I’m a massive fan of Herb Trimpe. Ever since starting this blog I’ve made this clear over and over again, and although back in the day it was fashionable in some quarters to mock Trimpe’s art, I always stood by his work until the recent trend is to praise his work. Trimpe for me drew the definitive version of the Hulk. Kirby’s Hulk was fine, but Trimpe made his Hulk capable of more than just rage and angst. His work with Marie Severin is just wonderful.
I even loved his Captain Britain.
However Trimpe’s later work from the early 80’s onwards suffered because he was drawing everything it seemed as editors picked someone reliable and able to hit deadlines. By the 90s he’d drifted into doing whatever he could and became a bit of a lost figure amongst the Liefelds, McFarlanes and Lee’s.
So imagine my surprise to come across this from 1970 when Trimpe was well and truly in his prime. Made as part of a college project,”Herb Trimpe: We Love You!”is a fantastic bit of archive featuring not just Trimpe, but footage of the Marvel Bullpen in 1970.This is a piece of prime history about an artist who deserves greater acclaim than he got when he was alive.
Two years ago today I started this blog. One of the very first blogs I wrote was about trying to get American comics in Glasgow during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, and in that blog I mentioned that the very first American comic I bought with my own money was a Herb Trimpe dawn issue of The Incredible Hulk.
I loved that comic, but for reasons I don’t need to go into now I no longer have it. For the last couple of years I’ve been meaning to search it down to add to my collection, but I’ve never actually done it. Tonight I heard that Herb Trimpe died at the age of 75, and I’m gutted.
Trimpe never got the plaudits he should have, but for people of a certain age his portrayal of The Hulk is the definitive one, even more so than Jack Kirby’s. He drew The Hulk for what seemed forever, but I never tired of his work. Sure, he’d sometimes have some awful inkers, scripts and turn in the odd duff page, but as a superhero comics artist he was immense. He’s also famous for being the co-creator of Wolverine.
For me, his best work after his run on The Hulk was a four-issue Machine Man mini series inked by Barry Smith published by Marvel Comics in the 1980’s, but he did so much that has mainly sailed into history. He also co-created Captain Britain in a mainly terrible run, and he drew Marvel’s Godzilla comic they published in the 70’s and 80’s, not to mention what is probably dozens, if not hundreds of fill in issues on dozens of Marvel’s comics.
So thanks for all the fun over the years. I hope now he gets the just credit for helping form the Marvel Universe that he should.