Monday, June 8, 2015
The more I read about the Marvelmania International fan club, the more disreputable it sounds. The characters who ran the comic book industry from NYC appear at times to be downright dimwitted when it comes to merchandising their products, often signing up for deals which promised a fraction of the actual potential value of the work. That seems all too obvious now I guess, but even at the time it sounds to me like often Goodman, the man behind the Marvel empire was signing away rights for pennies, and seemed to have little interest in the quality of the craftsmanship.
The Hulk poster by Herb Trimpe has been featured here and many other places before. It's a symbol of the reckless nature of how Marvel operated in those days, taking its talent for granted and seeing the work as what comics had become, factory piece work.
Here is the now-famous original Kirby artwork for that poster, which as I understand it was clearly used as the model for Trimpe's version. Now no dishonor falls to Trimpe, he was merely a company employee doing the work he was paid to do, which like nearly all of Marvel at this time was evoking the best of what Kirby brought to the page. I actually prefer Trimpe's version of the image as Kirby's Hulk is weirdly too human somehow in the face.
But famously this poster was perhaps the last straw which sparked the switch by Kirby from Marvel to DC. Clearly he'd been planning for such a move for some time, but the actual motive to move was seeing his work so disrespected by the company he had given so much to.
This Kirby art is getting a color showcase on the next Jack Kirby Collector which should be showing up in stores any time now.