Boyd Kirkland's career in animation began in 1978 when he was hired to work as a layout artist for Hanna-Barbera programs such as "Yogi's Space Race" and "The Godzilla Show. " More substantial layout work came his way after he became a partner in a Salt Lake City operation that subcontracted work from Hanna-Barbera and Marvel, among other animation studios. "G. I. Joe," "Spider-Man," "The Incredible Hulk," and "Thundarr the Barbarian" are just a few of the more popular programs he worked on in the 1980s. In the late '80s and early '90s, Kirkland branched out into producing, writing, and directing shows as well. His most notable cartoon from this period was the noir-laced "Batman: The Animated Series" that Warner Bros. produced in the wake of the resounding success of director Tim Burton's gothic live-action Batman films. The animated series, however, proved to be something of a revolution in its own right, appealing to both children and adults with its heady yet accessible writing, vast repertoire of freakish villains, and strikingly influential art style. Kirkland continued to contribute pearls to the superhero-animation genre with "X-Men: Evolution," on which he served as a producer, writer, and director from 2001 to 2003.