Kyle Baker is one of the greatest creator of comics working in the American comics industry over the last 30 years. He should be mentioned in the same hushed tones as the likes of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Art Speigleman and in fact, any of the great names that have changed comics for the better. I first saw Baker’s work years ago when he was doing covers for one of the Spider-Man titles Marvel ground out like mince back then, but what made Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man so different wasn’t just the smarter than normal scripts by Peter David, but Baker exterior and interior art.
In 1990 DC Comics short lived Piranha Press (also the home of the still genius Gregory by Marc Hempel) published Why I Hate Saturn, a story of a New York journlist by the name of Ann Merkel who spends much of her time in the book drinking, moaning about modern life and her sister who thinks she’s the Queen of the Leather Astro-Girls of Saturn. It is a fantastic book which I lose my copy years ago, or to be exact, an ex-girlfriend borrowed it and I never got it back. Now it’s returned as a three issue series from Baker’s own Quality Jolity imprint and it’s like rereading an old mate you’ve not seen in years.
Some of the script betrays the era it was written in, not to mention it’s really weird reading scenes set in a bar where characters are smoking, but on the whole Why I Hate Saturn more than stands up to the test of time as Baker’s themes were relevant in 1990 and they’re still relevant in 2015. Most of all it’s still hilariously funny.
It’s also something that I wonder didn’t inspire Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris for Nathan Barley as there’s that strong cynicism running through both works like a stream of steaming piss, then again that sort of revulsion at the sort of hipster brought in via gentrification has been something that’s been around a while.
But this is a joy of a comic. If you haven’t read it then it’s on Comixology’s Submit programme with this issue costing £1.99. That’s a bargain for one of the best comics of the last 25 years.