Friday, September 9, 2011

Famous First Fridays: Presenting Herb Trimpe

Most kids reading Marvel Comics during the Groovy Age dug the art of Herb Trimpe. Besides making himself "the" Incredible Hulk artist for most of the 1970s, he left his unique artistic mark on tons of mags like Iron Man, Marvel Feature (starring Ant-Man), Marvel Super-Heroes featuring the Phantom Eagle (his co-creation), Godzilla, and even the odd issue of Captain America. Herb's Kirby-inspired action-packed figures, his mastery of drawing authentic weapons, vehicles, and machinery, and his incredible storytelling skills made him a Marvel mainstay well into the 1990s. (If you're interested in Herb's life-story, mostly in his own words, you'd do well to read this awesome article at Comic Book Resources.)

While Herb is best-remembered for his superhero work in general and his nearly 100 issues on Incredible Hulk in particular, Ol' Groove finds it kinda cool that Herb's big break from running the photostat machine and providing the occasional ink-job was in that nearly-forgotten corner of Groovy Age Marvel--the western mags! Here's Happy Herb penciling and inking his heart out on Kid Colt, Outlaw #134 (February 1967) on a leather-slappin' script by a young Denny O'Neil, "Shoot-out at Hooker Flat!"


  1. I really never cared for Trimpe's work all that much. I hear he's a great guy and a great convention guest but unless John Severin was inking him he just didn't work for me, y'know? And his attempt at Image-style art on FF UNLIMITED years later just scared me. Sorry.

  2. Groovy, Groovy One!
    I was lucky enough to interview Herb for Back issue #28 a few years back. Never thought growing up & loving his, Joe Sinnott, Roy Thomas & John Romita SR. I'd one day know them & be friends with them! Some dreams really do come true. Just wish it could had happened in the 70's or 80's atleast.

    I'll be sure to foward this link on to Herb. Phantom Eagle was his baby & he loved the Ant-Man as well.

  3. For me, Herb drew one of the greatest panels in comicdom: J. Jonah Jameson leaning out a window, shaking his fist at Godzilla. Can't wait to scare up a copy of Phantom Eagle!

  4. Man. I was never a huge fan until he was on GI Joe Special Missions. He did some of his best work on that title. Amazing.

  5. Trimpe did some absolutely fantastic BW magazine stuff; I think he did a fighting-bi-planes thing in the mag SAVAGE TALES and it was killer. Too bad that he got edged out of the business back in the 90s.

  6. Beautiful work by Trimpe here--it reminds me a lot of Bill Everett, which I never detected in his later work. It's just a shame that the westerns (and the monster reprint books) of this era got shortchanged in the coloring, with entire figures being colored in solid single (and inappropriate!) colors.

  7. Trimpe's a solid, if not very exciting, artist. But I noticed that Denny O'Neil wrote this story!

  8. Herb Trimpe was awesome back in the day! I remember Godzilla, Shogun Warriors and especially, G.I. Joe. My very first subscription when I was 9! Also loved his fighter plane series in Savage Tales.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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