Saturday, August 30, 2008

Justice League of America #258: Kubert School Edition

"Ok, what the hell is this?" I can sense you wondering.

Well, back in 1987, I was busy preparing as much portfolio-level art material as I could, since late in 1988 I would be showing my book to *the* Joe Kubert, and see if I could get into the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art.

So while I had lots and lots of single-page illustrations that I deemed worthy of inclusion, I wanted something special...something impressive.

So I decided I would draw my own version of a comic book--the entire book--and ink it, color it, and bind it, virtually guaranteeing my admission. No way would Joe Kubert be able to turn someone one down who had this much passion for the art of comic book storytelling!

So let's take a look at few pages of this masterpiece:
sg Joe, upon seeing this, didn't call DC and tell them he was sending this prodigy over right then and there, I don't know.

Many of you must be wondering, how the hell did I get into the Kubert School with this level of work in my portfolio? Well, first off, there was a sharp improvement between the material I was putting together in 1987/1988 and when I finally arrived at the school, in September 1989.

Also, the rumor about the school was they would take nearly anyone, as long they seemed to have the passion to do the work, since the workload would be so heavy. So while I didn't have very much natural drawing ability (I still don't), I certainly did have the passion.

(Its kind of funny, considering how much I loved the JLA, that I chose this issue to draw, not one featuring Superman, Batman, and of course Aquaman--I'm guessing it was because it was easier to draw this story, which centers around a tiny group of people. I was no Dick Dillin.)

Clearly, I couldn't do a better job than original artist Luke McDonnell, but I thought maybe I could find a way to tell the story in a different way. Looking over it, there are a couple of sequences that I think are well laid out. Designing has always been my main artistic passion, much more so than drawing. It was like that in 1988, its like that now.

So while I can goof on this book all I want, it did get me into the school, so I guess it wasn't a wasted effort.

Ok, so after ten months, around 300 posts, a few fascinating talks with JLA writers and artists, and a lot of fun, JLA Satellite has come to end.

When I first came up with the idea for this blog, I rejected it because I knew the blog would have to come to an end--this wasn't Action Comics: The Blog, or anything, so why start a blog that I knew would end less than a year later?

But over time, the thing I thought was the blog's main weakness started looking like a strength to me--I wouldn't have to desperately contrive material to have something to post, it would focus solely on the book--it would be a "limited series" blog. I liked that idea--let's do 'er!

I deeply appreciate all of you who stuck with me during this blog's run, especially during its rough first month or two, where my general lack of passion for those early issues I think came through in the summaries. I think it wasn't until we hit one of my favorites eras of the book--the mid-1960s--that I think the blog really took off.

If I was to participate in a little armchair psychology, I would say, as a kid, I was attracted to comics--and specifically superhero comics--because of the adolescent power fantasies contained therein, like most little boys who discover comics, I'm sure.

But it was the Justice League of America--the concept and the book--that really became the center of my comic book world, because it seemed like a group of people I would want to hang out with--brave and courageous, but also a nice, friendly group of people. And they get to hang out in outer space! What's not to love?

I hope that anyone in the future who wants to find out more about the original JLA can use my blog, and it will certainly stay here on the internets in perpetuity. I wanted to pay tribute to my childhood heroes, and I like to think I did a pretty good job.

Thanks, everyone!


Rick said...

Sorry to hear that the blog is ending. I know I didnt read it everyday but I enjoyed coming here and hanging with the JLA and you. I am taking a page out of your book (post out of your blog?) from yesterday's posting by asking people to tell me about their favorite issue of the team-up magazines. Please tell me yours & I will post it. This wasn't meant to be an ad I am sorry if it sounds like it.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci said...

Wonderful job, Rob! JLA Satellite was my first stop every morning - well, after the Aquaman Shrine - and I always thoroughly enjoyed it. Your love of the series and your general positive attitude always came thru even when you may have been discussing issues that weren't your favorites (or dealing with sometimes snarky posters like me!)

Congrats. I know I'll be revisiting in the future and rereading some of my fav posts.

rob! said...

rick- thanks for stopping by. the "your favorite issues" idea is hardly mine, so run with it!

vince--thanks for commenting, and thanks for mentioning my "general positive attitude"--i want all my blogs to read like that. i may goof on something, but for the most part i love what i'm talking about, and i'm glad that shows through.

thanks for visiting so regularly, and congrats for being our one and only contest winner!

Scurvy said...

Great blog. A monumental undertaking, and very informative. I think it serves as a great reference point to anyone looking for history and ifo about the worlds greatest heros! Well done sir!

russell said...

Thanks for all the hard work, Rob. I, too, hit this and the Aquaman Shrine every morning before I started my day. What will I do now that it's gone?!? Maybe you should get your MASH blog up, eh?

Thanks again for the fun ride.

rob! said...


thanks, sir! i always hope my blogs straddle the line between One Nerd's POV and being a historically-accurate reference work.


you found my MASH thing, huh? nice detective work. :)

actually, my "replacement" for the JLA is blog is ready to go, and i'll formally announce it on the Shrine on Monday.

but i did drop a big hint on yesterday's post (cue cryptic laugh).

wich2 said...

Very cool post, Mr. K - and again, congrats on the "JLA Robblog"!

-Craig W.

glmmrtwn said...

Hey Rob, thanks for all the fun reading! It seems we were both reading the JLA at the same time, the early to mid 80's, and it was great to hear someone else's take on that period. My favorite part of the blog was the interview with Gerry Conway. Will keep my eyes peeled for your new blog project.

Outburst said...

Thanks for having done this.
You did a great job!

Tick-Tock Tyler said...

rob!, I think the JLA Satellite blog is the definitive history of the original JLA. You've done a terrific job. Thanks for sharing with us.

rob! said...

thanks guys! glad you were following along!

russell said...

He's coming your way!
Will you meet him? ;-)

...although I would have enjoyed your take on the Steve Englehart AVENGERS run, which was my second guess until I read a bit more carefully...!

Frank Lee Delano said...

Clue? Steve Englehart? You doing the Avengers next? It'd be amazing how many different people you'd get posting comments with a Marvel blog. This really is a segregated industry.

Anyway, you've done great (and I'm sure very hard) work on this blog. In fact, something this focused and comprehensive takes "blog" to a whole other level. It's more like a devoted site, but with a greater sense of authorship and community. I know I'll be referencing it for years to come. Now I'm quite curious as to what's next, since others have already forwarded and dismissed my theory...

rob! said...


nope, not The Avengers. the subject of my next blog is mentioned by name in the "your favorite issues" post.

in any case, it will be revealed on the shrine tomorrow. :)

and thanks for the kind words!

Earth 2 Chris said...


Thank you for showing me Vibe dying all over again! :-)

Seriously, I miss the blog already. What a great job you did.

Can't wait for your Phantom Stranger blog to start!


Jeremy Mace said...

Rob, thanks so much for the hard work - I truly enjoyed the blog and it was great to see the intelligent commentary on the stories, the art and the artists! Thanks again!

Super Friend said...

Thanks for your amazing work on this site. It truly is a valuable resource, for fans and for scholars!

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