Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Farewell, Herb Trimpe!

I was sad to read that Herb Trimpe passed away this week at the age of 75. He will be missed and remembered by most fans as the long time artist of The Incredible Hulk.

I definitely got hooked on the Hulk with Herb Trimpe's run on the series. He drew the monster turned hero in a way that not only conveyed his strength but also his vulnerability. Unlike the modern comics where the Hulk is portrayed as 10 feet tall, the Silver / Bronze Age Hulk was more human-sized (maybe 6-7 feet tall) and definitely more relatable. I think I collected nearly Trimpe's entire run when I was a kid.

Of course one of the best stories featured Jarella, the girl who fell in love with the Hulk in a microscopic sub-universe.

In 2001 I went to Wondercon, when it was still held in Oakland, and Herb was there to show a documentary film made about him and his early career.  There was actual footage of Herb taking the train into New York City to work in the 1960s Marvel Bullpen - I believe we also saw Marie Severin in that, too. It was very thrilling for a long time Marvel fan, yet quite sad, because Trimpe was forced to give up drawing comics in his later years to teach art in high school. I remember him saying that teaching in high school was the hardest thing he had ever done! I sat just behind Erik Larsen, the Savage Dragon creator, who was obviously a big fan of Trimpe - his jaw almost dropped to the floor. It seemed shocking that such a legend in the comics business couldn't make a living drawing anymore.

Trimpe had more versatility in him that just super-hero comics, he was quite good at drawing planes, tanks, and war stories. I bought many issues of War is Hell for his artwork, which later had a continuing series by him. And of course, he did great work on The Phantom Eagle, where he showcased his love of planes.

Herb Trimpe will definitely be missed.  Nuff Said!

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