Joe Kubert is an important and influential comics artist who I’ve never heard of before reading this book, and I’m likely to confuse him with Jack Kirby.
Here we’ve got about thirty different stories covering genres as diverse as horror, war, crime, and even school comedy. My favourite thing was an except from a Flash Gordon pastiche about the effects of interplanetary conflict on young love; sadly I only got to read the first issue because that was the one Kubert drew. Other standouts include a WW2 story where an old Jewish man explicitly compares America to Rabbi Loewe’s golem and a few true crime stories where the narrator explicitly addresses the villainous protagonist. If you’ve listened to enough Old Time Radio you’ll know what I mean, the authoritative voiceover will say something like ‘And you thought you could get away with the murder, didn’t you, Fred?’ There’s probably some valuable academic work to be done on the interaction between old radio and old comics.
Anyway, read this is you want to see what mainstream comics would be like without the influence of comics. It’s a mixed bag.