R.I.P. Joe Kubert

The great Joe Kubert passed away yesterday at the age of 85. Known throughout the comic book world as the legend, his pen brought to life some of the most iconic characters in it’s history; Sgt. Rock, Tarzan, Hawkman and more.

When I began my career as a young comic book artist, I was told to check out the originators, check out Kirby, check out Kane, check out Kubert. I used his work as a guide when I was developing my own panels and splash pages. The fluidity found in his character’s form, the attention to detail, how he utilized the background; these were all elements I borrowed from Mr. Kubert.

And as a young comic book artist, I wanted to jump right into the field but knew I needed a strong foundation and the only place to for an artist to flourish was (now) The Kubert School. I made the drive up to NJ from VA back in 1998 for an interview at the school. I spent days going over my portfolio making sure I had the right pieces, making sure the order of the art was right and making sure I maintained focus since this was the most important day of my life.

After a brutal interview session, I was introduced to Mr. Kubert who happened to be there that day. He shook my hand, I said something lame about “being a fan all of my life,” and he said, “I hope to see you this fall.” I was accepted into the school but would never see the campus or Mr. Kubert again. Sometimes life has different plans.

I never realized that dream of becoming a full-time comic book artist but for a brief moment in time, I had made it and Mr. Kubert was the reason.