Joe Kubert died on August 12th, 2012. He was a highly influential comics artist, but has also written and inked comics as well as setting up a school for aspiring artists bearing his name.
I have to admit, I personally don’t care much for Kubert’s art. I find his finishing to look very rough and it detracts from the structure. I can see that he has all the fundamentals right, but it is not for me. When he inks I find that he overpowers the underlying art and makes it less appealing.
But his school has been incredible. A lot of artists have come through there over the last 25 years or so, including Joe’s sons Andy and Adam, Bart Sears, Lee Weeks, Alex Maleev (although he left early having been told they had no more to teach him), Tom Raney and Adam Warren. That’s an incredible list (and only a small selection of the people who have entered the comic industry from the school.)
Bart Sears, as rightfully maligned as he may be, is one of my main influences. He wrote a drawing column for Wizard Magazine that I have nearly all of. Thankfully his influence no longer comes through in the way I do faces but it probably does in terms of musculature and posing.
Adam Kubert is a great superhero artist. I first noticed him on his initial Wolverine run but he has had runs on other X-Men titles, notably the launch of Ultimate X-Men. He combines great use of light and dark, kineticism and expressionistic faces with sheer energy. I love his stuff.
Andy Kubert is arguably the more successful of the two brothers. I don’t care for his work as much, everyone looks to have the same face. He was the regular artist on the adjectiveless X-Men title for a great number of years and now gets high profile jobs at DC. Some of which I end up getting because he gets teamed with Grant Morrison.
Lee Weeks was the artist on Daredevil when I started buying it regularly. He is a traditional superhero artist who did great work but sadly never seems to have achieved a high profile and whose work is too sporadic and rare.
Adam Warren is a guy who brought Manga influence to American comics before it became fashionable and during and after the backlash against it. He has a different sensibility and is one of the few artists whose work I will always buy.
Tom Raney is another string superhero artist, who also worked within the X-Men offices for a while and did some issues of Stormwatch with Warren Ellis before the Authority direction. His work is always attractive.
Alex Maleev is fantastic. He joined Brian Bendis for some of the best Daredevil comics ever. For a long time I had a piece of his art as the background on my desktop. He is another guy with a strong sense of light and dark who manages to make very beautiful and naturalistic art.