And Then I Read: TOR 1

© Tell-A-Graphics, Inc.

There’s something about Joe Kubert drawing naturalistic comics that really works for me, and he’s been doing it nearly as long as I’ve been alive, which for a comics artist is quite a long run. The original Tor stories appeared in the early 1950s, well before I was reading comics, but I first noticed Joe’s work on the Silver Age HAWKMAN from DC, and later came to love it on DC’s run of TARZAN in the 1970s. Joe’s loose, almost sketchy inks over very knowledgable pencils work particularly well on stories where nature is the setting rather than cities and buildings, unless you’re talking about the bombed-out and broken buildings of World War II Europe, where his celebrated long run on SGT. ROCK took place.

Some artists undergo a change in style as they age, usually unintentional, probably a product of physical changes in motor skills, vision, and so on. Joe Kubert’s work looks the same to me as it did in the 1960s, and really hardly changed at all from his original Tor stories that DC reprinted a few years ago. I think the looseness he began with continues to work in his favor. The layout and storytelling skills are still just as strong, too. Some of the faces seem to have too many lines, but that’s a small, unimportant detail. Sure, the concept of a caveman in a world of prehistoric creatures is nothing new, but Joe does a lot with it. This comic is great fun to read, and his love for the character and the medium of comics is still shining through strongly.

Nothing to do with the comic, but I was sad to hear of the passing recently of Joe’s wife Muriel, his partner in life and business, and mother of his equally talented sons. I never met her, but I think her influence and legacy are clear, and I offer my sincere condolences.

One thought on “And Then I Read: TOR 1

  1. Bryan Stroud

    I’ve been reading Joe’s latest run on TOR as soon as I got word (courtesy of the Kubert school mailing list, where I’ve somehow managed to land) and agree that there is no discernible diminishing of Joe’s talent. It’s like taking a visit through time back to the spectacular Silver Age and enjoying new work. Really great stuff and I hope there’s more after this six issue run has ended.

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