From the beginning of my comic book career i've been aware of the importance and the heritage that revolves around the last name Kubert. My first Wolverine comic books were drawn by Andy and Adam Kubert and I became a huge fan of their work, and to this day, I still am. I remember vividly finding an add on one of those Marvel comic books for the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Arts in Dover, NJ and I knew that I had to study there. Even though my family had no money to send me there, they made a sacrifice and put basically all they had to make sure I made it to New Jersey and made my dream a reality.
That's where I met the Kuberts. By this time I had familiarized myself with Mr. Kubert's work and was even more awe struct when I saw him face to face. I also remember opening day, every student sitting in the auditorium and Joe standing in front of us giving a speech and introducing us to the school; I'll never forget that. I have to say that in the span of 3 months studying there, I learned more than I did in 4 years of studying at the premier art college in my homeland of Puerto Rico!
It's very hard to put in words the impact Joe Kubert had in my life, not only as an inspiration on art but more importantly as an inspiration of what a father should be like. The way he worked all his life to provide for his family, much like Jack "King" Kirby, should be celebrated as much as his art accomplishments. As an artist he was one of the giants of this industry, one of the pioneers who paved the way for everyone else that followed and he did it as a true professional, no missed deadlines, no crappy artwork and no excuses. From his work in Hawkman, Tor, Blackhawks, Tarzan, Sgt. Rock and countless others until his last work on Before: Watchmen, Joe Kubert became a true example of what a comic book artist should aspire to be someday. A legend in every sense of the word and an artist who had a style unlike any other. On August 12, 2012 a true hero fell. Now it's time for others to carry the torch.
I still remember when I bought Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy like it was yesterday. As I opened issue #1 expecting something good, but when I finished I remember thinking "this man really has no equal when it comes to portraying the horrors of war", and to this day I still feel they'll never be anyone who'll match Joe Kubert. Just like "The Prophecy" another book that made a mark on me was "Fax From Sarajevo". This was just another example of Joe's immense talent and the level his skills as a storyteller. The different mediums used in his books, his "old school" approach to the art of making comic books, his attention to detail, his scene selection; this man was a true titan in the industry and we all owe him a lot, not just for the hundreds of comic books he drew for us to enjoy, but also because he decided to teach everyone what he knew, and that my friends, deserves our admiration!
I'd like to end this blog post by saying that I am a better artist today, in part, because of Joe Kubert, because of your dedication to your craft you showed me what a true professional comic book artist should act like and should approach his work. Thank you Mr. Kubert, from the haert of a fan, but more importantly, the heart of one of your students. You'll be missed and will never be replaced.
Manuel A. Carmona