Comic Book Historians

Josef Rubinstein: Comic Book Inker of All Part 1 with Alex Grand & Jim Thompson

August 16, 2019 Comic Book Historians Season 1 Episode 47
Comic Book Historians
Josef Rubinstein: Comic Book Inker of All Part 1 with Alex Grand & Jim Thompson
Chapters
Comic Book Historians
Josef Rubinstein: Comic Book Inker of All Part 1 with Alex Grand & Jim Thompson
Aug 16, 2019 Season 1 Episode 47
Comic Book Historians

Alex Grand and Jim Thompson interview Josef Rubinstein, famous comic book inker that has inked over more characters and more pencilers than anyone else in comic book history.  Josef takes us into his early life in Germany, immigrating to the USA , being hired at Continuity Comics under Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, working with comic book greats like Jack Abel and Wally Wood during his time at the Overseas Weekly,  his early comic assignments on Kamandi with Michael Nasser, Warlock with Jim Starlin, John Byrne on Captain America, and working for editor Jim Shooter at Marvel Comics in the early 1980s. Images used in artwork ©Their Respective Copyright holders, CBH Podcast ©Comic Book Historians. Thumbnail Artwork ©Comic Book Historians. Support us at https://www.patreon.com/comicbookhistorians

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/comicbookhistorians)

Show Notes Transcript

Alex Grand and Jim Thompson interview Josef Rubinstein, famous comic book inker that has inked over more characters and more pencilers than anyone else in comic book history.  Josef takes us into his early life in Germany, immigrating to the USA , being hired at Continuity Comics under Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, working with comic book greats like Jack Abel and Wally Wood during his time at the Overseas Weekly,  his early comic assignments on Kamandi with Michael Nasser, Warlock with Jim Starlin, John Byrne on Captain America, and working for editor Jim Shooter at Marvel Comics in the early 1980s. Images used in artwork ©Their Respective Copyright holders, CBH Podcast ©Comic Book Historians. Thumbnail Artwork ©Comic Book Historians. Support us at https://www.patreon.com/comicbookhistorians

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/comicbookhistorians)

Alex Grand: Welcome again to the Comic Book Historian Podcast. I’m Alex Grand, with my co-host, Jim Thompson. Today, we have an interview with an incredible inker of the Bronze and Marvel Age, Joseph Rubinstein, who has inked probably more artists and more characters than anyone in history. Joseph has been working in comics since the 1970s. Joseph, thank you so much for being here today with us.

Joe Rubinstein: You’re welcome. I didn’t know I was Bronzy, but okay. I’ll go with it.

Alex Grand: Jim’s going to start off on your early years, so go ahead and take it away Jim.

Jim Thompson: Okay, so can I call you Joe or is it Joseph?

Joe Rubinstein: Joe is fine.

Jim Thompson: Okay, Joe what we like to do is to get into the very beginning. I know you were born in Germany. When did you come to the U.S.?

Joe Rubinstein: We didn’t know it was Germany, so apparently, when Germany lost the war, they were forced to take the town I was born in. We thought I was Polish. I got naturalized in ’72.

Jim Thompson: I see.

Joe Rubinstein: It was a place called Breslau, which as it turns out, by pure coincidence, one of my favorite artists of all time, Adolph von Menzel, was born in. He’s the only Adolph I ever actually liked.

Jim Thompson: That makes sense.

Joe Rubinstein: Yeah. I never met Adolph Zuckor, but I’m sure he was a swell dancer. When did I come to this country? Well, we went from Israel and then I think I was five when I came over, but some people seem to think I was three, but I haven’t looked at it that deeply.

Jim Thompson: Some of the people that we talk with talk about, one common trait is that they are all early readers. Were you an early reader? Were you reading in, what language were you reading in first?

Joe Rubinstein: Well, I came to the U.S. not speaking the language, and my older cousin had a pile of comic books, I think primarily, the Superman family stuff. No, I wasn’t reading it, I guess, but I guess I got enthralled by the pictures and the colors and what have you.

Joe Rubinstein: Then, like many little kids, I started to draw my own comic books on line paper with crayon when I was five or six. To more directly answer your question, when my reading comprehension was tested over the years, I was usually far above my grade level, because I knew what the word “imaginary” meant from those comic books I was reading.

Jim Thompson: Oh, yeah. Of course.

Joe Rubinstein: I love, love, love to read. Unfortunately, I never do it anymore because I’ve got too much to do, which is like a crime against nature.

