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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rest in Peace, Joe Kubert

This is sad news to report, but word is out on Twitter and many comics news sites like Comic Book Resources, that comic book legend, Joe Kubert, has died.  He was 85 years old.  There's so much that can be said about his career. I cannot briefly cover it all here.  While it's been noted Kubert started as young as ten years old around the offices of some publishers, "officially" he got his start in 1942, at the age of fifteen. Kubert exercised his pencil doing six page back-ups in books like Cat-Man and Blue Beetle, and learned color working up reprints of Will Eisner's The Spirit for Quality Comics. Then in 1943, he came to work at All-American Comics, a predecessor company of the future DC Comics.  At All-American, Kubert illustrated the Seven Soldiers of Victory, 50 page feature story, for Leading Comics and stayed on at DC (while artistically moonlighting a bit at Fiction House, Avon, and Harvey Comics) and started his work on Hawkman in 1945.  Throughout the 40s and 50s, Kubert freelanced as an artist for various publishers such as EC and Atlas, where he worked hard, furthered his style, and even developed some of his own creations, such as the Prehistoric adventurer, Tor, while at St Johns Comics.  By 1955 though, Kubert exclusively worked for DC Comics and oh boy! did their line of books benefit for it!  Viking Prince, Hawkman, The Haunted Tank, Sgt. Rock!  I can't imagine DC Comics without Joe Kubert!  Considering Kubert's final works, inking his son, Andy, on Before Watchmen: Nite Owl, and the upcoming collaborative anthology mini series, Joe Kubert Presents, I think DC Comics has been very glad to have him all of these years.   Joe Kubert is a legend with a body of work for numerous publishers and independently as a writer and artist.  He leaves behind a big and very talented family.  The school he founded to teach the art form of making the comic book.   Last but certainly not least, a legion of fans the world over exist to celebrate his life and the legacy of his work.

If I may be a bit personally sentimental, I've met Joe Kubert on three occasions.  Once at his school, and twice at shows.  The last time was at the Baltimore Comic-Con in 2009.  I enjoyed that time best because I actually got to talk to him for quite some time uninterrupted.  He thought I was looking for the line to go see Adam Hughes, but I said "No, I'd rather see you", to which he laughed.  I asked him to sign an issue of Our Army at War that had seen a lifetime of reading and I babbled endlessly about how my dad introduced me to Sgt. Rock, how greatly I enjoyed his work, and how I was there working but looking for Losers back issues when I could.  He was gracious and asked me what else was on my checklist for the con and I told him I was hunting for stuff by Alex Toth to which he laughed and replied "good boy".  I thanked him for his time and went back to the Comix Connection booth.

That's my story.  I'm off now to read some comics and do a bit of celebrating that legacy tonight.  Rest in peace, Mr. Kubert.



At 8/13/2012 9:04 PM, Blogger Coolguy 2004 said...

I share your love for Joe Kubert Joe. Before I knew the names of the artists, I knew what I liked. The first comic books I encountered were Kamandi (Jack Kirby) and Tor (Joe Kubert). I loved what I saw from them and have their first impressions to the medium to thank for driving me to explore the great expanse of quality material that came before and after them. RIP Joe Kubert.


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