Kuberts bring ‘Heroes’ to Holon

Legendary artist whose drawings have awed several generations of fans is here with to give a series of master classes on their work.

Joe Kubert cartoons (photo credit: Courtesy)
Joe Kubert cartoons
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Legendary comic artist Joe Kubert has good news for all the Israeli kids out there who spend their days reading comics and drawing them: “You have to keep at it. I draw every day. My sons draw every day. If a day goes by when I haven’t been drawing, I miss the buzz.”
Joe Kubert and his son, Adam, who also draws comics, are in Israel for the opening tonight [7 p.m.] of “Heroes,” a show of their work at the Israeli Cartoon Museum at the Holon Mediatheque. They will be giving a series of workshops and master classes during their visit and the show of their work will run until January 28, 2012. The show features work by Joe’s son, Andy, as well.
“I’m very excited to be having a show in Israel,” says Joe, who is visiting the country for the first time.
Joe, 84, who has been working in the comics industry since he was 12 years old, has drawn and created dozens of famous comics for such companies as Marvel and DC. Among his best-known characters are Tor, Hawkman and Sgt.
Rock, and he has drawn the Tarzan series as well as many other comics and graphic novels.
Adam has drawn such wildly popular comics as X-Men, Spiderman, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider for such companies as Marvel and DC. Andy Kubert draws Batman, X-Men, Captain America and The Flash, among many others.
Joe Kubert will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening of the exhibition. The evening’s program will include a retrospective of Kubert’s work, with images of heroes such as Tarzan and Tor, as well as his recent graphic novels.
Adam Kubert will talk about working on Superman, and X-Men, among other series. Film clips of their work that has been animated will be shown, and the two artists will give live demonstrations.
They are eager to meet Israeli students, since the Kuberts also run a school for aspiring comics artists in Dover, New Jersey.
The Kubert School was established in the mid-Seventies by Joe and his late wife, Muriel (who ran the business end), and now Adam and Andy teach there as well.
While of course comics is a competitive business, in some ways it has gotten easier over the years, explains Adam.
“A lot has changed because of the Internet communications factor. It’s so much simpler to communicate and stay in touch. Freelancers used to feel more isolated, especially if they didn’t live near a big city. But this has opened up opportunities for people all over the world,” says Adam.
“It’s also helped with research. I’m working on a project now, and I wanted to see old issues of the series. It would have been almost impossible to find this material before the Internet, but I was able to get a PDF with a dozen issues sent to me in about 10 minutes. I love to get my hands on as much backstory and reference material as I can.”
The Internet has also broadened the audience for comics and graphic novels.
It’s not all about superheroes these days.
Joe is currently at work on a project about whaling (“I’m lucky because I can work on anything that interests me and it gets published,” says Joe) and has also created illustrated Bible stories.
Joe, who was born in Poland and moved to the US as a young child, grew up in Brooklyn. His father also worked with his hands – he was a kosher butcher – but Joe always loved to draw.
“I never dreamed I would make a living this way,” he says. When he started as an office assistant at a fledgling comics company in the late Thirties, he never dreamed this would become his life’s work.
Can we expect to see some blue-and white themes coming from the Kuberts’ pens, now that they’ve been to Israel? “We’ll see,” says Joe, laughing.