Monday, August 13, 2012
Joe Kubert Passes
I think my first exposure to Kubert was his work on the DC incarnation of Tarzan in the early 1970s. It's possible that I had previously seen some Sgt. Rock comics, the work for which Kubert is arguably best known, but I know it was his Tarzan that really caught my attention. Later I would see reprints of his artwork on Hawkman, Rock, Tor, Viking Prince, and so many other features.
Kubert's style changed a lot over the years, but his strong inkline is identifiable very early on. His layouts were also easy to spot, original and personal, not like anything anyone else had done. Kubert was one of those artists who could lavish a lot of detail on some panels and make stark minimalism work in others. His visual storytelling was among the best. leading a reader from panel to panel and making it look easy.
In addition to being an amazing artist, Joe Kubert also opened a school for comics art. The number of professional artists working today who owe their careers to the Kubert School are vast. Two of Kubert's sons, Adam and Andy, are well know comics artists today. Kubert's influence on the comics industry is huge.
After learning of Kubert's death I pulled out the Dark Horse collections of his Tarzan comics work and sat down to once again marvel over Kubert's amazing artwork. It seemed a fitting tribute. The comics industry has lost a true legend this week.