Monday, February 9, 2015

Famous Black Firsts: First Black Comic Book Artist Matt Baker

Clarence Matthew Baker also known as Matt Baker was born on December 10th, 1921 in Forsyth County, North Caroline. As a child his family moved to Pittsburgh. After high school he was drafted during World War 2 but a heart condition prevented him from being in it. He began studying art in New York City and became an outsourced comic book artist. What that means is that he was commissioned to do at from one particular person, kinda like an agent, and sent his work in. 

The first of his work that is actually confirmed is from a “Sheena Queen of the Jungle” story in 1944. He drew for many different comic book companies using the name Matt Bakerino before settling with Atlas Comics which eventually became Marvel Comics. He became the first Black comic book artist. With his art he drew Westerns, science fiction, and romance comics. He passed away from a heart attack at the age of 37. In 2009 he was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. As someone that draws till this day and started when I was about 4 years old it would've been cool to know about this guy during Black History Month growing up.

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