clever disguise) back in time, end up bringing a dinosaur to civil-war America, where the maddened saurian squishes a Klan rally -- and that's just the set-up.
The artwork owes a debt to MAD's Sergio Argones and Will Eisner, by way of the Incredibles' stylish palette, dipping into Tex Avery for the spit-takes. Every layout has hidden gags for the attentive reader. This is what underwear pervert funnybooks should be like: self-reflective, over-the-top, and political.
Vol 1: Plastic Man: On the Lam,
Vol 2: Plastic Man: Rubber Bandits
Graphic novel history of Nat Turner's slave revolt
Kyle "Why I Hate Saturn" Baker's new collection
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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