By Ronen Shnidman/ JNS.ORG
Jewish comic book great Joe Kubert, who worked on acclaimed series such as Tor, Tales of the Green Beret, Sgt. Rock and Tarzan, died Aug. 12 at age 85 from multiple myeloma in Morristown, NJ.
While perhaps less recognized by the general public than Spiderman writer Stan Lee, Kubert’s impact on the world of comics and American culture may be longer lasting. That influence is due in no small part to the Kubert School, which he established in 1976 in Dover, NJ.
“He’s the longest-lived continuously important contributor to the field,” Paul Levitz, a former president of DC Comics, told the New York Times Aug. 13. “There are two or three of the greats left, but he’s definitely one of the last.”
Less than a year before his death, Kubert had taken his first and only trip to Israel to display some of the original artwork and pages from his graphic novel “Yossel” for a special exhibit of his and his sons’ contributions to the world of comics at the Israeli Cartoon Museum in Holon.
In addition to the comic books series that Kubert worked on, his sons Adam and Andy earned their own reputations in the industry working on the X-Men and Superman series and X-Men and Batman, respectively.
The Kubert School, now run by Joe’s family, is the first and still only accredited school that focuses exclusively on the art of cartoon drawing. In his later years, Joe helped oversee the overall management and course development at the school, while his sons Adam and Andy work as teachers there.
Since its inception, the school has produced generations of successful alumni, many of whom now inhabit the distant corners of the comic book industry, working on projects like Spongebob Squarepants, Swamp Thing, Spiderman, Daredevil, Hellboy, Scooby Doo, the Archie Comics, and Conan the Barbarian.