Via Hero Initiative:
Many at the 2012 Harvey Awards ceremony at Baltimore Comic-Con were touched by the speech Hero Initiative volunteer Kevin Brogan gave to introduce the Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award on September 8, 2012. Some were moved to tears. We’ve been asked by many to share the speech, and with Kevin’s kind permission, it’s presented here:
As many of you know, Hero Initiative is dedicated to helping creators in need of financial assistance or dealing with medical issues. At the Harveys, we honor outstanding creators with two awards: the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award. But if you can indulge me for a moment…
When I was young, I read a book titled A Day No Pigs Would Die. It was the story of a pig farmer and his 10-year-old son. It went on for 300 pages, but the title was an allusion to the father dying of a heart attack, and the day of his funeral. On that day, in this one-industry town, the slaughterhouse shut down, the packing district emptied out, and Cannery Row closed as seemingly everyone turned out for the father’s funeral. On that day, “No Pigs Would Die.” The boy learned the value of his father and what made him such a great man to his friends and peers.
I suspect that on August 12, when we heard the sad news of Joe Kubert’s passing, the pens and pencils were place silently down on the drawing boards. It became “A Day No Comic Books Were Created,” as we all reflected on the greatness of this artist and his legend.
I was truly looking forward to seeing him again this weekend. I will miss him.
May God bless his family. That’s my eulogy.
Jim McLauchlin reminds me that I am Irish, and I need to celebrate the life and not mourn the passing. So let’s get back to the awards.
I was working on my notes for the Giordano Humanitarian Award when I heard the sad news. I sent this introduction as condolence to Adam and Andy Kubert. I was asked to read it as I wrote.
I met Joe Kubert through the Hero Initiative back in our early days. He was very kind to this eager fan behind the booth.
It was such a treat for me to meet him. As a would-be artist, he is an inspiration to me. And the day he reviewed my art and told me that I had talent of telling a story validated my childhood passion. Through the years at conventions, I had the chance to work and speak with Joe often. And in 2007, I was honored to provide the introduction for Joe Kubert as he won the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award.
But today we honor him again for his humanitarian efforts.
For me, as a military man and sailor who has seen life throughout the world, Joe’s effort in telling the tale of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943 in his book Yossel, or the story of members of a special forces operation in Dong Xoia, Vietnam 1965, or the horror of genocide just a generation ago in Fax from Sarajevo all depict the compassion of a man and his commitment to the truth, using his medium to tell the tale the way only he can. What the reporters would not tell or news stations could not show, Joe captured in his art to let the world know the true reality of heroism.
I spoke with Mr. Kubert often of these books and my military experience. I am privileged to have conversed with him at such a personal level.
And tonight, Hero Initiative is honored to award Joe Kubert the Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award, where Joe, through his true-to-life stories, is Changing Comics One Day at a Time.
Accepting on behalf of the Kubert Family, Paul Levitz…