In Memoriam: Joe Kubert (1926-2012)

Joe Kubert

We are grieved to report that comics legend Joe Kubert has passed away at the age of 85.

We have yet to receive word from DC Comics, but comic creators Dave Gibbons and Richard Bruning have been in contact with representatives of the Kubert family who have confirmed the bad news. Kubert had reportedly been hospitalized for the past few weeks.

Were the comics industry to inherit a mountain in the Dakotas, it wouldn’t be long before we had a team of sculptors up there chiseling away at a giant pair of glasses and a smile just as wide. Joe Kubert didn’t create any Batmen or Spider-Men, but the heroes he committed to those pages and our memories have rarely looked better or bolder. More importantly, he chronicled the lives, glories and tragedies of flesh-and-blood soldiers in countless war comics. His most famous contribution to the DC Comics canon is undoubtedly the intrepid Sgt. Rock. But it was the men who rallied behind that illustrious warrior, the unnamed grunts and self-sacrificers who people his most stirring panels.

Joe Kubert started in comics before hitting high school. He was still working on them in recent months, including the Before Watchmen: Nite Owl limited series with son Andy and the forthcoming Joe Kubert Presents anthology series from DC Comics.

We salute your memory, Joe. And we thank you for your legacy, from the decades of astounding art and storytelling to the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art which heralds even more.

UPDATE: DC has released official statements.

“We are saddened to learn of the death of our colleague and friend Joe Kubert. An absolute legend in the industry, his legacy will live on through his remarkable talent, with his sons and with the many artists who have passed through the storied halls of his celebrated school.  An important member of the DC Comics family, Joe made an indelible mark on the entire DC Comics universe including his renowned and award-winning work on iconic characters such as Sgt. Rock, Enemy Ace, Hawkman and most recently Nite Owl.  We are so honored to have worked side-by-side with such an unforgettable force in both comics and in life.” – DC Entertainment Executive Team

“For those of us who knew him personally, as well as those of us who knew him primarily for his remarkable talent and impact on our industry over the years, Joe Kubert was part of the DC family.  On behalf of our executive team, as well as everyone at DC Entertainment who cares about Joe and the whole Kubert family, we send our prayers, our sympathy and our deepest appreciation for everything he’s contributed to comics over the course of his life and career. Until the very end, Joe was creating art that will live on for generations and we will all miss him deeply.” – DC Comics’ Co-Publishers Dan Didio & Jim Lee


  1. He will be missed.

  2. “Legend” isn’t a strong enough word to describe the man. His contributions to the medium is unmeasurable. He not only changed the art form but changed generations of artists. His face shouldn’t be on a mountain because he WAS a mountain.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. Rest in peace, Mr. Kubert.

  3. Just read the news…. We are loosing a lot of great creators and legends this year…. Joe was one of the greats. I really can’t say anything about this, I just can’t believe he died. I hoped to meet him some day… Reast in peace Joe.

  4. Damn that sucks. Vale Mr Kubert, you are irreplaceable.

  5. Wonderful comment about the mount r sculpture, really does make it wonderfully clear where Joe belongs in this industry and the wider cartooning world (also think we should all chip in and buy one). Will be missed, a true Legend in the true meaning of the word and accolade. Thanks for the books Joe.

  6. I’m pretty sure Joe Kubert also created the anaglyph 3D comic. Loved most of his Tarzan stuff. The guy could ink like nobody’s business.

    It’s weird, cause you know when someone gets on in age that there will be a passing, but, with living legends, it just doesn’t seem possible.

    Here’s to you Joe! In your honor, I’ll dig out all my old Sgt. Rocks!

  7. My sadness is without words!

  8. This is very sad news indeed! Joe Kubert truly was an amazing talent who taught & inspired so many. My condolences to his family & friends.

  9. Rest in Peace, your presence will definitely be missed

  10. Goodness, this is sad news. He seemed like such a genial person in every interview I ever saw and he was still doing terrific work that I’ve enjoyed very much. Dong Xoai is really great and his work with Andy recently has been top notch.

    It’s really cool that so many current creator’s went through his school, which I hope continues to publish ads with his “at least I got into the Kubert School…” artwork.

  11. Shit. Joe’s gone. I know they can’t live forever, but I really want them to. Joe’s contribution to the medium is unmeasurable. My thoughts to his family. Damn.