Jim Thompson: When were your comic book years? When did you start? I’m assuming you were a comic book fan, for some period of time.

Joe Rubinstein: Oh, yeah. I was reading comic books from when I could read. Even when I was … See, Marvel and DC had an agreement in the golden old days of everybody would get a comp of everybody else’s books, so we would get these big boxes filled with everybody’s comic books. Then you’d sort through them and you’d see which ones you’d want to read and which ones you don’t.

Joe Rubinstein: I was certainly reading Watchmen and X-Men and Dark Knight. I guess by the ’90s or so, I was less about traditional comic books, or at last superhero comic books, and more about like Will Eisner stuff. More adult things that related more to philosophy, my life history. Because when you spend your entire life … I mean, I know a lot of writers who, since they’re always doing comic books, they’ve got to read a history book, they’ve got to get something substantial under their … With me, I watch TV all day long while I work, and I do watch reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Timeless and then occasionally, I got to turn on a documentary and just get back to the real world.

Jim Thompson: Right, sure.

Joe Rubinstein: Not that the real world is that great these days but you got to be forearmed.

Jim Thompson: Yeah. Were you like a student of prior comic art? Did you study Golden Age artists and different ones for technique? Or did you just kind of absorb it as you went along?

Joe Rubinstein: No, no, no. I mean, you have to study. There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. You find out that all the solutions to every problem you’ve ever had has already been dealt with. I worked over at Neal Adams’ and Dick Giordano’s studio. I worked at the Art Students League in New York, where I lived, when I was 11 and then when I was 13, I got to work at the studio as a gofer with making coffee and running errands and the like.

Jim Thompson: I see.

Joe Rubinstein: Then when I had off-time, I was studying the files. Dick Giordano, who was a wonderful, wonderful man would stop everything he was doing, occasionally, and just give me a little art lesson. Or I was really lucky in that I had access to original pencils and original inks and saw the process. I didn’t really understand what Neal and Dick were doing until I studied the people that Neal and Dick studied, and then it made sense.

Joe Rubinstein: To this day, I still take art classes in painting and drawing. I still want to learn more and know there’s a lot more to learn, so I’m always studying. Somebody asked me, at a convention recently, what do I collect? Figurines or action figures or whatever. What I collect are books by artists who, they have a compilation all of a sudden of Alex Raymond or Hal Foster. That’s what I collect. I have way, way, way too many books.

Alex Grand: What year did you enter Continuity Associates? What year was that, you think?





Joe Rubinstein: When I was 13, which was ’71.

Alex Grand: 1971. What was Continuity like at that time? It was basically Neal Adams, Dick Giordano. They started that, and they were … Tell us about the environment. Like What kind of environment was that?

Joe Rubinstein: Well, it was just three rooms. If the client showed up, I had to get out of the main room and go to the library or something. Eventually, they started to expand it. Their whole goal was comic books, badly, there were no royalties. The rates were atrocious. They were going to do advertising work and comic book advertising work. Slowly but surely, they expanded. The took over the floor that they were renting rooms in. Prior to 19 … Prior to the Internet, prior to FedEx, everybody had to live in the Tri-State New York area to deliver their work.

Joe Rubinstein: I mean, like once the Filipinos started happening, they would literally roll up 22 pages in as tight a tube as they possibly could and mail it in. Other than that, people had to deliver their work personally, or certainly have their wife or boyfriend or whoever deliver it. Then when they were done, they’d go over to Continuity Associates, because Neal was a tremendous artist and a groundbreaker. It was an exciting place to be, and consequently, a lot of wonderful artists started to rent space there, like Wally Wood and Russ Heath.

Alex Grand: Oh, Cool.

Joe Rubinstein: Neal, as they became less and less occupied or employed by the companies, he’d start hiring people like Jack Sparling and Bill Draut. Jack Abel had offices there that I used to assist Jack, and I was Wally Wood’s assistant, I was Russ Heath’s assistant.

Alex Grand: Oh, really? Wow.

Joe Rubinstein: It just, whoever needed help, I would get in there and do some kind of work for them.

Jim Thompson: What was your impression of Jack Abel? I ask that because Howard Chaykin talked about him and how much fun he had with him.

Joe Rubinstein: Yeah, a lot of people have that opinion of Jack, but Jack was generally a very depressed guy, and I found myself … Like he always worried about, “How am I going to pay for my retirement?” Then, of course, he died before he had a retirement. I found our relationship was me having to like sort of pump him up and go, “Jack, it’s not so bad, it’s not so bad.”

