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Michael Fertik has a day job in Silicon Valley. Everything was going along smoothly until the day his wife gave birth to their first child, a son, in 2011. From then on, Michael was smitten. Smitten first with his son, to be sure. But second, Michael found himself smitten with his son’s enormous, round cheeks. Watching the boy navigate the world, responding to his commands for milk, toys, and apple sauce, and observing the baby’s capacity for an imperious eye and flashes of temper when things didn’t go his way, Michael soon realized that the child could well be the leader of a secret baby underworld gang in search of control over the key commodities of infant life. So he started calling his son Squeezy the Cheeks and made up stories about his gang. Baby Noir was born. When Michael shared some of the Baby Noir stories with friends, they confessed that their kids were noirish infant desperadoes, too, recklessly and relentlessly intriguing and bruising their way toward dominance over the household trade in baby formula, milk bottles, blankets, and more. Some of those kids have made their way into the stories as characters. After discussion with family, Michael decided to publish so that he could share the tales with moms and dads of other infant gangsters around the world. Pretty much every parent has a child who is a baby gangster, Michael has realized, with squeezable cheeks or noses or feet, and always on a desperate and determined mission for the milk.

Michael lives with his wife and son in Palo Alto, California. He continues to squeeze his son’s enormous cheeks every day.