Friday January 20th, 2012

Batman works in the cubicle next to me

How intimidating is that, right? Just when your logo gets boring or a catalog image starts going askew, he swoops in, undetected, cleans up the situation and leaves everything looking better than ever. An unsung hero.

Graphica’s resident illustrator, Kevin Burke, is real – and so is his talent. But (shh, don’t tell) he isn’t really Batman, although the kids in his neighborhood might still be convinced that he is. Several years back, Kevin was the main illustrator for Batman toy packaging. At the time, he passed along a few sketches to a neighbor boy and “Mr. Burke next door” became a kindergarten legend.

He’s a legend around here, too. When he isn’t working on toy packaging, or working on a book project with Thomas Kincaide, or illustrating one of over a dozen children’s books to his credit, he works here in Gotham, I mean at Graphica, by day – for nearly 30 years now – making our collective work…work a lot harder.

“I really enjoy commercial art. Because it’s not just about creating a piece of art. It’s about creating art for a purpose,” says Burke, who humbly makes his great work seem effortless.

Which reminded me of something…while we poured over some of the fun images he’s worked on, Kevin laughed and said that his kids always claimed they wanted to grow up to be artists – like him – so they wouldn’t have to work for a living.

Umm, isn’t being Batman hard work? You’ve got to stay in good shape to wear that suit.