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Nov 17, 2015

In the introduction to the biography The Incredible Herb Trimpe, former Marvel Comics editor Tom DeFalco sums up artist Trimpe’s unusually long run as the artist on The Incredible Hulk perfectly:

“He somehow conveyed the power of Kirby with the stylization of Ditko, but added a humanity, a pathos that was all his own. Where Kirby’s Hulk was an enraged monster with a hair-trigger temper and Ditko’s was a sinister and angry master-planner, Herb’s version was a desperate and haunted individual. Someone who had been misused and abused, yet struggled to control his explosive tantrums.”

To that, I might add that Trimpe’s Hulk – aided and abetted by writers Roy Thomas and Len Wein – was a bridge to the modern Hulk found in the popular Avengers movies in which he is portrayed by Mark Ruffalo – or even the 1970s TV version brought to life by Lou Ferrigno – and less so the Eric Bana and Edward Norton editions.

DEWEY CASSELL podcast excerpt: "The theme of the people we are attracted to have humility. That would describe Herb. He would not feel the need to go around at a comic book convention and say, "I created The Wolverine.' That was not his style."

In the new Twomorrows biography of Trimpe co-authored by Dewey Cassell and Aaron Sultan, Q&As with Trimpe – who died suddenly shortly before the well-illustrated book was published – as well as his many admirers and collaborators bring the man and his work to life. A quiet man, Trimpe nonethless was a Vietnam War veteran who always brought believability to his battle scenes, whether starring the Emerald Giant, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., Kid Colt and The Two-Gun Kid, or licensed characters such as G.I. Joe, Godzilla, and Transformers. He was also the very first artist to draw Wolverine, although the character’s significance may not have been immediately apparent to anyone at Marvel. If you love The Hulk, you’ll enjoy learning more in The Incredible Herb Trimpe about one of his modern fathers.

AARON SULTAN podcast excerpt: "Herb had a wealth of great characters (The Hulk, Wolverine, G.I. Joe, Shogun Warriors, Godzilla, Transformers, Defenders, Spider-Man) and made a titanic contribution to the Marvel Universe."

Key interview moments:

6:55 Aaron Sultan on comic book artist Herb Trimpe's major contribution to the creation of the Marvel Universe;

14:40 Dewey Cassell describes the early design work that Trimpe and Larry Hama did on early G.I. Joes;

26:20 Cassell compares Trimpe's humility on his accomplishments with a lot of his professional counterparts in comics.

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