Herb Trimpe

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Herb Trimpe
HerbTrimpe11.16.08ByLuigiNovi.jpg
Trimpe at the November 2008 Big Apple Con in Manhattan.
Born (1939-05-26) May 26, 1939 (age 75)
Peekskill, New York
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Hulk,
Wolverine
Defenders
Awards Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, 2002
Inkpot Award, 2002

Official website

Herbert W. "Herb" Trimpe[1] (born May 26, 1939[2]) is an American comic book artist and occasional writer, best known the seminal 1970s artist on The Incredible Hulk and as the first artist to draw for publication the character Wolverine, who later became a breakout star of the X-Men.

Early life[edit]

Herb Trimpe was born[3] and raised in Peekskill, New York,[4] where he graduated from Lakeland High School.[3] Of his childhood art and comics influences, he said in 2002, "I really loved the Disney stuff, Donald Duck and characters like that. Funny-animal stuff, that was kind of my favorite, and I liked to draw that kind of thing. And I also liked ... Plastic Man. ... I loved comics since I was a little kid, but I was actually more interested in syndicating a comic strip than working in comics."[5] As well, "I was a really big fan of EC comics and [artist] Jack Davis."[5]

Career[edit]

Trimpe commuted to New York City for three years to attend the School of Visual Arts.[6] There, Trimpe recalled in 2002, instructor and longtime comics artist Tom Gill needed a student "to ink his backgrounds and stuff. So that's how I started, at Dell [Comics], doing mostly Westerns and also licensed books, like the adaptation of the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth."[7]

Trimpe then enlisted in the United States Air Force "for four years," he recalled in 1997, "the standard enlistment time, from 1962 to 1966. I was a weatherman, and our unit was on loan, you might say, to the Army. We supplied aviation weather support to the First Air Cavalry Division based in the central highlands in Viet Nam. They used helicopters extensively to move troops around."[8] Upon his discharge in October 1966, he learned that fellow SVA classmate John Verpoorten was working at Marvel Comics' production department, and

. . . said they were hiring freelance people, and I should come up to the office and show my work to Sol Brodsky, who was Stan [Lee]'s right-hand man at the time. . . . I was just preparing to put some material together and go to DC and Charlton when I got a call from Sol Brodsky, who was production chief. He said they needed somebody on staff in the production department to run the new photostat machine they had just bought, and to do some production work. I would primarily run the 'stat' machine and wouldn't be seated at a desk, but I would be able to pick up some freelance pencilling and inking. This kind of opened the door. The staff job didn't pay much by today's standards; I think it started at $135 dollars a week which wasn't as low as it sounds. Remember, it was 1966 and that was a fairly good entry-level salary.[4]

His joining the Marvel production staff was announced in the "Bullpen Bulletins" of Marvel comics cover-dated June 1967, such as Fantastic Four #63. He remained associated with the company through 1996. While operating the Photostat camera in the Marvel offices, Trimpe did freelance inking for Marvel, and made his professional penciling debut with two Kid Colt Western stories, in Kid Colt, Outlaw #134–135 (May and July 1967).[9] Shortly thereafter, Trimpe and writer Gary Friedrich created Marvel's World War I aviator hero the Phantom Eagle in Marvel Super-Heroes #16 (Sept. 1968).[10]

Hulk and the Silver Age of Comics[edit]

In the 1960s, during the period known as the Silver Age of Comics, Trimpe was assigned to pencil what became his signature character, the Hulk. Beginning with pencil-finishes over Marie Severin layouts in The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #106 (Aug. 1968), he went on to draw the character for a virtually unbroken run of over seven years, through issue #142 (Aug. 1971), then again from #145–193 (Nov. 1971 – Nov. 1975). Additionally, Trimpe penciled the covers of five Hulk annuals (1969, 1971–72, 1976–77, titled King-Size Special! The Incredible Hulk except for #4, The Incredible Hulk Special), and both penciled and inked the 39-page feature story of The Incredible Hulk Annual #12 (Aug. 1983).[9] Most writers on The Incredible Hulk heavily relied on Trimpe for the plot as well; in most cases he was not even given a written plot, and was left to draw the issue after only a brief story conference. Trimpe has said that he had no difficulty with this level of collaboration, and in fact enjoyed it.[11]

