"Unusual Chess Moves" (Cracked #335, July 1999)

Ian Baker is one of the leading cartoonists and comedy writers in the UK since the 1990s, publishing globally in many newspapers, magazines and advertising campaigns. His work is spread over many creative disciplines, including gag cartoons, caricatures, greeting cards, television, illustration, publishing, art direction and comedy writing.

Early Life
Ian Baker was born in 1970 in the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He attended Notre Dame Catholic High School and then studied graphic design for four years at Castle and Norton colleges. His early years were also taken up with musical studies, first as a classical pianist and later he moved to electric bass which included time in a band with future successful musician and school friend, Michael Gorman. His first gag cartoon was published in a short-lived humor magazine called Squib, produced and edited by Simon Bond, Sue Townsend (the novelist known for 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole') and Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame).

Gag cartoons
Baker's gag cartoons have appeared in well over fifty newspapers and magazines all over the world, including Private Eye, Punch, Nickelodeon, National Lampoon, Penthouse (USA), The Oldie, Saga Magazine, The Reader's Digest (UK and USA), Cracked Magazine, The Spectator, New Statesman, Prospect, The Times, The Sun, The Independent on Sunday, The Critic, Airmail, Esquire, Maxim, Daily Star, The Week, Ode, New Blitz (Italy), Chat, Bravo Sport (Germany), The American Bystander and People Magazine (Australia). Since the 2010s, he has collaborated with the Indian cartoon creator Sunil Agarwal, producing a weekly cartoon for The Times of India, which has one of the biggest readerships/circulation in the world. Davis and Agarwal also collaborated on cartoon books like '101 Trump Cartoons' (Kindle Edition, 2017), which pokes fun at U.S. President Donald Trump, and the independently released 'Crazy Bosses: 50 Signs of a Crazy Boss' (2020). During the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2022), they self-published three 'Lockdown Cartoons' books, subtitled "The Cartoon Book for Surviving Quarantine, Boredom and Isolation". 

Ian Baker's work has been extensively and widely used in the greeting card industry and he has created cards both as a cartoonist and a gag writer for publishers including Emotional Rescue, Paperlink, Hanson, Nobleworks, Smart Alex and UK Greetings. Several of his cards have become long term bestsellers, including his famous "may contain nuts" card for Paperlink Ltd.

Cover illustrations for The Jester, the monthly magazine of the Cartoonists Club of Great Britain. The first image shows caricatures of (first row, from left to right) pop musicians Eric Clapton, Alanis Morissette, Miley Cyrus, Ginger Baker (second row) Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Madonna, Celia Cruz and Rod Stewart. The second image shows caricatures of James Bond characters. 

Cartoon illustration
Baker's artwork has also been much in demand in the advertising, marketing and corporate world. He has created work for major international companies including Merrill Shoes, Ryder Haulage, JML, Kerry Foods, The European Union, HYVE, Allied Domecq, Cambridge University, Bart Ingredients Company, Rycote, Robinsons Healthcare, William Hill, Delta Airlines, Diageo, Bosch, Thomson Holidays and Mars Confectionary. Baker has illustrated dozens of books for a variety of publishers, including Summersdale, Michael O'Mara, Little Brown, Scholastic, BBC Publishing, Skyhorse, Oxford University Press, Collins and Constable and Robinson.

Book illustrations
Among his illustrated books are 'Rugby Wit. Quips and Quotes for the Rugby Obsessed' (Summersdale, 2006) and 'The Bumper Book of Gold Git Wit' (Summerdale, 2011), both by Richard Benson, 'Naughty Wits: Quips and Quotes' (Summersdale, 2008) and 'Football Wit. Quips and Quotes for the Football Fanatic' (Summersdale, 2008), both by Aubrey Malone, 'Rampant Damsels' (Kindle, 2009) by Michael H. Kelly, 'The Cursing Cure' (Createspace Independent Publishing, 2012) and 'The Third Thursday of November 1931' (Kindle, 2017), both by Jane Thielemann-Downs, 'The Golden Whisper' (Kindle, 2014) by A.C. Riggan, 'Dog Wit: Quips and Quotes For the Canine-Obsessed' (Summersdale, 2015) by Kate May, 'Jokes About Blokes! Classic Gags About Useless Men' (2021) by Mike Haskins, and 'Old Age for Beginners. Advice for the Newly Ancient' (Kindle Edition, 2021) and 'Growing Old Doesn't Mean Growing Up' (Summersdale, 2022), both by Clive Whichelow and Mike Haskins. He also illustrated books in the 'Murderous Maths' educational children book series, written by Kjartan Poskitt and published by Scholastic, including 'Codes. How to Make Them and Break Them!' (2007) and 'Secret Life of Codes' (2010).

With a lifelong leaning towards comedy, Ian Baker has contributed to many publishers and various projects as a comedy writer. In television, he has worked as a scriptwriter on the sketch shows 'Hale and Pace' (1988-1998) and 'The Russ Abbot Show' (1980-1991, 1994-1995), and he has also been collaborating with leading TV comedy script writer Mike Haskins on various book projects as well as co-writing a horror film script as of December 2022.

Since 2022, Ian Baker is the inhouse cartoonist and cartoon gag writer for the satirical current affairs and digital currency website Planet Crypto, working closely with multi award-winning comedian, actor and writer Henry Naylor. Planet Crypto has gathered together a small team of comedy talent from Private Eye and Spitting Image, among others. 'The Codgers' Kama Sutra' (Little Brown, 2011) is a top selling humorous book about senior sex life, written and drawn by Ian Baker. 

Magic has been a lifelong obsession for Baker, and he has been involved in the magical entertainment world for several decades, including co-producing the worlds first filmed magazine for magicians on DVD, 'Prestidigital' which had interviews with leading magical entertainers including Paul Daniels, Juliana Chen, Vik and Fabrini, Gaetan Bloom, Kevin James and many others. There was a special edition of the DVD series where the Prestidigital team had exclusive access to document the pre-show work at the legendary Crazy Horse in Paris. In his spare time, Baker enjoys playing bass.

'Shrewsbury Venus'. Cartoon by Ian Baker. 

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