Sunday, August 12, 2012

Never Stop Creating

In 1993, when I was an editor in the Epic (creator-owned) division of Marvel, there was a crazy weekend when Joe Kubert, Melisa from the manufacturing department, and I went off to Ohio in the middle of the night to go on press for Joe's first Epic "Tor" issue.

Melisa and I flew Continental, connecting via Cleveland, and our flight ran late, whereas Joe flew direct out of Newark and had to wait at the airport for us for a few hours.

He was annoyed when we sheepishly admitted to flying Continental for the frequent flyer miles.

"Are you an artist too?" The printer rep asked me this on the way to the hotel.

"No, I'm an editor and a colorist..." I started, but Joe interrupted.

"She's an artist," he said gruffly, with a stern glance at me.

We all got to bed pretty late that night, and then the printer rep called us in the middle of the night. Tor was going on press in a few minutes—this was at about four in the morning. We trundled off into a van that took us to where the first sheets of Tor came off the press.

Joe was a trooper, not at all phased by the late hour. And the thing I've never forgotten is how he studied the first proofs off the press and then he looked up—and his face was absolutely lit up. He was like a kid, delighted with wonder at the first real printing of his work.

Even at four in the morning on no sleep after all those years of seeing his previous work printed.

Joe left us earlier today, at the age of 85. He leaves behind a large family including two famous artist sons that many of us know, having worked and socialized with them over the years, as well as hundreds of alumni and teachers from the Joe Kubert School.

Joe never stopped being creative and productive, and amazingly, DC still has one more project of his that he was working on. He worked up until the end and never faltered, never produced weak material. I am honored to have worked with Joe for that short time in the early nineties, and I know he'd have no patience for me procrastinating and putting off my next books. He's an inspiration—our best days are never behind us.

And yes, I'm an artist. 

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