The Kubert School, formerly the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art or Joe Kubert School, located in Dover, New Jersey, is a three-year technical school that teaches the principles of sequential art and the particular craft of the comics industry as well as commercial illustration. The Kubert School was and still is the only accredited school devoted entirely to cartooning.

The school's instructors are full-time professionals working in the industry, many of them graduates of the school themselves, and the instruction is hands-on and practical. The school has a reputation for demanding and intensive coursework. Its alumni include Amanda Conner, Lee Weeks, and Alex Maleev, as well as many other successful and well-known comics pencilers and inkers.


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The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art was founded in September 1976 by cartoonist Joe Kubert and his wife Muriel in Dover's former high school, whose tall windows offered optimal lighting. Its first graduating class of 1978 included Stephen R. Bissette, Thomas Yeates, and Rick Veitch.

Founder and teacher Kubert kept his own studio in the school, later joined by his sons Adam and Andy, who are also comic book professionals and who teach at the school.

Campus and student body

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The three official student houses are the Carriage House and Mansion, former site of the school at 45 Lehigh Street, in Dover, and the Clinton House at 145 W. Clinton Street. The school houses the Kubert Art Store, which sells art supplies needed for assignments, such as books and drafting tables.

There are usually no more than 150 students attending the school at any time. As well as regular weekday classes, the school also holds a weekly class every Saturday, which are available for people who are not enrolled in the main program. The class is on basic lessons in cartooning, and is taught by Fernando Ruiz and Fabio Redivo.

The school has students from as far away as Japan and Malaysia, in addition to students from the local area. Kubert expressed the school's philosophy in a 2003 profile:


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All classes at The Kubert School are mandatory. There are ten classes a week, two classes a day. Each class is two hours and forty-five minutes.

First Year

  • "Introduction to Animation" teaches the fundamentals of traditional hand-drawn animation. Students learn to produce simple animations, including a walk cycle. Taught by Doug Compton.
  • Production I" teaches basic Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, color theory and computer lettering.
  • "Humor & Caricature I" teaches how to caricature humans, as well as production of humorous comic strips. Taught by Rod Ollerenshaw and John Hazard.
  • "Design I" teaches fundamentals of design. Assignments typically include solving problems relating to composition and design theory, as applied to fine art, illustration, and cartooning. Taught by Alec Stevens.
  • "Lettering" teaches comic book lettering, in both dialogue and sound effect fonts. Taught by Hy Eisman (Popeye, The Katzenjammer Kids), John Hazard, and Rod Ollerenshaw.
  • "Basic Drawing I" teaches the fundamentals of drawing, including lighting, rendering, composition, and perspective. Taught by Tom Mandrake and Jan Duursema").
  • "Layout I" teaches the fundamentals of layout in single illustrations, advertisements, film posters, etc. Taught by Bob Hardin.
  • "Figure Drawing I" is a life drawing class, typically featuring a live nude male or female model. Basics of human anatomy are also covered. Taught by Joel Tidey.
  • "Methods and Materials I" teaches use of various tools used for comic production, including inking with brushes and crow quill pens, Duoshade, scratchboard, Dr. Ph. Martin dyes, and more. Taught by Mike Chen and Kim DeMulder.
  • "Narrative Art I" teaches the production of finished sequential art, from thumbnail to rough layout, to penciled pages, and sometimes finished inked and/or lettered pages. Actual sequential pages usually make up about 10% of the assignments for this class. Taught by Fernando Ruiz.