Joe Rubinstein: Now, a lot of people loved him and a lot of people thought he was funny, and he did tell great old stories. I’m sure … I don’t know how old Jack was when he died, but I’m sure, I’m older than he was when I was there as a kid assistant, but he was one of the old guys, and he had the old stories and he knew the old people.

Joe Rubinstein: I don’t think he much really approved of modern comic books much anyway, but everybody who … Meaning, Milton Caniff and Hal Foster and Alex Raymond and Sy Barry, those were the real comic book artists, and these new punks, these new kids, it’s like, “I don’t get it.” That’s sort of the pattern of every generation of artists.

Alex Grand: Tell us about Wally Wood. How was it working with him?

Joe Rubinstein: Woody was a wonderful, sweet man. He had a demon, he was an alcoholic. I’d never seen him drunk. He was very much trying to clean up his act when I knew him. He was wry and funny. Certainly, I idolized him, because he’s one of the all-time greats. Then he got ill and things slid and then he died. Again, I look at the pictures of him, and he looks 80 years old, and I think he’s five years younger than I am now when he died.

Alex Grand: Yeah, that’s right. He wasn’t that old but he looked old.

Joe Rubinstein:  You would have to rent out an auditorium to put all of Wally Wood’s assistants and Dick Giordano’s assistants in the same room, because they all, both of them, used a great many people, I mean, for expediency sake. Because it’s a lot of work to do a comic book and you need people to do the stuff that you don’t have to do. At the same time, both Neal … Both Dick and Woody were very nurturing people, and they taught you what you needed to know.

Joe Rubinstein: I did this background for … What I did was I assisted on the last two Sally Forth and Cannons, which was a comic strip that he did, like for the Overseas Weekly.

Alex Grand: Yeah, right. I read those.

Joe Rubinstein: Yeah. I mean, and what it consisted of was saying, “Okay, trace that head over there. Trace this figure over here. Ink this building.” It’s not like I can take any credit for having done the work, it’s just I put the lines down so Woody had something to work with.

Joe Rubinstein: I’m doing this background, and I’m using a ruler, and I’m making it the straightest, most wonderful, perfect, this thing that ever was. I showed it to him and he said, “All the lines connect.” I went, “Yeah.” He says, “Don’t do that again.” Then he explained to me how to get the impression of reality by allowing things to be looser, for lines not to connect, but to have an impressionistic way of implying a background. Even though, I don’t think, if you look at my work, there’s any trace of Woody’s stuff in it. A lot of the lessons he taught me are the basis for how I do my work today.

Alex Grand: Oh, that’s really great to hear. He was doing the Overseas Weekly stuff in that same area of space that Continuity Associates was in?

Joe Rubinstein: Yeah.

Alex Grand: Oh, that’s crazy. I never connected those two things.

Joe Rubinstein: I mean, Russ, Russ was doing Sergeant Rock. I mean-

Alex Grand: Wow.

Joe Rubinstein: Russ was, excellent, excellent work. I don’t know that Russ ever did a bad job, but he was certainly doing some of the highlights of his career while he was at Continuity Associates. All I did was like fill in black and touch-up panel boards. Here’s the interesting thing about Russ’ technique. When you touch-up panel boards, that means the little nicks that come out of the panel board and you have to clean them up with an opaque, white paint.

Joe Rubinstein: What Russ had me do is he would take a razor blade and a ruler and lightly score the outside of the panel, and then scoop out that thick, because he just wanted to get dirty as the years went by. That takes a lot more time to do. Or I’d heard, when you do stars in space, big constellations and what have you, the easiest way to do it is you just take a toothbrush and you spray a field of stars. Well Russ, he just inked around each individual star. I was like, “What are you doing?” He says, “Well, how else you going to get it right?” That was his perception and work ethic.

Alex Grand: Wow. That’s really great. Now, in Continuity, so were Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, were they partners of equal standing in the company? Were they, essentially, like partners?

Joe Rubinstein: Yeah. They were partners, absolutely. I think the reason the partnership ended is because Dick wanted some justification for why the studio was run the way it was, spending more money than it needed to. Neal just did not have one and Dick, in frustration, said, “Well, I’m going to leave now and I’m going to start my own studio,” with the comical and vaguely unfortunate name of Dik Art, but that’s the one he picked, D-I-K Art.

