Monday, August 13, 2012

Joe Kubert: September 18, 1926 - August 12, 2012

Back in the early 70s I remember my Dad coming home with a brown grocery bag full of comic books which he had bought at a garage sale on his way home from work. There was a wide variety for me to choose from. Dell, Gold Keys, DC, Marvel, Charlton. There was one Spider-Man comic book in that huge bag; issue 115 of Amazing Spider-Man. That was one of the comics in that bag that would ignite my decades long love affair of all things comics. The other comic book in the bag was Brave and the Bold #113. It was one of DC’s “100 Page” giant sized issues. This was my introduction to comics legend Joe Kubert.

Brave and the Bold 113 was mostly reprints yet all of the stories inside were completely new to me. It was my first exposure to the Metal Men, Green Arrow, Challengers of the Unknown and specifically, Joe Kubert’s Hawkman and Viking Prince. While I wouldn’t go on to be a big Viking Prince fan, I was very taken with Kubert’s Hawkman and with Kubert’s art. As a young comic reader growing up in the early 70s, it was artists like Kirby, Romita and Colan who were, for me at least, the face of Marvel. 

Over at DC, those faces were Kubert and Aparo. I loved Kuberts art. It seemed much more mature to me for some reason. My kid mind saw something different on the page than it was used to with most other comic art. If comic book heroes existed in real life then they must, my young mind deduced, surely look like a Joe Kubert drawing.

As I got older I became a huge fan of Kubert’s “Enemy Ace” series. While I enjoyed the art in the other Kubert war books such as Sgt Rock, I took more to Enemy Ace. Again, there seemed to be something more “grown up” about Kuberts art. It felt like I was looking at something more than just a comic book. It felt like something with historical significance to it and not just another comic book. Enemy Ace led to a passion for films about aviation. Films like Dawn Patrol, Hell’s Angels, Wings and just a general, all around enjoyment of history. 

So I just wanted to say thank you Mr. Kubert for all the years of enjoyment you provided, all the terrific art and all of the inspiration you gave to so many.