Artist Spotlight: Jose Delbo

One of the first teachers I had when I attended the Joe Kubert School was Jose Delbo.

One of the exercises he would have us do every week was draw horses. The following are a few examples I kept (circa 1987). Jose’s corrections are in pen over my pencils.

“This horse is drawn so stiff it belongs on a carousel.”

“This horse is drawn so stiff it looks like a robot .”

“No one could ride a horse drawn like this.”

Jose Delbo was a great teacher because he wouldn’t let an inferior drawing slide. When you got a compliment or a good grade from him you knew it was well deserved.

I got the chance to catch up with Jose Delbo at SpringCon 2012 in Minneapolis and I had him sign the drawings shown above. I showed him some of my more recent work and he made a point of telling me I was really doing some good work – so good in fact that he would pass on a script he had just received.

A cowboy strip – lots of horses…

Jose Delbo and his wife Maybelle at SpringCon 2012.

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The following is a quick memory of a cartooning class taught by Jose.


A student was getting critiqued – during the critique Jose stated that the student needed to spend more time on his work. The student responded that he had already worked on the page for two weeks. Jose replied, “How much of that time was actually pen to paper.”

I never forgot that insight. It doesn’t matter how much time you have to work on something if you’re not putting pen to paper.

Jose Delbo - 2011 Pic by Andrew Satterfield - Cincinnati Comic Expo

Jose Delbo – 2011
Pic by Andrew Satterfield – Cincinnati Comic Expo


Jose Delbo – a fantastic artist and teacher.
For more, check out JoseDelbo.com

About Jim Keefe

Jim Keefe is the current artist of the Sally Forth comic strip, he is also the writer and artist of the Flash Gordon comic strip - both available at ComicsKingdom.com. A graduate of the Joe Kubert School, Keefe likewise teaches Comic Art. Teaching and speaking engagements include SVA in Manhattan, Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs, The University of Minnesota and most recently the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
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