Second Year

  • "Narrative Art II" continues the lesson on sequential art. Actual sequential pages usually make up about 50% of the assignments for this class. Taught by Andy Kubert ("X-Men," "Batman").
  • "Basic Drawing II" teaches intermediate drawing skills, and expands upon the foundations taught in First Year. Taught by Kim DeMulder.
  • "Layout and Design I" teaches computer production, including computer lettering (Adobe Illustrator), computer coloring (Adobe Photoshop), and page production (QuarkXPress). Taught by Giovani Valletta.
  • "Humor & Caricature II" continues caricature lessons and production of humorous comic strips. Taught by John Hazard.
  • "Human Figure II" is a second year life drawing class. In depth study of human anatomy (bones and muscles, and superficial appearances, utilizing a live model). Alec Stevens, instructor.
  • "Advertising Illustration" teaches production of advertising material, such as posters, CD covers, and T-shirts. Taught by Brian Buniak.
  • "Color Illustration I" teaches color theory and how to produce paintings in such media as acrylic paint and watercolor. Taught by Marco Cutrone.
  • "Methods and Materials II" teaches painting methods such as acrylic paint, watercolor, and airbrush. Taught by Todd Doney.
  • "Story Adaptation" teaches how to take a story from a medium such as novels or poems, and adapt them to comic book format. This class is generally referred to as the "second narrative class" of JKS Year Two. Taught by Michael Kraiger.
  • "Business of Cartoon Art I" teaches how to market oneself as an artist, and how to look for and secure jobs. Taught by Darren Auck, former Marvel Comics editor.

Third Year

  • "Humor & Caricature III" continues caricature lessons and production of humorous comic strips. Taught by Brian Buniak.
  • "Advanced Techniques and the Development of Style" teaches advanced techniques in art, including composition, layout, design, and rendering. Taught by Jan Duursema.
  • "Human Figure II" is another life drawing class, and teaches advanced human anatomy. Recently taught by Kim DeMulder.
  • "Sequential Art" is the third Narrative Art class, and actual sequential pages make up roughly 90% of the assignments. Taught by Adam Kubert.
  • "Layout and Design II" has a focus on website building, and learning Macromedia Dreamweaver and Macromedia Flash. Taught by Giovani Valletta.
  • "Sketching and Layout" typically contains all manner of commercial art assignments, including sequential art, posters, logo design, and more. Finished artwork is usually not necessary for a grade. Taught by Mike Chen.
  • "Business of Art II" continues the lesson on marketing oneself as an artist. Taught by Darren Auck.
  • "Writing" teaches how to write scripts for comics, and how to develop characters and plots. Taught by Michael Kraiger.
  • "Color Illustration II" continues the lesson on color theory and painting. Oil painting is typically introduced this year. Marco Cutrone.
  • "Methods and Materials III" continues the lesson on painting. Oil painting is also covered in this class. Taught by Joel Tidey.