Among the characters co-created by Trimpe during his run on the title were Jim Wilson in issue #131 (Sept. 1970)[12] and Doc Samson in #141 (July 1971).[13] During his time on the comic, he became the first artist to draw for publication the character Wolverine, who would go on to become one of Marvel's most popular. The character, designed by Marvel de facto art director John Romita, Sr., was an antagonist for the Hulk, introduced in the last panel of The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #180 (Oct. 1974) and making his first full appearance the following issue.[14] Trimpe in 2009 said he "distinctly remembers" Romita's sketch, and that, "The way I see it, [Romita and writer Len Wein] sewed the monster together and I shocked it to life! ... It was just one of those secondary or tertiary characters, actually, that we were using in that particular book with no particular notion of it going anywhere. We did characters in The [Incredible] Hulk all the time that were in [particular] issues and that was the end of them."[15] Trimpe co-created nearly all of the characters introduced during his run on The Incredible Hulk, with Wolverine being a rare exception.[11]

He said that he devised the military unit the Hulkbusters, which became a regular element of The Incredible Hulk:

[The series' writers] came up with the major concepts. I was not involved much with the creation of the new characters or new ideas. I didn't want to be. The concept of the Hulkbusters, however, was my idea. I did [the schematic diagram of the base]. I also designed the unit emblem, which was an "H" being shattered by a lightning bolt. You remember, "Thunderbolt" was [antagonist] General Ross' nickname. [The aerial-view design of the base as a peace symbol was used] purposefully as a design for the Hulkbuster base, but it really wasn't a joke. It was just meant as the ironic juxtaposition of a military base run by an aggressive, blustery general, and the military base design being a symbol of peace. It was like in the '60s and '70s when protesters stuck flowers down the barrels of National Guard rifles. It was a provocative gesture.[8]

Trimpe also had a year's run on The Defenders (#69–81, March 1979–March 1980), a superhero-team comic featuring the Hulk. He also drew the cover, featuring the Hulk, of the 1971 issue of Rolling Stone containing a major profile of Marvel Comics.[16]

The artist in 2002 recalled a less-than-smooth start to his Hulk tenure: "I did, like, three or four pages, and Stan [Lee] saw them and made Frank Giacoia do the layouts [for Trimpe's fourth issue, #109, Nov. 1968]. It wasn't my storytelling, there was a good flow there, but it was too [much like] EC [Comics] for Stan. I loved EC, the dark atmosphere and clean lines of it. . . . But it wasn't right for Marvel."[7]

Other Marvel work[edit]

As a Marvel mainstay, Trimpe would draw nearly every starring character, including Captain America (Captain America #184 and 291), the Fantastic Four (Fantastic Four Annual #25–26, 1982–1983; Fantastic Four Unlimited #1–12, March 1993 – Dec. 1995), Iron Man (Iron Man #39, 82–85, and 93–94 in the 1970s, plus occasional others), Ka-Zar (Astonishing Tales #7–8, Aug. and Oct. 1971), Nick Fury (Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #13–15, July–Nov. 1969), Thor (Thor Annual #15–16, 1990–1991), Ant-Man (Marvel Feature #4–6), Killraven (Amazing Adventures #20–24, #33), Rawhide Kid, Spider-Man, and many more as the regular artist of Marvel Team-Up #106–118 (June 1981 – June 1982) and Marvel Team-Up Annual #3–4 (1980–1981).[9] As the artist of Super-Villain Team-Up, Trimpe co-created the Shroud with writer Steve Englehart.[17] Captain Britain was introduced by Chris Claremont and Trimpe in an ongoing series published by Marvel UK.[18] In 1976, Trimpe was one of the inkers of Captain America's Bicentennial Battles, an oversized treasury-format one-shot written and penciled by Jack Kirby.[19] Trimpe drew Marvel Treasury Edition #25 (1980) "Spider-Man vs. the Hulk at the Winter Olympics" which featured a story set at the 1980 Winter Olympics by writers Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant, and Bill Mantlo.[20] Jack Kirby's Machine Man character was revived in a 1984 limited series drawn by Trimpe.[21]

In the late 1970s and 1980s, Trimpe's Marvel work included licensed movie and TV franchises. He drew all but issues #4–5 of the 24-issue Godzilla (Aug. 1977–July 1979);[22] drew all but one of the 20-issue Shogun Warriors;[23] six issues of The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones (also writing the last two); G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1 (July 1982) and other issues;[24] nearly the entire run of the 28-issue spin-off G.I. Joe Special Missions (1986–1989); three of the four-issue miniseries G.I. Joe: The Order of Battle (1986–1987); and three issues of The Transformers.[9]

Trimpe, in a 1997 interview, described his Marvel arrangement: "I was a quota artist, which was non-contractual but [I] received a salary. I got a regular two-week check, and anything I did over quota I could voucher for as freelance income. I also had the extras, the company benefits. It was like a regular job, but I worked at home. It was a good deal."[8]

1990s - present[edit]

Trimpe sketching at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, October 2, 2010.