  12. Seven Soldiers of Victory stuff is great, and unknown solder if you haven’t seen it check out.

  13. Aw, man. Bummer.

  14. Very sad. A legend.

  15. Such a big fan of Joe Kubert…He is a legend and he will never be forgotten.My condolences to his family and friends.


  16. Thank you for all you gave us. May there be peace waiting for you.

  17. Agreed, one of the greats who shall be missed. I never felt as though I knew his work as well as I should have, but what I saw made a strong impression, especially his too, too short lived Ragman series. R.I.P.

  18. Thanks for a ton of amazing comic books sir. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. RIP.

  19. An amazing talent and a wonderful human being.

  20. Oh no. I hate to see this. I’m saddened at his passing and sorry for his family who will, no doubt, miss him terribly.

  21. A true artist in every sense of the word. His contribution to the industry was immense, and he will surely be missed. I was really looking forward to “Joe Kubert presents”, I’m sure some of it will still be released, but it will take on whole new meaning as the final work of a gifted artist. His legacy will continue in his art, his school, and of course his family.

  22. It’s always sad when the comics world loses a creator. There are few artists who measure up to the contributions of Joe Kubert. Such an amazing talent, who was a top notch talent from the time he started up until today. Between his vast work in the comics world and the amount of people who learned at his school, his influence on comics is too great to be measured. RIP to a real legend.

    • Joe and his company has created the graphics and layout for the Army’s Preventive Maintenance Monthly, PS Magazine, for more than ten years, too. This has been ‘under the radar’ of many comic fans. He even used some of his comic creations in some issues.

  23. I feel like I lose a family member or a close friend when a comics creator dies they all make there contribution to this buisness and inspire many not many men measure up to the man Joe Kubert was and my condolences to his family and not to sound selfish or anything what does this mean Joe Kubert presents mini that was supposed to come out


    JOE KUBERT!!!!!!!!! :(((

  24. This is such sad news. My heart goes out to his family & friends during this diffcult time.

    RIP Joe your presence will be deeply missed.


  25. A great loss. A legendary artist, a link to comics golden age and the teacher to generations. Mr Kubert left a legacy to be honoured and celebrated.

  26. Very sad news. Joe is a true legend of the industry and will be missed by this comic book fan.
    Thank you Joe for all the hours of entertainment you have provided me with over the years.

  27. This is the worst news I’ve heard all week. All the greats are passing these days. It is disheartening. A great man, a great artist, he was one of the best in every sense of the word.

  28. my heart sank when i saw he died

  29. Unfortunately his work is amongst the vast that I have put in the “get to it someday” category. Here’s hoping DC and other publishers keep his oeuvre in print so that I and others can enjoy the legacy he has left behind. The fact that he was still working until recent weeks is an inspiration.

  30. Comics had lost a true legend. Thoughts and good vibes to his family and friends. There will never be another like him.

  31. I felt such a blow when I read this news. RIP, Mr. Kubert, you are missed. Thank you for all the great comics you’ve written and drawn. Also, for creating your school which helps new artists learn to tend their craft. While I’m sad I never got to meet him, I am happy to have loved your art, when you were alive.

    I hope his friends and family pull through his passing.

  32. Very sad.R.I.P

  33. I am so saddened. I can’t even begin to recount the precious comic books memories I have that are associated with Mr. Kubert. I know that my love of comic books was cemented in my teens while reading a Ghost Rider comic book by Joe Kubert. I had been enjoying his work on Before Watchem, Nite Owl. He will be remembered.

  34. As soon as I read the news, I said aloud, “no, no, not Joe.”

  35. Hero, leader, legend.

    Now going to find that talksplode/don’t miss podcast from last year.

  36. Another legend of comics who’s indelible mark has definitely left a legacy. He will not be forgotten.

  37. God this is so depressing. I was so excited to hear about ‘Joe Kubert Presents’ and Nite Owl’s mini looked amazing. Can’t believe we lost such a big legend.

  38. RIP. He was a legend in his own right

  39. We’ll miss you, Joe. Thanks.

  40. So sad to hear this. Not meeting Joe at a con is now up there with not seeing Johnny Cash or Joe Strummer when I had the chance among my list of “wish I would’ve done this before it was too late.” A true legend who only got better with age. Joe will be sorely, sorely missed.

  41. So sorry to hear this news. Definitely a giant in the field. I met him at the Boston con in 2011 and he was a super-nice guy.

