you can do.”
Since then, his cartoons have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, Esquire, Spin, Rolling Stone, Vibe, The Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN, MAD, Us, Guitar World, Details, and National Lampoon. Baker has also dabbled in animation over the years; he sketched preliminary designs for Eddie Murphy’s character, Donkey, in the animated feature Shrek. Baker, who estimates that he earned about $150,000 in 2003, also illustrated Birth of a Nation, a graphic novel due out this year, written by The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder and writer/director Reginald Hudlin.
Now living in Woodstock, New York, Baker recently launched his own publishing company, Kyle Baker Publishing. Technology has lowered production costs so much, he says, that it’s much easier for artists to publish their own material, distribute it, and retain the rights. “I reached a point in my career where I realized that if I hadn’t sold away the 20 years of work I did, I would own thousands and thousands of cartoons,” he said. “Now, when I’m old, I’ll own thousands of Kyle Baker cartoons.”
A Bug’s Life: Duane Jackson
Spending half your workweek in a laboratory filled with flies, termites, and ants might not sound like the ideal career to most people, but it’s a dream job for animal behavior specialist Duane Jackson.
Jackson, an associate professor of psychology at Morehouse College in Atlanta, decided at the age of 8 that he wanted to study animals, but he didn’t think he’d end up specializing in insects: “I thought I’d end up working with small- to mid-sized woodland animals from the dog family, such as foxes [or] wolves. I was also fascinated by marine mammals. Insects were just a hobby.”
Jackson, a Chicago native, had planned on attending UCLA or the Univer
sity of Hawaii with the hope of one day working in a zoo or natural history museum and perhaps producing documentaries. His father, however, insisted that he attend Morehouse, an HBCU. Jackson’s father was a minister who had graduated from Morehouse, and he secretly arranged for his son to meet Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a college visit in 1964. “He said, ‘Are you too good to go to Morehouse? My father went to Morehouse, I went to Morehouse, and your father went to Morehouse. And what you’re going to do is come to Morehouse,’” said Jackson, recalling King’s words.
The civil rights activist’s presence intimidated the 16-year-old Jackson. He enrolled in Morehouse and became a biology major. But after taking a psychology course, he realized that what he was really interested in was the
behavior of animals, not their makeup. He was able to satisfy his own interests and his academic requirements through the classes in animal behavior that were offered in the college’s psychology department.
Jackson, 56, has been teaching in Morehouse’s psychology department since 1987. He received his Ph.D. in comparative psychology/behavior genetics from the University of Illinois in 1990. The pay scale for someone in Jackson’s position, at a college about the size of