Tag Archive for 'Joe Kubert'

Joe Kubert’s Heroic Vision

Cover, Star-Spangled War Stories #138 (1968)


There’s a lot to say about the Big Man of classic American mainstream comics Joe Kubert, who passed away last week. I can hardly do his rich and varied career justice, and in any case he is served well by Bill Schelly’s fine biography Man of Rock (2008), just as his passing was marked appropriately by Schelly over at The Comics Journal. And of course there’s Gary Groth’s epic 1994 interview with him.

What seems to me lacking in the literature I’ve seen is a critical appreciation of his art and how it developed. I cannot hope to do anything but suggest a few lines of inquiry here, but think that an examination of how his late-career non-fiction and reality-based work would be a good place to start. Back when his first and still most notable book of that particular, one might say Eisnerian phase of his work, Fax from Sarajevo was published in 1996, The Comics Journal published a critical review by Kent Worcester in which he compared its visuals with Kubert’s concurrent run on the Marvel hero comic Punisher: War Zone. The point was Kubert was simply too mired in the romantic heroism of the genres in which he had forged his style adequately to represent that book’s protagonist, his European agent Erwin Rustemagic’s real-life experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. Continue reading ‘Joe Kubert’s Heroic Vision’