The news broke on Twitter on August 12th with a tweet from Richard Bruning who wrote “Joe Kubert, one of the finest men I've ever known. Rest in peace, Joe.” When asked about how he had received the news, Bruning responded that Dan Didio, DC Co-Publisher, had informed him of Kubert’s passing. Dave Gibbons also reported on Twitter that a reliable source had confirmed that Kubert had been in hospital and had passed away earlier in the day.
The 85-year old Kubert has left an indelible mark on the comic book industry and the news sent ripples through the community online, with several creators and editors expressing their shock and well wishes for the Kubert family via Twitter.
Born in Yzeran, Poland (now Ukraine) in 1926, Kubert and his family emigrated to New York City when he was an infant, and by the time he was 12 years old, he had earned his first paying job in comics, as an illustrator. Kubert was reported as saying he was paid “Five dollars a page. In 1938, that was a lot of money.” Throughout his teen years, Kubert provided art for Catman Comics, Blue Beetle, and Will Eisner’s The Spirit.
Kubert leaves behind an impressive legacy of innovation in the comics and is particularly known for his relationship with DC Comics, a professional bond that stretches back to the second World War, during which Kubert provided art for All-American comics – DC’s predecessor – and created the character of Hawkman in Flash Comics #62 (1945). Kubert’s art has been widely acclaimed as some of the best in the industry and in 1976, Kubert and his wife Muriel founded The Kubert School in Dover, NJ to train a new generation of artists. His sons Andy and Adam Kubert are successful comic book artists in their own right.
In 1997, Kubert was awarded an Eisner award and a Harvey award for Fax from Sarajevo and was also inducted into the Harvey Award’s Jack Kirby Hall of Fame. The following year, Kubert was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. Most recently, Kubert collaborated with his son Andy Kubert and writer J. Michael Straczynski on DC’s Before Watchmen: Nite Owl, which he inked and Andy illustrated. In early July, DC announced an October release date for the first installment of a six-issue anthology mini-series entitled Joe Kubert Presents, which is set to include a new Hawkman story written and illustrated by Kubert himself.