Tuesday, May 6, 2014

40 - Fourth 'PS' Editor, Hubbard, Dies at 88

PS Magazine staffers, along with fans and friends of the U.S. Army’s internationally acclaimed pioneering publication in the sequential art arena, are acknowledging with regret the death on April 26 of Donald Keith Hubbard, who served as the fourth editor of PS for nearly nine years, from January of 1983 until November of 1991.

Jim Kidd, whom Hubbard succeeded, and I brought Don on board as a writer in July of 1954 when PS was at Aberdeen Proving Ground, in Maryland. He later became production manager. When I left in September of 1963, after serving ten year’s as the magazine’s first managing editor, Don was moved into the managing editor’s slot where he served nearly twenty years until Kidd’s retirement.

In the autumn of 1950, the year before PS Magazine was established, I took the photo below showing Kidd and Hubbard in the School of Journalism booth during Mountaineer Days at West Virginia University.

Kidd, who was a School of Journalism instructor at the time, is at left, manning a lever-operated platen-press. Hubbard, center, is coordinating the handsetting of type for individual’s names in the main headline on a “dummy” tabloid page. I was in my final semester before graduation and working as a fulltime reporter-photographer for the Morgantown Dominion-News.

Hubbard came to PS from Alderson, W.Va., where he was the owner, publisher, editor, Linotype operator, and general factotum for The Alderson Times, which he had purchased after graduating from WVU.

Hubbard was one of three PS editors who had been awarded the Bronze Star for valor during World War II. The others were Jacob Hay, who preceded Kidd, and Kidd, who was twice decorated.

Hay’s medal was for his actions as an intelligence officer. Kidd’s two citations for valor were as a platoon officer in the 69th Infantry Division in France and Germany. Hubbard was a platoon scout with the 44th Infantry Division in France and Germany, and received the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge.

Don had a higher regard, however, for the Department of the Army Decoration for exceptional Civilian Service presented to him by the Secretary of the Army in the year preceding his retirement.  This highest possible civilian award cited his cumulative efforts with PS from May 1964 to November 1990.

Don was 88. Funeral services and burial were conducted April 30 in Winchester, Ky., where he and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Mallonee Hubbard, resided following his retirement from PS.




¶ Master Sergeant Bull Dozer Revisited

¶ Best of PS by Perspective Instructional Communications

¶ A Covey of Connies—World War II to Today


N O W !

F r e e    S h i p p i n g ! ! !


Click on Front Cover, below, for details.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

39 - Eisner's 'PS' Changeup for New Year Covers

Happy New Year!

With one surprising exception, the PS front covers that Will Eisner occasionally drew to mark the arrival of a New Year embraced a somewhat formulaic parade of lengthy resolution lists, old men with long beards and longer robes carrying scythes, and cherubic toddlers—with or without diapers. The arriving and departing characters usually were adorned with sashes bearing numerals.

Those in the montage shown above, left to right, appeared on PS 40 (January 1956), PS 85 (December 1959), and PS 51 (December 1956).

Eisner pitched a major changeup, however, with the “see-through” New Year’s cover(s) that he did for PS 74 (December 1958). In Chapter Four, “Frame for the Art,” in Will Eisner and PS Magazine, I describe a meeting at Raritan Arsenal in New Jersey in early autumn of 1958 at which Will first brought the concept to the table. Initially, it was laughed at and casually dismissed as being too troublesome—which only served to rile him into insisting on tackling the challenge.

Here's the resulting front of that edition…

…and here's the back cover of the same edition.

There is one major bobble in the execution of the concept. In the front cover, Connie is shown wearing her sleeves down, with the cuffs buttoned. Apparently, in the time it took for the artist to walk around to the other end of the room to execute the back cover, Connie became tired of holding the pose and rolled up her sleeves before resuming it.

There was speculation at the time, among those who were familiar with the degree of critical scrutiny that was being accorded PS art at the time, that it was just another appearance of a diversionary artistic device employed occasionally by Eisner, called “The Hairy Arm.” That’s fully explored in Chapter Seven of Will Eisner and PS Magazine, titled “The Hairy Arm.”



¶ Master Sergeant Bull Dozer Revisited

¶ Best of PS by Perspective Instructional Communications

¶ A Covey of Connies—World War II to Today

Sunday, July 21, 2013

38 - New Military Leader for 'PS Magazine'

A change of command ceremony June 20 at Redstone Arsenal (Huntsville, Alabama) introduced Colonel Charles “Chuck” B. Salvo as the new leader of the U.S. Army Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA), which is under the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC). The PS Magazine program is an element of LOGSA.

In the image below, Major General Gustave F. Perna, right, AMC’s Deputy Chief of Staff (G-3/4) passes the guidon to Colonel Salvo at AMC Headquarters.

Colonel Salvo succeeds Colonel Robert P. “Pat” Sullivan, who was the official host for the PS Magazine Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration in June of 2011. To see a video clip of his remarks on that occasion, click here

General Dennis L. Via commands AMC. To see a video clip of his remarks at the PS Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration, click here

At that time, he wore three stars and was Deputy Commanding General of AMC. Since then, he received his fourth star and was advanced to the top spot at AMC.

