WEDNESDAY COMICS: The Kuberts

Wed, July 22nd, 2009 at 10:09am PDT | Updated: July 22nd, 2009 at 10:09am

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

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"Wednesday Comics" #3 on sale now

While you no are no doubt packing your bags in preparation for San Diego Comic-Con International (and if you’re not, you wish you were), CBR News didn’t want you to miss out on your weekly look-in at DC Comics’ new series “Wednesday Comics.”

Presented in a broadsheet format (14 inches by 20 inches), the 12-week series features 15 strips written and illustrated by Eisner Award winners like Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Mike Allred and Kurt Busiek. And with DC icons Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman standing tall beside lesser-known characters like Adam Strange, Metamorpho and Deadman, there is truly something for everybody.

Every Wednesday, CBR presents a new interview with the creators bringing this unique title to life, along with remarks from series editor and DC Art Director Mark Chiarello. However, we gave Mark the week off as he polishes the eighth issue of “Wednesday Comics,” but in his stead we have a double dose of Kubert – Joe and Adam.

The father-and-son team have joined forces to tell a Sgt. Rock story, and both all-star creators come to the project with a different view. Joe Kubert, the 82-year old living legend, actually created Sgt. Rock 50 years ago with writer Bob Kanigher. The military hero made his debut in June 1959 in “Our Army at War” #83. Four months later, his son Adam was born.

For Adam Kubert, who illustrated the “Superman: Last Son” storyline for Geoff Johns and Richard Donner before returning to Marvel with an exclusive contract, this Sgt. Rock story is his first foray into comics writing. And his father couldn’t be more proud.

Story continues below

Q&A WITH “WEDNESDAY COMICS” WRITER ADAM KUBERT

CBR: What was it about “Wednesday Comics” that made you want to jump on board as part of the A-list creative team?

Adam Kubert: First of all, having the opportunity to write for my dad was something that I didn’t want to turn down. Mark Chiarello approached me on that and it took me all of half a second to say yes. And then I found out what the project was and the more I heard about the project, there was no way I would turn it down or not do it.

Working with your father must be a very special and unique experience?

Oh, absolutely. I know anything I write, he’s going to make look good. [laughs] I guess that’s what every writer wants is to work with a good artist. So first shot out of the gate, to work with my dad, it’s great. Not to mention, whenever an opportunity like this comes up, to work with either Andy [my younger brother] or my dad, if I have the time for it, I’ll jump.

Unlettered Sgt. Rock page from "Wednesday Comics"

This is your first writing gig, correct?

I’ve never done any writing, which makes it even weirder that they were asking me to do it. But it was flattering, exciting and scary all at the same time.

Did you write the story with your dad in mind?

Of course. I mean, it’s a Sgt. Rock story so anything that has to do with Sgt. Rock is something he’d be good at. What was hard to figure out was what kind of story to do. And I did a bunch of reading and picked up some books and before I knew it, I had a story.

Has your work on “Wednesday Comics” inspired you to look for other writing projects?

Yeah, as a matter of fact, I would like to do other writing projects. This broke the ice for me.

Were you a fan of Sgt. Rock coming into this project?

Growing up as a kid, the army books were my least favorite but I knew the characters, I’ve read them, I’ve lettered them, and I’ve admired my dad’s work on them so I was very familiar with the characters.

As an artist, when your father's pages came in, even though Joe Kubert’s a legend, were you like, “Man, that’s cool but I would have done something different?”

I tried to step back from being too visual. I wanted to write and not think of the story visually so when my dad started drawing the pages, it was just amazing to see his interpretation of what was written.

Initial reaction to “Wednesday Comics” has been very positive. Do you think it will capture the industry’s collective imagination this summer?

I’ve seen some parachutes of it and I’ve seen a bunch of stuff online and it’s pretty exciting to be a part of this. There are top creators across board. What a massive undertaking for Chiarello to coordinate all these guys who are hard to coordinate by themselves, much less all together in a weekly comic.

You were exclusive with DC. And now you are exclusive with Marvel. Did you have to get permission to participate in DC’s “Wednesday Comics?”

This was just an exception. I let them know this was something that I was working on prior to going to Marvel and I wanted to keep doing it.

What else are you working on at the House of Ideas?

