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The Art of Joe Kubert (The Joe Kubert Archives) Hardcover – October 31, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: The Joe Kubert Archives
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606994875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606994870
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 0.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bill Schelly is an Eisner-nominated comic-book and film historian; he lives in Seattle.

Approaching the middle of his ninth decade, Joe Kubert draws with more vigor than most cartoonists one third his age.

More About the Author

BILL SCHELLY has been chronicling and adding to the pop-culture fringes since the mid-1960s. He began researching the history of comic book fandom in 1991, resulting in the book The Golden Age of Comic Fandom (1995). In 1998, he became Associate Editor of the Eisner Award winning magazine Alter Ego, a post he holds to the present day. Schelly has written several biographies of film and comics artists, including movie clown Harry Langdon and comic book scribe Otto Binder. In 2008, he authored Man of Rock, a biography of Joe Kubert. His American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1950'S (2013) was nominated for a Harvey Award. Schelly's latest book is Harvey Kurtzman, The Man Who Created MAD (2015).

Customer Reviews

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A great coffee table addition to any fan of the medium.
HB Fan
A particular strength of the book is Schelly's insightful discussion of Kubert's development as an artist, and the influences he incorporated into his work.
Lazarus
I've seen my share of these types of books, and I'd say this really is one of the best.
Thomas Staczek

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lazarus on November 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Of the great comic book artists who cut their teeth in the forties, endured the attacks on comics in the fifties, labored under the comics code, and sparked the superhero revival of the sixties--Jack Kirby, Carmine Infantino, and their artistic brethren--one man remains, alive, well, and producing exciting, quality work in the second decade of the twenty-first century: Joe Kubert. A few years back, Bill Schelly wrote Man of Rock, a biography of Joe Kubert. Like any biography, it was largely (and appropriately) text. It wanted only a lavish retrospective presentation of Kubert's artwork, and now that presentation is here in the form of this well-produced coffee table book, with intelligent commentary by biographer Schelly himself.

From Kubert's earliest known surviving drawing--circa 1938--to his most recent graphic novel--Dong Xoai, Vietnam--The Art of Joe Kubert is filled with well-chosen key pieces of artwork from Kubert's career. Although the point of the text is to discuss Kubert's artwork, not to recount his life, the chronological organization, which serves to showcase Kubert's development as an artist, also affords the reader a good survey of Kubert's professional life.

A particular strength of the book is Schelly's insightful discussion of Kubert's development as an artist, and the influences he incorporated into his work. Schelly clearly admires Kubert--and why not, he's a master of the form. At the same time, he does not shy away from pointing out the weaknesses of any particular project, and supplements his own critical perceptions with well-chosen comments from other knowledgeable critics, including Richard Kyle and Kubert's professional contemporary, Gil Kane.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Staczek on October 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have long been aware of Joe Kubert's comic book artwork on such titles as Our Army at War with Sgt Rock, and on the Tarzan comics that DC did in the 1970s. He's one of the best, very dramatic and accomplished work.... but, I don't know that I would have bought a book full of his art, except this book is just so beautifully done, it's a piece of art in itself.

The Art of Joe Kubert is printed on heavy paper, 230+ pages, and it's not that slick paper that makes you jockey a book around to get the glare from your reading lamp off the page. The people at Fantagraphics obviously know how to do this kind of book, and editor Schelly's art choices are obviously the product of a lot of thought and planning. There's a substantial amount of original art reproduced, and the examples are placed so they are close to where they pieces are discussed in the text.

As for the text, I didn't get Man of Rock, Bill Schelly's biography of Kubert, but he's one of the better writers I've encountered for this sort of thing. The art and text are arranged to trace the evolution of Kubert's artwork from his start during World War II up to now (he's still working, in his 80's!), and the author obviously knows a lot about comics and comic book artwork. It reads very smoothly, and doesn't just go rah rah rah for everything the guy ever did. In fact, there's a passage where he discusses Kubert's weaknesses, and responds to criticisms of his work from another comics artist, Gil Kane.

I've seen my share of these types of books, and I'd say this really is one of the best. Nothing is perfect... there are a few tiny things that should have been caught, but very minor. The quality control here is high and the images are high resolution and stunning. Plus there are over 50 pages of complete comic strips that Kubert did in the late 1940s and early 1950s, fascinating stuff. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By HMS on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was fortunate enough to pick up an advance copy of this book at its publisher's booth at this Summer's 2011 Comic-Con in San Diego and it was well worth lugging it back home in my suitcase!

Joe Kubert is unquestionably acknowledged as one of the masters of graphic arts storytelling. It's almost impossible to grasp, but the man has been drawing comics for parts of nine decades (and is still at it in 2011)... Any attempt to study, analyze and describe the artist's prodigious amount of work would have to be considered a daunting task. Schelly is worthy of the challenge, which shouldn't be a surprise since he wrote a biography of Kubert in 2008 called Man of Rock (an excellent book, by the way).

But I wondered.... Having already covered the life of Kubert, what else would the author have to say in this new book? It turns out Schelly takes a different approach in "The Art of Joe Kubert," this time tracing the influences, development and stylistic shifts in the artist's work in all the phases of Kubert's career, from the earliest of beginnings right up through today. There's some biographical material but it's mainly about the comics and artwork.

As for the book itself, TAoJK is a very, very impressive package. Larger than a comic book (9 x 12), the book is filled with beautiful full color reproductions of Kubert's artwork, including several complete, and somewhat obscure, stories from the late 40s and early 50s, many covers spanning his decades of work (reproduced in larger-than-comics size), sample pages of original art, and countless other gems from the artist's remarkable career.

Schelly's writing style is informative, historically revelatory, anecdotal and most importantly, it entertained me and maintained my interest all the way through.
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