When Marvel went bankrupt in the mid-1990s, Trimpe returned to college to finish his bachelor's degree, graduated with a BA in Arts from Empire State College, Hudson Valley Center, in 1997.[25] He went on to a master's degree program at SUNY New Paltz.[8] Beginning September 8, 1999, he taught art for two years at Eldred Central School in Sullivan County, New York.[26]

Trimpe penciled BPRD: The War on Frogs (Aug. 2008) for Dark Horse Comics, and returned to his signature character by drawing the eight-page story "The Death and Life of the Abomination" in Marvel's King-Size Hulk #1 (July 2008). In December 2009, Trimpe, a Bugatti airplane enthusiast and member of the Bugatti Aircraft Association, published the eight-page comic book Firehawks, in which the Bugatti 100P plays a major role.[27][28] This was followed in December 2013 by a second Firehawks "Breath of the Dragon".[29]

Personal life[edit]

Trimpe was divorced from his first wife, with whom he has one daughter, sometime between 1969 and 1971.[30] In late 1972, Trimpe married Marvel Comics editorial assistant and writer Linda Fite,[31] with whom he has three children.[3] Trimpe said he was ordained a deacon by the Episcopal Diocese of New York in 1991.[32]

The since-deceased Mike Trimpe, who inked a Herb Trimpe Ant-Man story in Marvel Feature #6 (Nov. 1972) was Trimpe's brother.[33] Alexander Spurlock "Alex" Trimpe,[34] who co-pencilled with Herb Trimpe the comics RoboCop #11 (Jan. 1991), The Mighty Thor Annual #16 (1991), and Fantastic Four Unlimited #3 (Sept. 1993), is Trimpe's son, and a member of the band The Chief Smiles. That band also includes his daughters Amelia Fite Trimpe[35] and Sarah Trimpe.[36]

Awards[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Big Apple Productions[edit]

Dark Horse Comics[edit]

Dell Comics[edit]

IDW Publishing[edit]

  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Annual #1 (2012)
  • Hundred Penny Press: G.I. Joe: Real American Hero #1 (2011)

Marvel Comics[edit]

