Industry legend Joe Kubert has passed away at the age of 85.
Perhaps best known as artist of DC’s Hawkman and Sgt. Rock, according to his biography on the website of the art school he founded in 1976 – New Jersey’s The Kubert School – Kubert began drawing comic book professionally at the age of 12 in 1938. He also created, with Norman Maurer, the prehistoric character and book Tor. His long, distinguished career has included drawing, writing, editing and teaching, including fully writing and illustrating original graphic novels in the past several years.
Beginning with Our Army At War #32 (March 1955), Kubert began to freelance again for DC Comics, in addition to Lev Gleason Publications and Atlas Comics, the 1950s iteration of Marvel Comics. By the end of the year he was drawing for DC exclusively, working on such characters as the medieval adventurer Viking Prince, the superhero Hawkman, which would become one of his signature efforts, and, in the war comic GI Combat, features starring Sgt. Rock and The Haunted Tank, two more signature strips.
From 1965 through 1967 he collaborated with author Robin Moore on the syndicated daily comic strip Tales of the Green Beret for the Chicago Tribune.
Kubert served as DC Comics' director of publications from 1967 to 1976. During his tenure with DC, Kubert initiated titles based on such Edgar Rice Burroughs properties as Tarzan and Korak. Kubert also supervised the production of the comic books Sgt. Rock, Ragman and Weird Worlds. While performing supervisory duties he continued to draw for some books, notably Tarzan from 1972 to 1975. Kubert also did covers for Rima the Jungle Girl from 1974 to 1975. Kubert and writer Robert Kanigher created Ragman in the first issue (Aug.-Sept. 1976) of that character's short-lived ongoing series.
In the early 1960s, Kubert moved to Dover, New Jersey, where they raised their five children. In 1976, Kubert and his wife Muriel founded The Kubert School in Dover.
Kubert wrote and drew a collection of faith-based comic strips beginning in the late 1980s for Tzivos Hashem, the Lubavitch children's organization, and Moshiach Times magazine. The stories, "The Adventures of Yaakov and Yosef", were based on biblical references, but were not Bible stories. Many were based on stories of the Lubavitcher Rebbes and their disciples.
Joe Kubert was still drawing at the age of 85, having teamed with his son Adam on Sgt. Rock in the anthology Wednesday Comics in 2009, he teamed with his other son, Andy, on the art duties for Before Watchmen: Nite Owl, which saw its second issue published July, 2012.
Various sources say Kubert was hospitalized briefly before his passing.