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Underrated Artists I Love #2: Herb Trimpe

This has been a long time coming, and, for me, an obvious choice! You can see #1 here.

Ah, Herb Trimpe. Some people actually don’t like Herb’s work—and some people dismiss him simply as a “Jack Kirby Clone”. These people are horribly & completely wrong. I found Herb in the mid-’70s, as a little kid, in UK reprints of his Hulk stories via the weekly Mighty World of Marvel. In spite of initially reading his last name as “tripe” (yeah, yeah, those people above would agree!) (I was just learning to read at the time), I immediately took to his work—and I’ve never changed my mind.

Incidentally: as any real fan knows, Herb’s last name rhymes with shrimpy.

If you’re with me thus far, I’ll assume you agree that Herb Trimpe was an awesome Hulk artist. Here’s Herb’s back cover for Marvel Treasury Edition #5 (1975), which is a fine example of how good a match H & H were…

Marvel Treasury Edition #5 back cover
Someone made him angry…

I still have vivid memories of seeing this book, bearing a striking front cover by John Romita of Hulk charging through a brick wall (see it here), displayed on a newsstand inside the Mander Centre in Wolverhampton, while out shopping with my Aunt Winnie sometime in ’76. The Hulk—the “sympathetic monster” version—had a lot of appeal to me as a Monster Kid and a huge King Kong fan. Anyhow, more about Herb…

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Underrated Artists I Love #1: Frank Robbins

The first in a series? Also, coming up: Overrated Artists I Hate! 🙂

Frank Robbins. He’s that Invaders guy. He’s that weird artist who drew rubber-limbed, contorted figures with insanely distorted, grimacing faces. Everything he drew looked bizarre & wrong, didn’t it? He wasn’t very good, was he?

No. He was GREAT! I mean, come on, get a load of this…

The Shadow 7 (1974) cover
Cover of THE SHADOW #7 (DC Comics, 1974).

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John Romita, RIP

Thought I’d give a quick mention to John, who passed away aged 93 on June 12th. His death is no tragedy—he had a very long life, well lived—but a sad loss nonetheless, especially as the Silver Age greats of comics are dwindling rapidly now.

John was, of course, the third best Spider-Man artist.

Spider-Man 121 cvr

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Gene Colan: Ten Years On

Perhaps this was more appropriately posted back in June (the month of his passing), but as September marks his 95th birthday, that’s fine.

It’s hard to believe the great Gene Colan has been gone for ten years. And what a different (but not in the least bit better) world it is today compared to even back then.

Late ’70s Colan cover to DAREDEVIL #154, nicely inked by Steve Leialoha.

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Hulk #182 (1974)

“Between Hammer and Anvil”


Written by Len Wein. Pencilled & Inked by Herb Trimpe. Lettered by John Costanza. Coloured by Glynis Wein. Edited by Roy Thomas. Published in 1974 by Marvel Comics.

Summary: Stanley Kramer Meets John Steinbeck via the Outer Limits.

Let’s talk about one of my favourite comics. There are a few reasons why this is so: the Hulk was the first comics character I really bonded with, for one thing, and it was by accident. My nan used to buy me random comics when I was a little kid, and one of them was a Marvel UK Hulk book—which I doubt my mom would have ever bought me—and I instantly liked him. I already loved the original King Kong (1933), as well as all the Universal Monsters—I was definitely a Monster Kid. The Hulk was somewhere between Frankenstein’s Monster and Kong… today, I also see a lot of Lennie Small (Of Mice and Men) in him. And I do mean the 1970s Hulk—there are a number of spins on him, but the ’70s one is IMO the best.

Hulk #182 cover

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