I am, and always will be at least in some part, a Kubie. Of all of the schools I have spent time in, I’ve only ever called myself a Kubie. There are far more of us than I think the world suspects. I run into them all the time, and its a certain sort of kinship born of the experience of drafty, wooden-floored classrooms, very small computer labs, and the stories, oh so many stories, of studying under some of the most talented names in comics and finding out just how human these people were. Judy Mates, Barry Bryant, Tex Blaisdell, Kevin O’Hara, Greg Webb, Doug Compton, C.J., Mike Chen and the many others I know I’ve missed, my thanks to you all. You were tough. Sometimes overly so. Still, I learned all I could from all of you and am better for it.
Mostly, thank you, Joe, for bringing such talent together to teach me, giving me a place to learn what I wanted to know and to explore my art with teachers and fellow students who were as excited as I was with the art and creation of comics. You started this all in an era when being a comic artist was looked down upon by the art world at large; when the work you created was considered immature by the world in general. Back before the X-Men were cool, back before comics were sold in mainstream book stores and made into blockbuster movie hits, back when comics were so ashamed of the name ‘comics’ that they called themselves ‘Graphic Novels’ to try and avoid the stigma, you saw that there were those of us who loved the art and built a place where we could find each other and learn.
Your work and effort has not only touched millions in the comics pages you created, but lives on every single day as the students who passed thru your school work, create, and share their art with those around them. Thank you for going the extra mile and giving us a place to call our own.