Leah Moore and John Reppon interviewed by Paul Holden at On The Drawing Board.
“Jew Gangster” is one of these. There’s also “Yossel, April 19, 1943,” in which he imagines what his fate would have been if he — still an aspiring cartoonist — had not left Poland as an infant. And there’s “Fax from Sarajevo,” about the 1990s Balkan conflict.
These are experiments that would have been literally unthinkable back in 1938, when Kubert got his start in the business.
“Comic books were thought of as so lowly, it was a junk medium,” he says. “A lot of the older guys, the adults in the business, were ashamed to let people know what they were doing. They would have preferred to say they were in advertising.”
His output was extraordinary, as many as four or five fully penciled pages a day at times. In a pinch, he could even be faster: When another artist missed the deadline on a full-length Capt. America tale, Kirby drew an entire issue over a weekend.
He saved a lot of time by not planning – he simply would start drawing what he saw in his mind and develop the story as he went along. And he worked incredibly hard, anywhere from 10 to 16 hours seven days a week, with very few days off.