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The art of Joe Kubert
Joe Kubert was born in Poland in the year of 1926. His family came to America when he was just 2 months old and settled in Brooklyn, New York City. From an early age, Joe had an inclination for art. His first job as a cartoonist was at around 12 years old in 1938. At that time, he would get paid $5.00 a page for his artwork.
Believe it or not, Kubert would do the inks on the popular Archie Comics drawn by Bob Montana in the early forties. He, also, drew The Blue Beetle, as well as the colors for the Spirit. Although he would draw for Avon, Harvey and Fiction house comics, Kubert worked, exclusively for the DC and All American comic books.
Hawkman, Sgt Rock and beyond.
Kubert's art would be known in works such as the Hawkman and Sgt. Rock. His artwork was unique because of the way he would draw his characters. Their facial expressions as well as body mass was exceptional and hard to top. Hawkman would debut in a Flash magazine entitled the Painter and the $100,000 (1945) Sgt Rock debuted in 1959 and his popularity would soar way into the 60's, 70's and beyond.
As a kid, I really enjoyed reading about the adventures of Sgt. Rock. The plot were good and presented a sense of realism. Even though, Sgt Rock on the outside looked tough, deep down he had a heart of gold and helped his men get out of tough situations. His uniform would look worn with a belt of bullets around his shoulders and ready for battle. I remember when the 80 page giants would be just 25 cents and you could get Our Army at War stories and introduced to new characters.The Haunted Tank and Mlle.Marie, a French resistance fighter were, but a few mentioned. Mlle Marie was, supposedly, romantically involved with Sgt,Rock at one time. A knockout of a beauty, she could use a machine gun like an expert soldier!
Did you know?
Did you know that Joe Kubert along with some friends produced the first 3D comic books in the '50's? It featured Mighty mouse and sold for 25 cents. This unusual comic book was radical because it broke the norm. Comic books were sold at 10 cents. The difference between a 10 to 25 cent comic book is that it contained more pages, not to mention that it sold 1.2 million copies which was a huge success at the time.
During this time,Joe became the manager of St John publications, where he, also, published a 2D comic book featuring the character Tor (Not to be confused with the mighty Thor from Marvel Comic books.) This character was a prehistoric hero created in 1953. He would, also, appear in Eclipse, Marvel and DC comics well into the 90's. In the 1960's, Joe Kubert would start his own cartoon and graphic art school.
Joe Kubert, also, managed to draw Batman and other notable Superheroes. In the 1990's, he wrote two well-known Graphic novels--The fax from Sarajevo and the Jew Gangster. In the fax of Sarajevo, he wrote and drew the pictures based on a fax that he got from a friend who lived there with his family. That friend wrote about a war-torn Sarajevo during the Serbian siege, as well as the atrocities witnessed there. The only way he could share his thoughts was through a fax machine. I have seen the novel and I have to admit it looks like a good story not to mention the artwork---Classic Kubert!
In the Jew Gangster, it talks about a character named Rudy Kaplan. Set in depression times, it shows how his family struggled through the times. His father, being a upright individual, would say time and time again---Don't be a Jew gangster. Unfortunately, his pleas fell on deaf ears and his son would become a gangster. A classic piece of work with artwork that is exceptional. Sadly, Joe Kubert passed away in August of 2012, but his school as well as his artwork will continue for decades to come. Nominated for the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1997, he would be one of the giant legends of the comic book industry! Thank God for Joe Kubert and his contribution to the world of the comic books! A genius in his own right!