We lost one of the greats of the comic book world this morning. Joe Kubert, a true legend of comic art, passed way today at age 85.
I only met Joe briefly once, when he was a guest speaker and recipient of the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Weekend in New Jersey in 2010 (I did the above caricature of him for the NCS T-shirt on that occasion). He was one of the most well-liked and well-respected artists in the business, and I never heard anyone say anything about him except that he deserved those descriptions many times over. I remember his work on Sgt. Rock and especially Tarzan as a kid. . . his art was raw and distinctive, with a gritty realism so many comic artists of those days lacked. There was a real atmosphere to his comics, making the jungle or the battlefield heavy with hazy, thick air that added tenseness to the scenes. I remember thinking he drew like Frank Frazetta painted… with fantastic presence.
He has an entire school of comic art in New Jersey with his name on it (he founded it), and his legacy is well carried on by sons Adam and Andy, both great talents in their own right. He also left behind a body of work that is unquestionably among the best in comic book history.
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925 New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550
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