Got It Covered: Meet the Next Generation of the Kubert Family
Oct 25, 2020
by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
If you think the path to creative discovery is a one-lane highway, you're mistaken. Art has and always will provide you with distinct, unexpected avenues. Even when your patrimony has been steeped in comic books since birth. "I didn't really read comic books until I was 19-20 years old," admits artist Emma Kubert. "When I was younger, I read newspaper strips like Calvin and Hobbes and Farside, and Cartoon Network comics like Powerpuff Girls and Scooby-Doo, but it wasn't what got me into them."
Emma Kubert is the most recent member of the celebrated Kubert family to enter into the field of funny books. Her grandfather Joe Kubert was the first to make the Kubert name synonymous with comics. His work on characters like Sgt. Rock and Hawkman helped usher in the "Silver Age." With his wife Muriel, Joe would go on to found The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. An institution that would produce a number of comic book talents, including fan-favorite X-Men artists Andy and Adam Kubert. Katie Kubert (Emma's cousin) would also make a name for herself in comics. Thriving as an editor for both DC and Marvel throughout the 2010s.
Despite all that heritage, it was the husband and wife duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti that truly anchored Emma to the medium. Specifically, their work on Harley Quinn. "Seeing a quirky, silly, weird female protagonist was just what I needed to dive into the bigger world of comics," Emma explains. She's quick to note, however, that creating art has always been with her. "I've loved drawing and creating stories ever since I could hold a pencil. It didn't matter what was happening around me, I always found myself drawing and loving every minute of it...it was always there." "I love being able to flesh out every aspect of a character and a situation and draw a story like someone would film a movie."
That passion for imagery ultimately brought her to her grandfather's technical school. (Because -- let's be real here -- if your grandfather was an industry legend...wouldn't you?) It was there that Emma met her Inkblot collaborator. "While I was at the Kubert School, they would have very open assignments and encourage their students to create their own stories," Emma recalls. "I created Inkblot for a concept art assignment, and I've been working on the idea ever since with the development help of Rusty Gladd."
Inkblot is Emma and Rusty's "high-fantasy" adventure. Published by Image Comics, the series is a tale of hot pursuit! Where a determined sorceress is hellbent on destroying a mystical feline. The sorceress hunts down this cat in an attempt to undo her greatest mistake. A mistake that could unravel time, space, and reality. "Each cover we create for Inkblot portrays a snippet of the story inside," Emma says, "so I want the audience to really grasp the concept that this cat is leading you to strange lands, weird characters, and new adventures." "We try to portray this mystical silly cat, always being on a journey."
Just like her story inside Inkblot -- and similar to how she was bit by the comic book bug -- Emma seems to be embracing her ongoing creative journey. And she's aware that that excursion has just begun. "My motto has always been to 'hit the ground running', so by the end of my last year at the Kubert School, I started to pursue and receive professional assignments from notable companies. [However,] I still believe I'm at the beginning of my career. So I hope to grow in this industry, create more stories, and to simply put it, be a 'pro'".
Inkblot #1 and 2 are available now at your local comic shop. Look out for Inkblot #3 (featured here) when it hits comic shop shelves on November 4th.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes BAMN, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.