Western Publishing[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Full name per Whitepages.com listing. Retrieved November 3, 2011. Archived from the original November 3, 2011.
  2. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Porch Dogs: The Unmuzzled Truth About Men and Our Relationships with Them: The Illustrators — Herb Trimpe". (book official website). 2004. Archived from the original on February 13, 2005. 
  4. ^ a b "An Interview with Herb Trimpe". Green Skin's Grab-Bag (fan site). November 9, 1997. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011.  Additional WebCitation archive, October 7, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Andreasen, Henrik (December 21, 2009; interview conducted July 2002). "Hulk-inued! An Interview with Herb Trimpe". SequentialTart.com. Archived from the original on January 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Herb Trimpe". Lambiek Comiclopedia. September 5, 2012. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Hatcher, Greg (August 3, 2002). "San Diego, Day 1: Reminiscing with Herb Trimpe". ComicBookResources.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d Trimpe interview, Green Skin's Grab Bag, p. 2
  9. ^ a b c d Herb Trimpe at the Grand Comics Database
  10. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1960s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 131. ISBN 978-0756641238. "Aviation buff Herb Trimpe, who flew his own biplane for many years, teamed up with writer Gary Friedrich to create flying ace the Phantom Eagle." 
  11. ^ a b Buttery, Jarrod (February 2014). "Hulk Smash!: The Incredible Hulk in the 1970s". Back Issue (70) (TwoMorrows Publishing). pp. 3–18. 
  12. ^ Sanderson, Peter "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 146: "This issue [#131] saw the introduction of Jim Wilson, a character created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Herb Trimpe"
  13. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 150: "Created by Roy Thomas and artist Herb Trimpe, Dr. Leonard Samson was a psychiatrist...[who] irradiated himself with gamma rays and transformed into a super-strong being."
  14. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 167: "Len Wein wrote and Herb Trimpe drew Wolverine's cameo appearance in The Incredible Hulk #180 and his premiere in issue #181."
  15. ^ Lovece, Frank (April 24, 2009). "Wolverine Origins: Marvel artists recall the creation of an icon". Film Journal International. Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. 
  16. ^ Green, Robin. "Face Front! Clap Your Hands, You're on the Winning Team!", Rolling Stone #91, September 16, 1971, via "Green Skin's Grab-Bag" (fan site) (Archive.org archive)
  17. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 175: "Writer Steve Englehart and artist Herb Trimpe created the Shroud, a blind vigilante with mystical abilities, in Super-Villain Team-Up #5."
  18. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 176: "Writer Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimpe created a new super-hero specifically for Marvel's readers in the United Kingdom."
  19. ^ Powers, Tom (December 2012). "Kirby Celebrating America's 200th Birthday: Captain America's Bicentennial Battles". Back Issue (TwoMorrows Publishing) (61): 46–49. 
  20. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1980s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. Dorling Kindersley. p. 113. ISBN 978-0756692360. "Spider-Man's fights with the Incredible Hulk were always popular with the fans, so Marvel decided to pitch the wall-crawler against the Hulk when the Mole Man and his gang of villains crashed the festivities of the prestigious Winter Olympics." 
  21. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 219: "Machine Man was a living robot who was relaunched in 1984 by Tom DeFalco, Herb Trimpe, and Barry Windsor-Smith."
  22. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 180: "In August 1977, Marvel produced comics featuring the most famous monster in Japanese cinema, Godzilla, in a series by writer Doug Moench and penciller Herb Trimpe."
  23. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 188: "Writer Doug Moench and artist Herb Trimpe created Shogun Warriors, a Marvel comics series based on a line of Japanese toys imported by Mattel."
  24. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 207
  25. ^ "Notable Alumni". SUNY Empire State College. Archived from the original on January 12, 2009. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  26. ^ Trimpe, Herb (January 7, 2000). "Old Superheroes Never Die, They Join the Real World". The New York Times, education supplement. p. 5 (online version). Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011.  Additional WebCitation archive, January 8, 2011.
  27. ^ "Comic Strip on Bugatti Airplane Finally Published", Bugatti Aircraft Association - News, December 9, 2009. WebCitation archive.
  28. ^ "Firehawks Featuring the Bugatti 100 by Herb Trimpe", Brussels Air Museum Fund, n.d. WebCitation archive.
  29. ^ "the Bugatti Page: Firehawks comic Book 2: Breath of the Dragon", BugattiPage, n.d.
  30. ^ Green, Rolling Stone: "He's been through a lot of changes in the last two years, including a divorce. His old lady now is Linda Fite, who used to work at Marvel."
  31. ^ Their wedding was announced in Bullpen Bulletins in Marvel Comics cover-dated March 1973 and on sale two to three months earlier, with production two to three months before that: "Four or Five Phenomenal Flashes, Fitfully Fashioned to Fight Lethargy (Or: Those Wedding Bells Are Waking Up That Old Gang of Mine)".
  32. ^ "Herb Trimpe: If It Ain't Fun, It Ain't Comics". (interview) BryanReesman.com. August 28, 2009. Archived from the original on January 8, 2011. 
  33. ^ Hembeck, Fred, entry, "FFF Results Post #106—Oh, Brother", The Comics Reporter, January 27, 2008. WebCitation archive.
  34. ^ Name per birth announcement in Bullpen Bulletins: "Just Thomas and Lee—and the Soapbox Makes Three" in Marvel Comics cover-dated January 1974, including Ka-Zar #1.
  35. ^ "Marvel Bullpen Bulletins" in Marvel comics cover-dated January 1976.
  36. ^ Archive of "The Chief Smiles", HerbTrimpe.com
  37. ^ "1973 Academy of Comic Book Arts Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. 
  38. ^ "The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award". San Diego Comic-Con International. 2014. Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  39. ^ Trimpe in Andreasen: "I was especially touched by the Humanitarian award, because being involved with the World Trade Center was probably the most intense and privileged experience I have even gone through, in a sense of actually being involved at a level with something that did some good."
  40. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Marie Severin
The Incredible Hulk artist
1968–1975
Succeeded by
Sal Buscema
Preceded by
Chic Stone
Iron Man artist
1976–1977
Succeeded by
George Tuska
Preceded by
Ed Hannigan
The Defenders artist
1979–1980
Succeeded by
Don Perlin
Preceded by
Carmine Infantino
Marvel Team-Up artist
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Kerry Gammill