Colonel Salvo is a native of Niagara Falls, New York, and graduated from the State University of New York with a Bachelor of Science in biology, and was commissioned Infantry in 1986. After completing the infantry officer basic course and ranger school, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion (ABN) 187th Infantry battalion, Fort Kobbe, Panama, where he served as a rifle platoon leader, company executive officer, and earned the Expert Infantryman Badge, Jungle Expert Badge, and graduated from jumpmaster school. He was selected for promotion to captain and re-branched Quartermaster in 1989 and was assigned to the 407th S&T Battalion, 82d Airborne Division where he deployed for Operation Desert Shield/Storm and served as a company commander and battalion S3. At Fort Lee, Virginia, he served as aide-de-camp for the CG Combined Arms Support Command and taught advanced aerial delivery school. In the 10th Mountain Division, he served as DISCOM S3, and Support Operations Officer, and later Executive Officer, 210th FSB.

 At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he earned a Master’s Degree in acquisition and procurement management, graduated from the Combined Arms Staff School and was later assigned to Joint Forces Command. After graduating from the Joint and Combined Warfighting School in Norfolk, VA, he was selected for a command slot in the 3rd Infantry Division where he led the 203rd Forward Support Battalion/Brigade Support Battalion for 36 months and led the organization through two Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) tours, to include OIF I, two Combat Training Center rotations, and transformed the organization from a forward support battalion to a brigade support battalion consisting of five companies and over 1,200 soldiers.

After graduating from the Army War College, he was assigned as Director, force integration and joint concepts, Army G4, the Pentagon. He was selected to command of the Army and Air Force Exchange, for OIF/OEF and Europe, a $6 billion/year in sales organization, for 36 months, and led the organization through the drawdown in Iraq, the surge in Afghanistan, and transformation in Europe. Prior to assuming command of LOGSA, he served as Executive Officer to the Executive Deputy to the Commanding General, AMC.

Colonel Salvo’s awards and decorations include Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Rigger Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Jungle Expert Badge, Panamanian and Australian Airborne wings, the Army Staff Badge, and the Army physical fitness badge (current).

He is married to Sondra and has two children: Sam (16) and Hollie (19).

• • •

Here’s an “OOPS!”  With some of my “Heads Up” text regarding an upcoming blogpost about Master Sergeant Bull Dozer, I left a misperception with a few readers that the Engineers’ icon from the PS past was returning to the magazine’s pages for an extended gig. Not so! It was just a cameo appearance. You’ll see all the details in my next post.



¶ Master Sergeant Bull Dozer Revisited

¶ A View of PS at the Four-Star Level

¶ Best of PS by Perspective Instructional Communications

¶ A Covey of Connies—World War II to Today

Monday, June 10, 2013

37 - 'PS' Covers Without Sigs

Reactions to our recent Blogpost 36 regarding new offices for the PS Magazine staff included this from Erwin K. Roberts: “Thank you for the update. It got me curious. Obviously Joe's [Joe Kubert’s] organization is carrying on, and very well, I'm sure. But, who, if anyone yet, is the new cover artist?”

Roberts is a life-long comics fan who joined the U.S. Army in September, 1969. A week or so later he saw Will Eisner's familiar signature on an issue of PS. With the exception of a few breaks, he followed PS until he retired from the Missouri Army National Guard in 1996. When his son prepared to deploy to Iraq in 2004, Roberts was relieved to find PS still going strong with Joe Kubert as the signature artist. Following Will Eisner’s death, Roberts founded a Yahoo group devoted to PS. These days Roberts writes thrillers in several genres. Several of Erwin K. Roberts’s works are available on Amazon. 

Questions regarding the absence of an artist’s signature on Front Covers of PS are not new, but they have been heard with increasing frequency since the death of Joe Kubert last year.

The image displayed above (a repeat from our Blogpost 35), the Front Cover of PS Magazine Issue 719 (October 2012), is the last PS cover that is attributable to Joe, even though it does not bear his iconic sig. He penciled the entire piece and inked the principal foreground character in what turned out to be his last session at the drawing board before he went into the hospital.

This discussion is accompanied by displays of the Front Covers of the first six PS Magazine issues of 2013, all unsigned.

Beginning late last year, I’ve had several conversations regarding this subject with Stuart Henderson, the PS Production Manager, and Pete Carlsson, Senior Art Director for Tell-A-Graphics, the Kubert business entity that has held the PS contract for creative art, design, and pre-press services since PS 579 in February of 2001.

Pete says that the presence of Joe’s signature on PS covers indicated, as it should, that Joe was an overarching presence who was involved to some degree in every production aspect involving a cover. “Following Joe’s death, a more pronounced division of labor has evolved that results in team-effort covers for which a single signature would be inappropriate,” Pete said.

“For that reason, and with the concurrence of the PS leadership, our decision for now is that the covers will not be signed,” Pete said.

Henderson points out that this is not unprecedented. “Backes Graphic Productions, which produced Issues 429 through 578, from August 1988 through January of 2001, did so with unsigned covers,” Stuart said.

At this point in time, the 150 issues produced by Jack and Diane Backes represent the second longest period of PS production. Will Eisner’s 227 issues still stand at the top of the stack.

In two months, with PS 729 (August), the Kubert shop will have equaled the Backes Graphic Productions record and in September (PS 730) will move into the second-to-Eisner spot. That will still be 76 issues short of Maestro Eisner’s tally.

The historic information provided here is derived from a time-line graphic that includes PS Editors, Artists, and U.S. Army Duty Stations, and is available in Appendix A of Will Eisner and PS Magazine. 



¶ Master Sergeant Bull Dozer Revisited

¶ PS Magazine's Immediate Military Commander

¶ A View of PS at the Four-Star Level

¶ Best of PS by Perspective Instructional           

¶ A Covey of Connies—World War II to Today