Joe Rubinstein: Anyway, yeah, yeah. I mean, obviously, for the most part, broke up the work, in Neal was the penciler, Dick was the inker, sometimes have to pencil something. Then, while I was there, they got the contract from Charlton Comics to do the black and white Space 1999 and Six Million Dollar Man and Emergency comics.

Alex Grand: Right.

Joe Rubinstein: That was a lot of work, which then Neal had a lot of the young guys start ghosting him, so there was a ton of work to do. Everybody was busy doing stuff. You’ll find Klaus Janson and Frank Springer and me, Bob Wiacek, Terry Austin, all these people that were working for Dick and working for Neal were all, were drafted into doing those books.

Alex Grand: Wow, that’s great, so that was good experience for you then.

Joe Rubinstein: Well, it’s never a good experience working for Neal Adams, but-

Alex Grand: Oh, really? Tell us about that. That’s interesting.

Joe Rubinstein: Suffice it to say that I haven’t spoken to Neal Adams in 40 years, though I’ve been in many, many convention halls with him. I know that my life is a much happier place if we never have a conversation again.

Alex Grand: Yeah, wow.

Jim Thompson: Did he teach you at all? I mean, you talk about Giordano as the mentor, but did you learn from Adams back in that early period?

Joe Rubinstein: No. He couldn’t be … Look, I’d say, “Neal, how do you do this?” “I’m not a teacher,” and he’d just walk away. Dick, “Well, how do you do this?” He said, “Well, let me show you.”

Alex Grand: Yeah, okay.

Joe Rubinstein: I mean, he’s a very polarizing person, but I’m very much on the negative pole.

Alex Grand: Okay.

Joe Rubinstein: It’s not like I keep it a secret.

Alex Grand: Right, no. I understand, and we appreciate the honesty. That’s great. Now, Mike Nasser. You met him through those guys, through Continuity?

Joe Rubinstein: Oh, yeah. He idolized, his style was, obviously, based on Neal’s. He was up there doing work and … See, what happened was, I read an interview by Gil Kane, certainly one of the all-time greats, and Alter Ego, Number 10, was like a grease pencil portrait of Gil Kane on the cover by Marie Severin. In it he said, he had been an inker first. Learned the business, and then a penciler. I went, “Oh, okay. Well, then I guess I’ll practice inking since I’ve got the world’s greatest inker here.”





Joe Rubinstein: I mean, tastes vary, but I loved Neal’s work and Dick was the inker, so of course, Dick was the world’s best inker. I started to practice inking and Mike had these samples. I said, “Would you mind if I ink these on velum?” He went, “No, go ahead, ink the real thing.” I went, “Really?” I did. I was like 16 and a half at the time or something, or maybe 17.

Joe Rubinstein: I inked them, he showed them to his editor, Gerry Conway, who hired him to draw his first job in the back of Kamandi. It was like a six-pager called, appropriately enough, Tales of the Great Disaster, and so Gerry hired me to ink it, so all of a sudden we’re a team. The second rate Neal Adams is being inked by the second rate Dick Giordano on this series. Then we went-

Alex Grand: That’s pretty fun.

Joe Rubinstein: … Another one, Kamandi to do and Batman. I got hooked up a lot with Mike, which was great, because I thought we made sense together.

Alex Grand: Yeah, yeah. You guys meshed well.

Joe Rubinstein: Yeah, well, like I said, we were coming from the same source. He’s trying to be Neal, I’m trying to be Dick.

Alex Grand: Yeah, that makes sense. That’s really great, actually. Then how was Gerry Conway as an editor? What was your impression of Conway back then?

Joe Rubinstein: Well, he gave me the cheapest rate in the business, so when I found out that everybody else in the industry was making $23 a page, and I was making 20 a page, so … I don’t remember any problems or conflicts or anything with Gerry at the time. I see Gerry now at conventions and I tease him a little about my original rate.

Joe Rubinstein: The interesting thing is if you’re doing a comic book and you’re getting a lousy 23 bucks a page, they just wanted in. If you’re doing a job for an advertising agency and they’re paying you $1,000 a page, everybody’s got an opinion. As comic books, it’s like nobody pays attention to you in comic books, but if you’re doing an advertising poster for a movie, now everybody’s paying attention to you. I think they were more than happy with just, “Is it in? Good.” I mean, obviously, the stuff can’t be bad, but I think the stuff was good enough where it wasn’t a problem when it showed up.

Alex Grand: That was your entry into DC. Then through DC, then you got connected into doing Marvel stuff. Is that how that kind of went?

