Thursday, August 15, 2013


Joe Procopio,, (240) 6438714

Matt Baker’s

Canteen Kate collected for first time

in volume one of new series debuting at Small Press Expo 2013

Lost Art Books revives important African American artist’s seminal 1950s work

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND—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 this year’s Small Press Expo on September 14-15 in Bethesda, Maryland.

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

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 weaponsgrade guffaws as well as art that will leave you eager to see more from
this master draftsman.

Matt Baker is considered by comics historians and aficionados to be the preeminent “good girl” artist working in the medium during the 1940s and 1950s. But beyond his gift for drawing some of the most beautiful women in comics, Baker’s accomplishments include

two firsts: (1) he is the medium’s

first important African American comics artist, and (2) he drew in 1950 what has been argued was


first graphic novel, It Rhymes with Lust.

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 moraleboosting 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. Volume 1 of the series is available now for pre
order directly from the publisher ( and from, and will ship

in mid

September immediately after the Small Press Expo.


The Lost Art of Matt Baker, Vol. 1: The Complete Canteen Kate

160 pages • 8 ½ x 11” • full color • paperback and hardcover editions


9780982927663 (hardcover), 9780982927687 (paperback)


Picture This Press

is dedicated to broadening the appreciation and awareness of artists who work in the fields of illustration,

cartooning, graphic arts, photography, and poster design. Picture This Press founder Joseph Procopio and co

publisher Ellen Levy

have a combined 35 years of publishing experience as writers, managing editors, and publications directors for a variety of


Lost Art Books

the flagship series from Picture This Press, collects and preserves the works of illustrators and cartoonists from the
first half of the 20th century. Too many of these artists have gone underappreciated for too long, with much of their work uncollected or unexamined for decades, if at all. The Lost Art Books series aims to preserve this cultural heritage by re

introducing these artists to new generations of working artists, historians, and admirers of things beautiful.


Pre-order and sample art page:

Lost Art of Matt Baker

book trailer on Vimeo:

Home page:
Facebook group:

Interview with the publisher in the
Washington City Paper:

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