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