Joe Rubinstein: Well, what happened was is, I have no idea how I was there, but I was at a party, maybe in Brooklyn. I was, I pointed over to some guy, I said, “Who’s that?” They said, “Oh, that’s Jim Starlin.” I thought, “Oh, that’s Jack Sparling?” I kind of like work, yeah, but it turned out to be Jim Starlin. Then, now you have to remember, all these guys, I’m 17, I’m 16, I’m 15. All these guys are 22, 23, 28, 30, 40, 50, which is why I know so many dead people.

Joe Rubinstein: Because I knew Curt Swan and Gene Colan and John Buscema and Julius Schwartz, and all these people were 30, 40 years older than me when I met them. I don’t honestly know what Jim had seen of my work, but at one point, he walked up to me and he said, “Hey, I’m doing this Avengers annual for Marvel. Do you want to ink it?”

Alex Grand: Oh, cool.

Joe Rubinstein: I go, “Yeah.” I mean, one, because I was happy to do the event and get a job. One, I was happy to work with Starlin. The other one was I knew that if I got the Marvel, I would get to ink John Buscema and Gene Colan and all … Jack Kirby, all those people that were only at Marvel.

Alex Grand: Right.

Joe Rubinstein: I do this thing, and then they said, “But it’s a two-parter.” I went, “Great.” I did the two in one annual and for the record, that’s where Thanos fought the Avengers, originally. Not the Infinity Gauntlet.

Alex Grand: Right, right, right. Yep.

Jim Thompson: Absolutely. Those were great. Those were great issues.

Alex Grand: Yeah, classic.

Joe Rubinstein: Yeah, well, thank you. It’s interesting that for 30 years, that thing was reprinted 15 times.

Alex Grand: Right.

Joe Rubinstein: I guess they liked it, because they just keep reprinting it.

Alex Grand: Yeah, that’s cool.

Joe Rubinstein: Then, I remember, John Beatty, who’s an inker, who’s primarily known for working with Mike Zeck on Captain America and Secret Wars.

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Alex Grand: Sure.

Joe Rubinstein: He told me, I’m not sure how much younger John is to me, but he told me when he saw the thing, when he bought the comic book, he thought that the name must have been an alias because he flattered me by saying, “It was so good, this couldn’t be a new guy.” The thing is, is that when people meet me, I mean, now I’m a whopping 61 years old, so maybe it’s going to trail off, but when people meet me, very often they go, “How old are you?” I go, “60.” “How old were you when you did that job?” I went, “19.”

Alex Grand: Yeah, young.

Joe Rubinstein: They always assume I must have been in my 30s at the time I was doing that stuff, but …

Alex Grand: Right, because if you were doing that stuff, and you don’t have your Medicare card yet, that’s unusual.

Joe Rubinstein: Yeah, and there was a point when Trevor Von Eeden and I did a job together and we were the youngest people in comic books, because he was like … I was like 19 and he was 18. He had started working when he was 15 or 16, or something like that, so we were the youngest … As a matter of fact, I remember Joe Orlando looking at me once, kind of amused, going, “We thought Williamson was young,” because he was probably in his early 20s when he was working at EC, but I was like 16, 17. You know?

Alex Grand: How fun. Then, that’s when you got connected into other Marvel books? It was through the Jim Starlin works. You inked Michel Golden on Micronauts as well, right?





Joe Rubinstein: Yeah. Well, the reason that happened was because I inked him on a Man-Bat job.

Jim Thompson: Oh, yeah. I know that one.

Joe Rubinstein: Yeah, and Michael liked it, and I guess he asked for me. Then I got on this Micronaut thing for seven issues.

Jim Thompson: That was a big one, right? I mean, that’s when I noticed you. I mean, because that was, those issues with Golden were really something. I mean, I hadn’t seen … That was like a, just knocked me out in terms of … Because the book itself, “Ah,” but the art was just so good and so different.

Alex Grand: It is, it was.

Joe Rubinstein: Well, I mean, Mike’s a genius, and I followed it best I could. Looking back on it, in retrospect, I didn’t do it right.

Alex Grand: Really?

