matt baker

BLACK HISTORY: MATT BAKER

(DAIQUON)– As we all gear up to see Black Panther next week, it’s only right we pay homage to the first Black comic book writer, Matt Baker.

Matt Baker was born on December 10, 1921 in Forsyth County, North Carolina. He and his 2 other brothers Robert and John relocated with their parents Clarence and Ethel Baker to Pittsburgh, PA.

When Matt finished high school he resided in Washington D.C where he found a job working with the government. After Matt found that he had very little interest in the job, he decided he wanted to move to New York City to study art at the Cooper Union School of Engineering, a privately founded college located in the East Village.

In 1944, he started his art career as a background artist at S.M Igor Studios, a respected comic packager that produced ready to print feature material for comic book publishers. Matt was able to impress his professional superiors with ease though his originiality, diligence, well though out story lines, and of course, his impeccable drawings.

Phantom_Lady_17In the 40s , Matt created a comic series called Phantom Lady.The Phantom Lady was actually his most well known character.

As years passed on, Matt continued to create memorable series and characters. mattbaker09Another iconic series he imagined and brought to life was called Canteen Kate.

He drew all 22 installments of the series based on a kooky wartime cutie and her morale bosting screwvall antics.

In the end, Matt suffered from a stroke in 1957 which affected his ability to create. He later died on August 11, 1959 in New York City.  Matt is now a recognized name within the comic book world. Let’s keep Matt Baker’s name alive  because he is a  Black Historical Figure that should forever be remembered.