Right now I’m working on a Spider-Man project. We’re doing a bunch of one-shots called, “The List.” And I’m doing one of those about Norman Osborn with Dan Slott. I’ve never drawn a regular Spider-Man comic other than when he appeared in a Wolverine story that I just did. And I’m really, really psyched to do it.

Do you have a list of characters and heroes you want to draw during your career? I know you went to DC specifically so you’d have a chance at drawing Superman.

I am always looking to do something different and jumping from one iconic character to another. I really don’t have a favorite character or characters on my to-do list other than ones that I haven’t done before. I just enjoy doing different things.

Q&A WITH “WEDNESDAY COMICS” ARTIST JOE KUBERT

CBR: Your son Adam said the main reason he was involved with “Wednesday Comics” was because it provided him an opportunity to work with you. You must be thrilled, as well, to be working with your son?

Joe Kubert: Oh, it was terrific. As a matter of fact, I think Mark Chiarello knew that would be a deciding factor as far as me getting involved with this was concerned. It was a pleasure. It’s always a pleasure working with both Adam and Andy. Any time, they have any problems or need any help, which is very rare anyhow, I’m more than happy to jump in.

You’ve worked with dozens if not hundreds of writers during your career. This is Adam’s first writing assignment. How did he do?

I thought he did really well. He laid out the story. It was an interesting story. I think it worked well for the character. He adhered to the characteristics of the character. This character has been around so goddamn long, he’s been in every kind of story, but I think Adam pulled off something a little bit more unusual, a little bit more interesting and it was a big kick for me to do it.

You spoke about his longevity. You created Sgt. Rock with Joe Kanigher 50 years ago and yet people are still telling his stories. Why do think he’s endured as a character?

I give all the credit to Bob Kanigher. He’s the guy who created the character and gave it to me to illustrate and it just worked out really well. But I think the reason for his longevity is the fact he’s believable, he’s credible. Bob’s idea was to make him as credible as possible. And I think both he and I succeeded at that.

What are readers going to love about this particular Sgt. Rock story?

The story is highly emotional, which really grabbed me. It’s the kind of story that shows the feelings of somebody who is estranged and embattled. It keeps in character. That’s one of the reasons that I felt so good about it. It keeps in character the kind of person that I think Bob Kanigher had in mind, and that I think, I have a feeling to draw. It’s realistic. It’s credible. And hopefully, it’s believable. I think it’s a story that although it involves an era during World War II, it could happy anyplace, or anywhere, with any sort of a conflict or war or revolution.

We’ve talked about your history with the character. Do you love coming back to work on Sgt. Rock, whenever you get a chance?

Once I really concentrate on a character, if it’s on my table that’s what I’m working on, I have a tendency to block out everything else. For instance, I just finished a Hawkman cover. And I’m doing a Hawkman story for a book that I’m going to be editing and putting out from DC. So right now, it’s all Hawkman.

Sgt. Rock is an important character to me but he’s not the most important. I enjoy doing every character that I’ve worked on.

I think part of the enjoyment is that it’s a challenge, for every story that I do, to try and get more into it, to try and get more impact, and more emotion. So it would be hard for me to say that Rock is one of my favorites. I happen to be a very fortunate guy and I can select the work that I want to do. How lucky can you get?

Can you tell us anymore about that Hawkman project?

Well the cover I’m doing is actually a request from [DC editor] Wil Moss, who is working on something with Hawkman, Superman and some other heroes. The Hawkman story I’m doing is for one of a series of books that I’m doing for DC. It’s going to be a 48-page anthology and I’m going to have guys like Sam Glanzman and people of that ilk, who are going to be working on it with me. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m going to be writing, drawing, editing. I’m putting together this book for DC and it’s going to be called, the tentative title anyhow, “Joe Kubert Presents.” My purpose of it is to put out the kind of book, I like to read.

It’s going to be six issues and we probably won’t see the first one until I finish at least four of them so I don’t trip over my own feet as far as deadlines are concerned. I would guess it would probably be out some time next year.

“Wednesday Comics” #3 is on sale now from DC Comics. Be sure to check back next when we discuss The Flash with Karl Kerschl, and don’t forget to email us your questions for Mark Chiarello.

TAGS:  wednesday comics, joe kubert, adam kubert, dc comics, sgt. rock

 
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