Yesterday afternoon, I learned of the passing of legendary comics illustrator Joe Kubert. Anyone familiar with the comics business is well aware of Mr. Kubert's contributions to the medium.
A tireless and continually evolving creator, an educator (the Joe Kubert School was the first accredited school teaching comics creation), known for his precise line, his incredible work ethic, and his generosity as an educator, Mr. Kubert leaves behind a vast legacy to the medium.
Perhaps best known for his work on Tarzan, Sgt. Rock, and Enemy Ace, many equate Mr. Kubert with the "war comics" genre, and while that sells his work somewhat short (his Hawkman work is equally legendary, for example), it was these war comics that had a profound impact on me.
I wish I had a good Joe Kubert story to relate, but I never had the opportunity to meet him. Instead, I can only point to the work of artists who I do know, notably Shooters' illustrator Steve Lieber, a graduate of the Kubert School.
Between Mr. Kubert's tales of war, adventure and sacrifice that flowed, seemingly unstoppable, from his virtuoso pen and the skills he honed and taught to legions of artists (who are impeccably skilled in their own right), we—as comics fans—are immeasurably enriched by his contributions.
My deepest condolences to Mr. Kubert's family, and to comics readers everywhere, at the loss of a gifted, vital storyteller of a kind that will not be seen again, and that our industry continues to need.