From his precocious beginning in comics right up until his unexpected end, Joe Kubert drew with eyes of fire and a hand of rare mettle:
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“Drawing never dies, it holds on by the skin of its teeth, because the hunger it satisfies – the desire for an active, investigative, manually vivid relation with the things we see and yearn to know about – is apparently immortal.” Robert Hughes (28 July 1938 – 6 August 2012)
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic creation
San Diego, CA (May 18, 2012) – Joe Kubert is one of the most lauded artists in the history of comics, a true living legend. He has been a vital creative force since the 1940s and remains so to this day. He has had defining runs on Hawkman, Enemy Ace, Tor, Sgt. Rock, and many others. Among his career highlights is Tarzan of the Apes, and Kubert’s rendition could arguably be called the definitive comic adaptation of the Ape-man.
“To have the Tarzan stories I drew commemorate the 100th anniversary of a strip I fell in love with as a kid is the thrill of a lifetime,” said Joe Kubert, writer and artist of all the stories in this Artist’s Edition.
This Artist’s Edition collects six complete KubertTarzan adventures, including the classic four-part origin story. Each page is vividly reproduced from the original art and presented as no comics readers have seen before. For fans of Kubert and Tarzan, this new entry in the Eisner-winning Artist’s Edition line must be seen to be believed!
2012 is the centennial year for Tarzan. Created by master storyteller Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan is instantly recognizable to countless fans around the globe. Other notable creations of Burroughs include John Carter of Mars, Korak, Carson of Venus, and At the Earth’s Core.
“I first read these comics when I was 10 years old, and they remain some of my favorite stories ever,” said Editor Scott Dunbier, “this is Joe Kubert at his absolute best.”
What is an Artist’s Edition? Artist’s Editions are printed the same size as the original art. While appearing to be in black & white, each page has been scanned in COLOR to mimic as closely as possible the experience of viewing the actual original art—for example, you are able to clearly see paste-overs, blue pencils in the art, editorial notes, and art corrections. Each page is printed the same size as drawn, and the paper selected is as close as possible to the original art board.
JOE KUBERT’S TARZAN OF THE APES: ARTIST’S EDITION ($100, hardcover, black and white, 156 pages, 12” x 17”) will be available in stores September 2012.
Joe Kubert is one of the greatest American comic-book cartoonists of all time; his Sgt. Rock of Easy Company, Enemy Ace, and Tarzan comics, all done for DC Comics during the 1960s and 1970s, are already the subject of archival editions. In the 1940s, young Kubert developed his design sense and realistic art style by freelancing for a variety of comic-book publishers in a glorious variety of non-superhero genres: horror, crime, science fiction, western, romance, humor, and more. For the first time, 33 of the best of these stories have been collected in one full-color volume, Weird Horrors and Daring Adventures: The Joe Kubert Archives Vol. 1 with a special emphasis on horror and crime … more violent and sexy (by contemporary standards) than much of his later, Code-constrained work.
From Eerie #3 (Oct.-Nov. 1951), here’s an example of the sort of story (now in the public domain) that you’re likely to find in the new collection:
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BONUS “CONNECTIONS” CONTENT:
Displayed in order of publication, the following images are by Max Elkan, Joe Kubert, Gil Kane; if anyone can find a picture of a Gil Kane haymaker published before the Max Elkan haymaker of 1949, you are welcome to share your discovery in the comments section of this post:
The publisher describes the book (paperback, 192 pages, 12 x 12 inches) as follows:
Archival interviews with Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Frank Frazetta, Bill Gaines, and many more, as well as contemporary interviews with MAD artists, are reprinted in the first of a beautifully packaged two-volume set.
The Comics Journal Library series is the most comprehensive series of lavishly illustrated interviews conducted with cartoonists ever published. To celebrate our republication of the legendary EC line, we proudly present the first of a two-volume set of interviews with the artists and writers (and publisher!) who made EC great. Included in the first volume: career-spanning conversations with EC legends Will Elder, John Severin, Harvey Kurtzman, and Al Feldstein, as well as short interviews with EC short-timers Frank Frazetta and Joe Kubert. Also: EC Publisher William Gaines on his infamous Senate subcommittee testimony, and probing conversations between Silver Age cartoonist Gil Kane and Harvey Kurtzman, as well as contemporary alternative cartoonist Sam Henderson and MAD great Al Jaffee. Part of what made EC the best publisher in the history of mainstream comics was some of the most beautiful drawing ever published in comic books, and every interview is profusely illustrated by pertinent examples of the work under discussion. The EC artists were renowned for their attention to detail, and the reproduction here takes full advantage of the oversized art book format.
If you’ve been buying every issue of The Comics Journal since the dawn of time like I have, you’ll have a lot of the material in this volume in your collection already. But digging through old magazines is such a chore…
From Apache Kid #13 (April 1955), here’s a tale of the old West with pencils and inks by Joe Kubert, who was about 28 years old at the time of publication:
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Yes, I suppose that the anonymous writer of “Pony Express” gets points for pointing out that the “Injuns!” were not simply “savages,” but I see no evidence that he knew anything about what the “red-men respected […] above all else” beyond what he might have gleaned from the old myth-enforcing Hollywood “B”-movie Westerns. It is Kubert’s artwork, alone, that makes the story worth preserving.
Buscema, in answer to the question, “Who is your favourite comic artist?”:
I’ll tell you, I’m at the point where I’m not impressed with anyone anymore. I was always looking for the good draftsmanship. Later on, I became interested in the story-telling aspect of comics. I think Hal Foster is perhaps the best story-teller in comics. As was Milton Caniff. A lot of guys, like Roy Crane — all great.
I did admire them, but now that I’m older, I’ve been in it for so many years, I can see things that I didn’t see before. I have the experience now. I have all the books of the collected works of Raymond, and of Hal Foster, and I’ve looked at the work of the old timers, and I’m not as impressed anymore. In fact, I see a lot of things they did, they could have improved upon. I see things now that leave me cold. I’m not impressed with anything in comics today. The only thing in recent times that I was impressed with, but not really floored by, was Tarzan by Joe Kubert. I think it was one of the best comics produced, of all times. I admire the guy. I think he’s fantastic, I really do. But that’s it. Maybe I’m too close to comics.
[The Art of John Buscema: Volume One (Sal Quartuccio, 1978), p. 9 (or 11, if you count the front cover and inside front)]
Kubert, on the importance of life drawing vs. copying from the masters:
Fine artists have learned through the ages by painting from sculptures and copying classic works but, when it comes to really knowing the figure, if you try to learn from copying other people’s drawings you end up with a double exaggeration. This especially holds true when the person who has really affected you and inspired you to draw like them is drawing an exaggerated figure to begin with. When you try to learn from an artist (comics or other) who is adding exaggeration, you end up exaggerating even more, which removes the figure from reality. One could be copying Mark Silvestri, who’s copying John Buscema, who’s copying Hal Foster, who did Life [sic] drawing! I find that, going back to Life drawing is like going back to the well — the source of inspiration — and it is a necessity which I find it [sic] absolutely essential.