  42. goddamnit. the world already feels more empty.

  43. His art on a Tarzan book in 1975 cemented my love of comics. Thank you Joe.

  44. RIP Joe. Your stories are timeless.

  45. This is the type of thing that is worst case scenario when logging in to this site.

    I’m truly, truly saddened by this. What a monumental loss.

    Rest In Peace, Joe.

  46. This is so very much NOT what I was expecting or wanting to see when I checked iFanboy before bed. A sad night indeed.

  47. He will be missed. His contribution to comics is limitless and he shall always be remembered as one of the greats.

  48. A sad day for comics.

  49. An inspiring artist and an irreplaceable talent. He will be missed, and remembered fondly.

  50. I’d never really seen Joe’s work until I read his “Sgt. Rock” pieces for Wednesday Comics. They were a highlight of the series, and considering the talent on that book that’s no small praise. I really appreciated the roughness of his line work, totally fitting for the subject matter. It’s a shame he has passed, but no artist or teacher truly is gone as long as we have their work and their influence among us. Requiescat in pace.

  51. So sad. My condolences go our to his family. Joe was an incredible story teller. We comics readers and future creators are very fortunate that his legacy will live on with his school and his family members that are in the industry.

  52. So Sad is that I’m a n Upcoming Comic book artist and my uncle says I should study how the old guys did it and I was going through the internet at some sgt rock art by Joe Kubert I was literally drawing them then I was praising the guy with my uncle I just turned to my twitter and saw that he passed a way he is truly a Legend of the game and will be sorely missed

  53. Just heart-breaking. As a kid, I would always pull his books with Sgt Rock, Tor and Tarzan simply because of the illustration. He’s style is one of the cleanest sketch looks ever. His compositions were flawless. His pacing and timing let you fall into the story. Where other artists fade as they get older, Joe got better.

  54. Truly tragic, not even just in the loss of a great artist (I mean REALLY great artist), but also someone who helped many of today’s best and brightest get to where they are in the first place through the Kubert School. One of the greatest figures in the history of the industry. He will be missed.

  55. RIP. See you when I get there.

  56. One of the greatest of the great.

    His contribution was immense.

    A true gentlemen, he will be missed.

    Rest easy, soldier.

  57. So it seems DC have corrected their earlier statement after a LOT of flack.

  58. Wow, I just saw this. I was shocked. Like a slap in the face on an already crappy day. RIP and thanks for your contributions to the art form!

  59. I’ve been offline since last evening and just found out about this from my father, who took the news even harder than I did. He hasn’t read a comic in years, but he grew up on Joe’s Sgt. Rock work, and being an illustrator himself always drew real inspiration from all of Kubert’s stuff. As a result, I poured through Sgt. Rock at an early age. We’re both very sad to hear this.

    We have so few of the greats left. He was one of the best. His work was stellar right up to the end. Thanks for everything, Joe. RIP.

  60. Anyone notice an absence of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee commenting on Twitter about Mr. Kuberts passing? Seems nearly every other comic pro has…but I haven’t seen anything from DC’s two captains. Maybe I missed it…

  61. I met Mr. Kubert in the mid-1980’s when I applied to attend his art school in Dover, NJ.

    Not only did he give me great advice in our meeting, but he said something that stuck with me and always will.

    When he first entered the room I stood and shook his hand. I said it was an honor to meet him.

    He smiled and said “No, it’s just a pleasure”.

    Man, I am tearing up remembering such a nice man with such a history behind him.

    The world, and not just comics, has lost a shining light …

  62. I never had the honor of meeting Joe Kubert. However, Sgt. Rock and Enemy Ace are two of my all time favorite characters. I admit I choked up when Rock died in “Legacies”. Frank Rock and Hans Von Hammer are two of the most realistic military figures, especially with their personal aversions to war. I also enjoyed Joe’s “Tarzan” work for DC in the 1970’s. Mr. Kubert will live on through his work, his sons’ work and the Kubert School. I miss him very much.

  63. This is so sad. I’m reading this at 3.37AM and I just can’t find the right words, so I’ll just say R.I.P Mr. Kubert, and thanks…

  64. Goin back to ’67 sgt rock…man was amazing…a true star,without the likes of joe,carmine,curt,murphy etc we would’nt be bothering posting comments like this now.
    Thanks Joe an all the best to the family keep the tradition……

  65. Very sad news, RIP Joe Kubert.