Monday, August 13, 2012

Joe Kubert 1926-2012 RIP old friend

Update 3:10 pm: Adam and Andy Kubert have announced that Joe's funeral services will be tomorrow at Tuttle Funeral Home 272 Rt-10, Randolph, NJ 07869. This is where Muriel's service was held in 2008. The gathering is from 10 AM - 12 PM, and actual services will commence at noon. Internment will follow afterwards. It's believed that the procession of cars will pass by the Kubert School and then Joe's home before going to the cemetery. Donations can be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in Joe's name, 383 Main Avenue, 5th floor, Norwalk CT 06851 - Sympathy cards can be sent to the Kubert family c/o the Kubert School, 37 Myrtle Avenue, Dover, NJ 07801.

May the family have no more sorrow. - CM

When someone advanced in years passes, people often toss the cliche, "They had a full life." With Joe Kubert, it was true.

Neal Adams once remarked to me that Joe had the three major pillars in place: He took care of his family, his business and his health.

I'll leave it for others to expound on Joe's pioneering art, his importance and longevity as comics royalty, his role as a the definitive comics-art instructor. Let me instead say this:

I knew Joe since I was a boy. We were neighbors and I didn't realize he was a legend until I got older. He didn't act like a legend -- not then, not ever. I'd run into him at my local supermarket. One time, shortly after ComicCon, Joe was on line with his shopping cart full of fruit and vegetables, waiting to pay for his groceries, so I snuck up behind him. "Isn't it strange," I said, "not having people waiting on line to see you?" Joe turned around and laughed.

By all accounts Joe was a regular guy, except he was better than everyone at most things and never let on. Joe was an exceptional family man, an exceptional artist and teacher, a keen businessman. His school in Dover, NJ, changed lives, provided careers for young artists for three decades and will continue to do so under the guidance of his sons, who he adored... Joe was still playing paddle-ball or handball into his mid-eighties, still creating exquisite art every day in his studio, grabbing your hand with that vice-like handshake of his when you entered, always a warm smile and a twinkle in his eye. I was so pleased to know him, to stop by the school whenever I was in the neighborhood, to be able to participate in the scholarship awards there each year, and to have Joe grace the charity projects I was running. He was just aces, this terrific guy who never seemed to age -- this big, wonderful, strong and excellent man. I was sure Joe Kubert would be around forever.

Joe was 85. Rest in peace old friend. You were sensational.

update (9:40 a.m. 8/13):

As always, Tom Spurgeon offers insightful, detailed coverage of those friends we have lost. Tom's article on Joe can be read here.


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