Review: Man Of Rock, by Bill Schelly
Now Bill has shifted his sights to a man whose own career has mirrored the growth of the medium: Joe Kubert. One of the first generation of comics artists by virtue of his seeking, and getting, employment when he was 11, he got into comics about the same time that Superman did. Joe has continued to write, draw and edit comics to this day. Best known for his work on [[[Hawkman]]], [[[Sgt. Rock]]], [[[Tarzan]]] and his own creation, [[[Tor]]], Joe has also been a pioneer in the direct sales comics movement (Sojourn) and in the modern graphic novel movement.
Kubert is at least as well-known for his work as America’s primary educator of cartoonists: his Kubert School in New Jersey has given us dozens of first-rate talent – from Timothy Truman to Tom Mandrake, from Alex Maleev to Shane Davis, plus a couple of kids named Kubert.
Swell. Everybody’s got a favorite artist, and Kubert’s mine. I’ve waxed poetic about the man before. So, for Schelly to entertain and educate me, well, that’s quite a task.
One Bill met well in his biography Man of Rock: A Biography of Joe Kubert , published by Fantagraphics Books. He did a first-rate job, giving us Kubert’s comprehensive story and interviewing Joe and a great many others. He gives us the story of [[[Tor]]] publisher Archer St. John and his “involvement” with (read: target of) the Capone mob, his days at Harvey, EC, and DC… the whole kit and caboodle.
We’ve recently been offered excellent biographies of comics masters Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Joe Kubert has deserved similar treatment, and he’s received just that in Bill Schelly’s hands. I heartedly recommend it to all fans of the medium, its history, and its masters. It’s available through your friendly neighborhood comics shop, through Fantagraphics, and through Bill’s own Hamster Press.