Joe Rubinstein: That’s not to say you can’t enjoy it. It’s just, I look at it and think, “Oh, I took the wrong approach.” Because I don’t know if Dick Giordano’s the first one who really had this attitude and instilled it in me, but most inkers, prior to Dick and me, just did whatever they felt like. Like if you gave the job to Joe Kubert, it turned into a beautiful Joe Kubert job.  Dick taught me, “Change your approach. Give it the respect it deserves. Every job shouldn’t be inked the same way.” Well, I once asked Murphy Anderson, “What’s your link? How do you change it?” He goes, “Well, I just kind of do my thing.” I don’t kind of do my thing. I try to get into the head of the person who drew it. I want to give them the respect that I would want if I had drawn it, and not have somebody go, “Well, I don’t care what you want. I’m going to do it my way.”

Joe Rubinstein: I always worked hard to try and figure out what the appropriate approach for any given new penciler I worked with. I thought I was doing the right approach with Golden, but looking back on it, it’s still lovely, lovely stuff because it’s mostly Mike’s credit, but I did it wrong and if I had a chance to do it again, I’d do it a whole other way.

Alex Grand: Yeah, it’s interesting. Because with that, it shows you’re really flexible. That’s interesting that Woody was one of your influences because a lot of people say when he inks something, it turns into a Wally Wood picture at the end of it.

Joe Rubinstein: Absolutely, but that’s not what his influence was.  Dick’s influence about … When Dick inked Neal Adams, he didn’t ink him the same way he inked Kubert, the same way he didn’t ink Mike Sekowsky, so Dick tried to be flexible within his limitations, I think I’m about as flexible an inker as I’ve ever seen.

Joe Rubinstein: I guess I’ve just flattered myself, but I think that’s the reason I got Marvel Universe, is because Mark Gruenwald, the editor that put it together, he said he didn’t want all the books to … All the entries to look homogenous, he wanted the penciler … When he got John Byrne to draw this character because John was associated with that, he wanted it to be John Byrne when it was coming back. When he got Mike Zeck to draw the Punisher, it should look like a Mike Zeck when it was done.

Joe Rubinstein: I didn’t even remember this story. I read it in one of my own interviews, as I was re-reading it. I had, there was a magazine called Comic Scene.

Alex Grand: Yeah.

Joe Rubinstein: I did it … Bob Greenberger, who went on to do DC Comics. I badgered Bob to do something about inkers because inkers are always getting screwed and dissed. Finally, what he put together was a round table with Klaus Janson, Tom Palmer, Bob Layton and myself.

Alex Grand: Wow.

Joe Rubinstein: He gave all of us, Bob Greenberger gave all of us a Mike Zeck Hulk figure to ink, which we did, the same one. Then he reproduced all four of them next to each other to show the differences in what was going on. When Mark Gruenwald saw mine, he felt mine was truest to the intention, so that’s why he offered me Marvel Universe and he said …

Joe Rubinstein: He had me ink like three of them, like a Milgrom and two Ron Wilson’s or a Brian Postman, or something. When it was all done and I handed it to him, he said, “Okay. We’re doing this encyclopedia. How many you want to do?” I said, “All of them.” Why would I say anything else. That’s how I wound up being on that book for about 20 years.

Alex Grand: You inked all of Marvel Universe.





Joe Rubinstein: Probably 99 and a half percent.

Alex Grand: Wow, that’s amazing.

Jim Thompson: How many different artists do you think you did all together on that?

Joe Rubinstein: On that, I don’t know, but I think I have between 400 and 450 different pencilers I’ve worked with over my career.

Alex Grand: Wow.

Joe Rubinstein: Probably because of that series. I made the joke once that I have the Guinness World Record for most pencilers and most characters, and so now, I see it was like written, “Joe Rubinstein, owner of the Guinness World Record.” It’s like, well, I finally called, I wrote … “Hey, you want to put me in your book?” They went, “We don’t care.” Anyway, so …

Jim Thompson: I saw that over and over as I was researching this, and it’s everywhere, that it’s an accepted fact that you’re in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Joe Rubinstein: I got it but it doesn’t exist.

Alex Grand: That’s hilarious.

Joe Rubinstein: Because if you figure, so I did Marvel Universe, which means I did every single character Marvel ever had. I worked at DC on Superman for seven years, Batman for three years, the Justice League, it’s like … Plus all the different pencilers. I’ve probably done more characters … I hate to say this, because it’s practically heresy, than like Jack Kirby.

Alex Grand: Right, right. Well, I mean, all of Marvel Universe and Justice League by itself, that’s a lot of characters.

Joe Rubinstein: Yeah, absolutely. It was the best job an inker ever had because I would solicit people I always wanted to work with like Joe Kubert, and John Bolton, people who never … John Severin. People who never let anybody else ink their work, and I was inking them, and it was great.



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