Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A Trimpe Down Memory Lane - Part 1!


Once upon a time the Incredible Hulk was one of my absolute favorite heroes. That was likely the result of chance to some degree as the Hulk was one of the first "superheroes" I chanced upon as a youngster in the pages of Tales to Astonish #97 which is contained in the third Hulk Epic Collection titled "The Leader Lives". Calling the Hulk a "superhero" though was always problematic as while he was fit inside the larger Marvel Universe, he was more misbegotten monster than hero and when he was the latter it was often accidentally to some degree or other. In those earliest travails the writer was at first Stan Lee then briefly Archie Goodwin before Gary Friedrich had a decent stint. Eventually Roy "The Boy" Thomas took the reins. The artist though was a good deal more consistent in some ways. Marie Severin was the pencil artist but she was assisted by someone named Herb Trimpe on inks. Later he took a stronger hand and became the pencil artist himself with old pros such as Syd Shores and John Severin lending a hand before Dan Adkins took it on. Eventually Trimpe inked himself and his slow but steady identification with the Incredible Hulk was fastened for all time.


Trimpe's artwork was like no one else I can think of. There was a dash of Jack "King" Kirby's dynamics in the pages, but the people, the shapes and machines felt distinctive. Some of the more powerful inkers could moderate this effect, but eventually Trimpe's specific style took hold more and more as he asserted himself and  his own style. Trimpe drew the Hulk for a good long time and that is up next time in this "Trimpe down memory lane".






















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6 comments:

  1. Those are some great Trimpe Hulk images. The first guy I think of when I hear "Hulk artist" is Sal Buscema, since that's the guy I "grew up" with, and he had a pretty good run himself.

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    1. I'm sure nostalgia plays a part in my adoration of Trimpe, a fine artist and a good man, but you're right, Sal "The Pal" locked down many a series in his long career and whether it was the Hulk, the Sub-Mariner, Captain America, the Defenders, or whatever, he did it with professional vigor.

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  2. Trimpe was a big EC fan, specifically Jack Davis. You can see it in his early Westerns and some of his humorous art. I think the Kirby template was imposed upon him by Marvel, but he really gave it his own somewhat primitive edge, perfect for the Hulk.

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    1. I"m sure the Kirby approach was imposed on him, it was almost stated policy at Marvel for new artists and vets to try and tap into that Kirby energy and verve. I do see that Jack Davis flair in those western covers, some of my favorite Trimpe work. I thought I'd done a gallery of those, but if not that's a project for the future.

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    2. I was right for once. I did do a gallery of those western covers by Trimpe. Here's a direct link.

      https://ripjaggerdojo.blogspot.com/2017/11/herb-goes-west.html

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  3. Yeah, those are absolutely great. Some of his first actual work was in the back of old Marvel westerns. His inking was really rich. The one I remember was a backup in the original western Ghost Rider.

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