Kyle Baker’s Benevolence… free and online right now…

Published On April 20, 2015 | By Richard Bruton | Comics

Kyle Baker is a superb cartoonist, absolutely superb. No, really. Top of his game, making me think of the very best of Mad Magazine, that sort of thing. Baker genuinely takes that Kurtzman, Wood, Eisner, Feiffer thing and goes with it. Genuinely that good.

And I’ve thought that for the longest time, certainly since the side-splittingly funny Cowboy Wally, pure stand-up written as comics. Since then there’s been the magnificent, hilarious and beautifully honest Why I Hate Saturn, where Baker takes all the funny of Cowboy Wally and adds another layer of characterisation and drama. And after that we had a succession of titles worth your time; You Are HereI Die At Midnight, King David, Nat Turner, his Plastic Man series at DC, Deadpool at Marvel, his sort of autobiog The Bakers, the fabulously off-message Shadow series written by Andy Helfer that I adore, the over the top satirical anti-war war-fest that was Special Forces. And more, but sadly not much more.

Anyway, it’s pretty much all great. I have to admit there were times I questioned some of his experimenting with new styles, the more computer art look, the move away from really tight line of some work. But no, it’s all held together because he is absolutely fantastic at delivering smooth, flowing, incredible artwork, and a master at creating great characters.

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So, how wonderful do you think I feel to be able to tell you that there’s a whole 88 pages of a new Kyle Baker graphic novel online for you to read? Yes, exactly.

Benevolence is unfinished as yet, Baker saying he’s 120 or so pages into it now. Online it’s presented as a set two-panels a page thing, all the better to see so much of the detail Baker puts into his artwork. As for what it’s about… well, it’s all sci-fi weird, girl walks in to a bar, cowboy fun and violence, an escape by dinosaur…

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That’s Butler. Butler’s part of a team on this foreign planet, where we’re on at least a 60-hour clock, trouble ensues… brilliantly… She’s late. She’s always late. But this is late in a quite spectacular form. The three pages/six panels that follow are perfect Baker, the ridiculous situation unfolding, Butler’s team bitching about her and then there’s a rumbling in the distance, and wouldn’t you know it? there’s Butler, her reaction, the ‘what could I do?’ look in her eyes, the raising of the hands, it’s all so perfect. And then the final page, the puncturing of the moment of tension allowing us to really laugh, for the action to kick off. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.

Here, see for yourself…

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http://www.qualityjollity.com/Benevolence.html. You need to read.

Here’s the first few pages… more here… enjoy… there’s aliens and tentacles to come yet…

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

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