Andy Kubert
For those of you who think talent is something you're born with and not something you learn, take a lesson from Andy Kubert. You would think that being the son of Joe Kubert, one of the most prestigious comic artists of the '50s and '60s, Andy would have been exhibiting artistic talents in the crib. But Andy's interest in art did not sprout until he was in high school, and even then he only took one class in commercial art. After high school, Andy entered his father's celebrated School of Cartoon Art on the assumption that he would work in the school's administration upon graduation. But he got so totally involved with his own art that he decided to pursue a career in it. Though he had always taken his father's livelihood for granted, Andy suddenly realized how fun it could actually be! Joe Kubert took his son under his wing and taught Andy how to letter comic books. Andy figured if a career in art failed, he could always fall back on this specialized talent. He began his career lettering back-up stories in DC's Sgt. Rock series that his father was drawing. He soon found himself lettering prestigious graphic novels like Epic Comics' Void Indigo and Time Spirits. Finally, Joe Kubert felt his son had learned enough to help him draw backgrounds in his comic books. Shortly thereafter, Larry Hama, then an editor at Marvel Comics, offered Andy his first chance to pencil and ink a story on his own in The Savage Sword of Conan. Following that momentous event, Andy filled his father's shoes as the regular artist on the bi-monthly adventures of Sgt. Rock. Soon Andy found himself as the artist-of-choice on such prestigious mini-series as Doc Savage, Adam Strange, a special Wolverine one-shot, and four issues of Ghost Rider. In 1991, Andy Kubert made the leap to stardom when he was offered to pencil Marvel's top-selling comic, the X-Men, on a monthly basis. Andy happily remained on the X-Men for five years. Despite the fact that he only provided the pencil art, Andy's enthusiasm never wavered. He realized early on that no matter how much he enjoyed what he was doing, it was still a job that had to get done on time. If he had taken on both the penciling and inking chores, Andy admits that he never could have adhered to the book's rigid monthly schedule. "My father used to say that he retired ever since he started drawing," Andy chuckles. "Now I see what he means! The only time this seems like work to me is when there's deadline pressures." Other than his father, Andy's influences are divided into two categories: the old school and the new. Among his older influences are Alex Raymond, Alex Toth, Milt Caniff, Russ Heath, and Neal Adams. But because he is always trying to keep his style fresh, he admires the work of his young contemporaries, like Jim Lee, Mark Silvestri, Michael Golden, Mark Schultz, Lee Weeks, Ron Garney and Mike Mignola. Andy thrilled his fans on Marvel's new series, Ka-Zar. "Ka-Zar is great because it's only one character, some cool dinosaurs, and some spectacular settings," Andy admits. "But I'd never trade the fantastic experience I had drawing the X-Men. If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it in a second!"