Comic Book Creator #2: Joe Kubert (TwoMorrows)


Rating: 5/5 – A Tribute Fit for an Legendary Artist and Master Storyteller.

Joe Kubert is the most influential comic book artist of our time. This magazine holds all the evidence you will need to believe this. Joe was a gifted and prolific artist starting to publish penciled pages at the age of fifteen. He continued to work as an artist and writer until his death at age 85, on August 12, 2012.  There aren’t many comic book artists who can say they worked in the biz for seventy years strong. Just that alone can make an artist a legend. Add to that, Joe started the first legitimate comic book artist school called The Kubert School in 1976. Comic Book Creator from TwoMorrows Publishing chronicles Joe’s life in the form of interviews and some articles from those people who worked with him.

Joe started to work in and around comics at about the age of thirteen. He worked as a type of studio assistant for MLJ Studios. He swept the floors and erased pencils lines from inked pages. MLJ was a publisher and group of early creators for Archie comics. After MLJ, Joe worked for a Will Eisner studio. There’s a insightful interview with Joe that was created for the Will Eisner documentary called Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist. You can see Eisner’s influence on Joe’s art in some of his earlier work and continuing in to his later career. On the other hand, Joe’s influence on comic book writer/artist Tim Truman is also apparent. Tim was a student in the very early years at The Kubert School. Tim went on to create Grimjack (First Comics) and then Scout (Eclipse Comics). He was the writer and sometime penciller for the more recent Conan the Cimmerian (Dark Horse). He now writes the awesome King Conan series for Dark Horse. There’s a great interview where Tim explains that Joe clearly had a big influence on his comic book and illustration career.

Learn more about what Joe thought about war comics and it isn’t necessarily what you might think. Joe created many pages and some of the most iconic covers for both Sgt. Rock and Enemy Ace. There are many pictures of Joe’s best pages and covers in this magazine. There’s also art from a couple of Joe’s unpublished works. There’s some interesting pieces from an unpublished comic book about an old video game. One of the best interviews are with two of Joe’s sons Adam and Andy. And this magazine is the first place where you learn more about Joe’s other three children. Adam and Andy are both accomplished comic book artist’s in their own right. In their interview is a heart wrenching account of Joe’s final days. Joe was still working on two different comic book projects while in his hospital bed. Then find out what comic books and TV shows Joe’s liked in an interview with Joe’s personal assistant Peter Carlsson. The back of the book saves the best for last. There are numerous tributes from colleagues and former students. They all tell a different account but also a similar one that Joe was an extraordinarily good hearted person.

On the TwoMorrows website, you can buy a digital PDF of Comic Book Creator #2 for $7.95. Although, I suggest you purchase the print edition as there is a lot of text on each page. It’s easier to read the print edition and it’s a worthy addition to anyone with an interest in comic book history. You get the PDF version for free when you purchase the print edition on the TwoMorrows site. Interviews are one of the most reliable sources of any type of history. The interviews in this magazine are all fascinating since they are all about the legendary Joe Kubert.

Reviewed by: Ian Gowan – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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