Notable alumni

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  • Pete Abrams, creator of the Sluggy Freelance webcomic
  • Robert D. Anderson III, director/animator of The Simpsons.
  • Darren Auck, former Marvel Comics editor, Joe Kubert School instructor
  • Doug Baron, creator of Sugar Ray Finhead comic book
  • Phil Balsman, letterer for DC Comics
  • Gabe Bridwell, artist on Noble Causes
  • Stephen R. Bissette, artist for Swamp Thing during Alan Moore's run
  • Garry Brown, artist for 2000 AD, The Massive.
  • Robert Campanella, inker on Green Arrow, Batgirl (DC Comics), Spider-Man, Doomwar, Deadpool (Marvel Comics)
  • Mike Chen, current school administrator
  • Sherm Cohen, storyboard artist, writer and director on SpongeBob SquarePants. Attended from 1983 to 1985 as Paul Sherman Cohen.
  • Anna-Maria Cool, artist on Barbie, Elvira, Toto of Oz, former Hallmark Cards artist
  • Toby Cypress, artist on The Tourist and Rodd Racer
  • Shane Davis, artist on Batman, Mystery in Space and Superman/Batman.
  • Kim DeMulder, inker on Swamp Thing
  • Dave Dorman, Star Wars artist
  • Dan Duncan, illustrator and artist for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW)
  • Jan Duursema, artist on Star Wars
  • Elisa Féliz, artist on Charmed (comics), Womanthology, founder of XSIDE Comics and Elliz Clothing
  • Jared K. Fletcher, letterer for DC Comics
  • Jerry Fuchs, Fooksie, flash animator, cartoonist
  • Mark Gonyea, author of Children's Book-of-The-Month Club selection, A Book about Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Good and Another Book About Design: Complicated Doesn't Make it Bad.
  • Micah Gunnell, artist on Shrugged and Soulfire
  • Matt Hollingsworth, colorist on Daredevil, Preacher and Hellboy.
  • Morry Hollowell, colorist on various Marvel Comics titles including Civil War, and frequent Steve McNiven collaborator.
  • Mark Irwin, inker, art director, Upper Deck Entertainment
  • Karl Kesel, inker turned writer for Marvel Comics and DC Comics
  • Scott Kolins, penciler on The Flash and Beyond!
  • Michael Kraiger, former Marvel Comics editor, writer for Scooby-Doo and Ed, Edd n Eddy comics
  • Adam Kubert, one son of Joe Kubert himself, and brother of Andy Kubert. Has been published by Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, and many others.
  • Andy Kubert, one son of Joe Kubert himself, and brother of Adam Kubert. Has been published by Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, and many others.
  • Jason F. Lambert, colorist on various CrossGen Comics titles, such as Meridian, Ruse, and Marvel Comics titles such as Elektra and Call of Duty.
  • Brian G. Lefevre, artist/writer of creator-owned comic book Shifter and co-founder of Sho 'Nuff Studios.
  • Steve Lieber, Eisner Award winning artist on Whiteout: Melt, and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel
  • Alex Maleev, artist on Daredevil
  • Tom Mandrake, artist on Batman and The Punisher
  • Bill Pressing, storyboard artist for The Venture Bros. Season 1, creator of Rex Steele:Nazi Smasher comic and current Pixar artist.
  • Rags Morales, artist of Identity Crisis, JSA, and other titles for DC Comics
  • David Nakayama, artist on Proximity Effect, Witchblade and City of Heroes
  • Dan Parent, artist for Archie Comics
  • Mike Pellerito, president and managing editor of Archie Comics
  • Ed Piskor, artist on Deviant Funnies and Isolation Chamber and Harvey Pekar collaborator
  • Andy Price, artist on Quantum Leap and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comics
  • Ron Randall, creator of Trekker.
  • Tom Raney, artist on Thor, Stormwatch and Ultimate X-Men
  • Fernando Ruiz, artist of Archie Comics
  • Damion Scott, former artist on Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and featured artist in issue #10 of Solo
  • Sean Sexton, supervising animator at DreamWorks Animation
  • Eric Shanower, Eisner Award winning creator of Age of Bronze
  • Blair D. Shedd, comic book pinup artist, sketch card artist, illustrator of Doctor Who for IDW Publishing, ZombieBomb! for Terminal Press
  • Barry T. Smith, creator of the Angst Technology webcomic
  • Alec Stevens, artist on The Sandman, illustrator for The New York Times Book Review and The New Yorker magazine
  • Gabe Swarr, animation director for Spümcø (Ren & Stimpy)
  • Don Swartzentruber, owner of Caricature Sideshow, and contemporary artist.
  • Andre Szymanowicz, artist on Elephantmen, Popgun 3 and Comic Book Tattoo from Image Comics. Colorist on various titles from DC Comics.
  • Timothy Truman, artist on GrimJack and writer on Conan
  • John Totleben, artist on Miracleman and inker on Swamp Thing
  • Rob Tornoe, New Jersey and Delaware editorial cartoonist for The Press of Atlantic City, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and others.
  • Rick Veitch, artist on Swamp Thing and Miracleman
  • Brandon Vietti, Emmy-winning director of The Batman animated series on Kids' WB, as well as animation director on The Brave and the Bold
  • John-Marc Grob, FriendFish kids series, colorist with Joe Kubert Punisher, Meca Manga Bible Heroes, video games Disney Goofy, Rocky and Bullwinkle. animated series.
  • Adam Warren, artist/writer for the American Dirty Pair comic adaptations, Livewires, Gen¹³ and others.
  • Charles Paul Wilson III, artist of The Stuff of Legend
  • Mike Wolfer, artist of Avatar Press's Lady Death, Night of the Living Dead (comic adaption) and Gravel
  • Derrick J. Wyatt, character designer on Teen Titans, Legion of Super-Heroes animated series and now Transformers Animated.
  • Thomas Yeates, comic book and comic strip artist known for his work on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
  • Mike Yosh, lead gameplay animator at Naughty Dog


External links

  • Official website

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