Joe Kubert was an artist who has been active in nearly all aspects of the comic book industry during his long career. He has worked as an artist and writer, but also as editor and teacher. Coming from New York, Kubert began his career at the early age of 12. He was assigned by MLJ Publications to do inking on some of Bob Montana's 'Archie' pages. Kubert then attended the High School of Music of Art and at the same time began a collaboration with the Harry "A" Chesler shop. Now aged 16, he worked fro publications like Smash Comics, Speed Comics and Police Comics, while also doing coloring and inking assignments.
For Holyoke Publications, he made features like 'Voltono', 'Flagman' and 'Alias X' for Cat Man Comics and Captain Aero Comics, as well as back-ups for Blue Beetle. He was additionally present at MLJ with 'Boy Buddies' and 'Black Witch', and at Quality with 'Phantom Lady' and 'Espionage'. In 1942, he first worked for DC (then still called National Periodicals), the company he would work for most extensively during his career.
He worked on many features, such as 'Johnny Quick', 'Dr. Fate', 'Hawkman', 'Zatara', 'Newsboy Legion', 'The Flash', 'The Vigilante' and 'Sargon the Sorcerer'. Throughout the 1940s, Kubert was also present in comic books by Fiction House, Harvey and Timely. After his military service (1950-52), he contributed some stories to EC, Lev Gleason and Timely-Atlas, before he became managing editor of St. John Publications, where he created 'Tor' and supervised the first 3-D comic books (starring among others 'Mighty Mouse') with Norman and Leonard Maurer.
In the mid-1950s, he returned to DC Comics and worked on stories with 'Prince Viking', 'Sgt. Rock' and 'Hawkman'. He also did war stories like 'The Haunted Tank' for GI Combat. Between 1965 and 1967, he made 'Tales of the Green Berets', a daily strip for the Chicago Tribune, and despite its distinctive graphic qualities, it did not become a success, due to society's budding anti-war sentiments. From 1967 until 1976, he was director of publications at DC Comics, supervizing the production of 'Tarzan', 'Korak', 'Sgt. Rock', 'Ragman' and 'Weird Worlds' comic books, but also continued to draw for some of them, mainly 'Tarzan' (1972-75).
In 1976, he founded the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in New Jersey. Throughout the years, the school has educated many of the field's present-day leading comics artists. During this period, he continued to do art for covers as well as some 'Big Ben Bolt' stories. In 1977, he launched the Sojourn review, together with Yvan Snyder.
During the 1980s, Kubert, either alone or with some of his students, worked on newspaper strips like 'Winnie Winkle', 'Terry and the Pirates' and 'Rocky'. In the second half of the decade, Kubert wrote and drew a collection of Biblical oriented comic strips called 'The Adventures of Yaakov and Yosef' for Tzivos Hashem, the Lubavitch children's organization, and Moshiach Times magazine.
In 1991, he inked one of his son Andy's episodes of 'The Punisher', and created 'Abraham Stone' for Marvel and the Former-Yugoslavian agency Strip Art Features. Also in that same year, he relaunched 'Tor' for Atomeka Press and later Epic Comics. In 1994, he teamed up with Doug Murray to create the war story 'Night of Hell' for Medal of Honor Special at Dark Horse, as well as 'River of Blood' for Punisher War Zone at Marvel.
In 1992-93, he chronicled the fax transmissions with his friend and business partner Ervin Rustemagic, who was situated behind the Bosnian war lines, in the graphic novel 'Fax from Sarajevo', published by Dark Horse in 1996. In 2001, he drew 'The Lonesome Rider', a story of the classic Italian western 'Tex Willer', published by Bonelli and distributed through SAF. Since the mid 2000s, he is the artist for PS Magazine, publication of the US military. Still going strong in old age, Kubert created new graphic novels in 2003 and 2005, 'Yossel: april 19, 1943' and 'Jew Gangster' (2005). He returned to 'Tor' with the mini-series 'Tor: A prehistoric Odyssey' in 2008.
Illustrator, writer, researcher, teacher and editor - Joe Kubert was truly a multi-faceted talent. Both his sons Adam and Andy have also become successful comic artists. Joe Kubert passed away in August 2012, shortly before his 86th birthday. His final work was inking his son Andy's pencils on 'Before Watchmen: Nite Owl', of which the first issue appeared in June 2012. A mini-series called 'Joe Kubert Presents' was announced by DC to launch in October 2012.
Panels from Joe Kubert stories for 'Our Army at War' inspired Roy Lichtenstein's 'Live Ammo (Blang)' (1962), 'Live Ammo (Tzing)' (1962), 'Live Ammo (Take Cover)' (1962), 'Scared Witless' (1962) and 'Grrrrrrrrrrrr!!' (1965).