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Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art: Wikis


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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. Founded in 1976 by cartoonist Joe Kubert, it was and still is the only accredited school devoted entirely to cartooning. Its graduates include many successful and well-known comics pencilers and inkers. 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, and has a dropout rate averaging roughly 30%.




All classes at the Joe Kubert School (JKS) are mandatory. Students cannot drop classes and if they fail one class, they fail the entire year. There are ten classes a week, two classes a day. Each class is two hours and forty-five minutes. Classes start at 8:30 AM and end at 2:45 PM, with a forty-five minute lunch from 11:15 AM to 12:00 PM.

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 Sal Mallimo.
  • "Arts and Crafts" teaches old-fashioned (pre-computer) methods for production of a comic book. Taught by Doug Baron (Sugar Ray Finhead).
  • "Humor & Caricature I" teaches how to caricature humans, as well as production of humorous comic strips. Taught by Brian Buniak (MAD Magazine) and Bob Hardin.
  • "Design I" teaches fundamentals of design. Assignments typically include character designs and ad layouts. Taught by Shelby McPherson,Alec Stevens and Dave McCoy.
  • "Lettering" teaches comic book lettering, in both dialogue and sound effect fonts. Taught by Hy Eisman (Popeye, The Katzenjammer Kids), Michael Kraiger ("Scooby-Doo", former Marvel Comics editor), and Mike Chen (school administrator).
  • "Basic Drawing I" teaches the fundamentals of drawing, including lighting, rendering, composition, and perspective. Taught by Fernando Ruiz ("Archie").
  • "Layout I" teaches the fundamentals of layout and composition. Taught by Alec Stevens (The Sandman).
  • "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 Michael Kraiger and Kim DeMulder ("Swamp Thing").
  • "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 Alec Stevens 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 Adam Kubert ("X-Men," "The Hulk", "Superman") and 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, Alec Stevens, and Tom Taggart ("Doom Patrol").
  • "Layout and Design I" teaches computer production, including computer lettering (Adobe Illustrator), computer coloring (Adobe Photoshop), and page production (QuarkXPress). Recently taught by Gabe Bridwell ("Noble Causes"), Rick Cellano (a.k.a. "Rickman") and Dwayne Ferguson (a.k.a. "Hunter Wolf," a.k.a. "Storm," a.k.a. "Fergie") ("Hamster Vice").
  • "Humor & Caricature II" continues caricature lessons and production of humorous comic strips. Taught by Bob Hardin and Mick Posch.
  • "Human Figure I" is another life drawing class. This one goes more in-depth into human anatomy. Taught by Ian Dorian and Ravindra Rana.
  • "Advertising Illustration" teaches production of advertising material, such as posters, CD covers, and T-shirts. Taught by Shelby McPherson.
  • "Color Illustration I" teaches color theory and how to produce paintings in such media as acrylic paint and watercolor. Taught by Toby Cypress ("The Tourist," "Rodd Racer").
  • "Methods and Materials II" teaches painting methods such as acrylic paint, watercolor, and airbrush. Taught by Doug Axmann.
  • "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 Ian Dorian.
  • "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 Joe Kubert ("Sgt. Rock").
  • "Layout and Design II" has a focus on website building, and learning Macromedia Dreamweaver and Macromedia Flash. Taught by Rick Cellano, Dwayne Ferguson, and Gabe Bridwell ("Noble Causes").
  • "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 Irwin Hasen ("Dondi").
  • "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. Taught by Toby Cypress and Ravindra Rana.
  • "Methods and Materials III" continues the lesson on painting. Oil painting is also covered in this class. Taught by Doug Axmann.


Due to the small size of the school, and the fact that students come from all over the world to study there, JKS has a very friendly and close community of students. There are usually no more than 150 students attending the school at any time, and most students know each other. Especially in first year, when nearly all the students live in the three official student houses (the Carriage House and Mansion, former site of the school at 45 Lehigh Street, Dover, NJ, and the Clinton House at 145 W. Clinton Street, Dover, NJ). The school itself holds a Halloween costume contest every year on the last Friday before Halloween, with prizes usually including gift certificates and comics.

Art Supply Store

The school houses the Joe Kubert Art Store, which sells all the tools and supplies students will need for assignments, as well as many other products such as books and drafting tables. Most of the products are of the highest quality, with some products imported from other countries. One such available product is the Kolinsky Raphael sable inking brush, which Joe Kubert discovered in an art store while vacationing in Paris and now has shipped from France to his store.

Saturday classes

As well as regular weekday classes, the school also holds a weekly class every Saturday; this is also available for people who are not attending the main program. The class is on basic lessons in cartooning, and is taught by Fernando Ruiz (or by Alec Stevens, in cases when Ruiz is unable to attend).

External links

Coordinates: 40°53′14″N 74°33′09″W / 40.8873°N 74.5526°W / 40.8873; -74.5526

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