Let’s have a little fun and discuss some of the more graphic, violent, sad, or just plain awkward moments that have plastered the Hulk history. Be it a passing meeting between spouses of a gruesome scene that nobody saw coming – this year I’ll have you squirming in your seat!
I can’t even describe what I was feeling when it happened. One of the best written issues of Hulk history that still burns when read. The final arc of Peter David’s 12 year writing career for the Hulk had the Hulk face down one of the biggest nightmares. His wife… the woman he loved from the day he first laid eyes on her… was dying.
Dying from gamma radiation poisoning. Not even the strength of the Hulk could not save her. Banner’s brilliant mind could not stop the inevitable. Betty was going to die. In an issue that simultaneously infuriated and saddened you, you watched the love of Bruce Banner’s life collapse and never get back up – and for months we were under the impression that it was the constant exposure to gamma radiation from the Hulk. It was hard to read – and truly one of the most ‘incredible’ Hulk comics written.
I am not sure how many times it’s brought up – at least a few dozen times a year – but no matter how many times it’s asked you always have two very opinionated sides. No, I am not talking about politics – I am talking about signatures. A while back Gary Miller was thinking about getting his Incredible Hulk #1 signed. I did all but beg him not to deface a piece of history like that – but he did it anyways. Of course, he can do as he wishes with his own property, but it still stings when I think about it. I hate scrolling through ebay and seeing just how many people have destroyed silver age comics with a markered autograph.
Peter David Sig #1
To me, having someone signing a comic is basically tarnishing what could be an otherwise perfect issue. Not only would I NOT pay for a signature I wouldn’t even buy an already signed comic. Now, I can see how you might want the writer – or artist – to sign a book they connected with but by doing this the book cannot be considered mint anymore – and one of the most infuriating things I see is when people have writers or artists sign books they had nothing to do with!
Adam Kubert Sig
Stan Lee signing an Incredible Hulk #1 – okay, he wrote it – makes sense. Stan Lee signing Incredible Hulk #377 – NO! Makes no sense – yes, Stan Lee created the Hulk – but he has nothing to do with that issue! Having him sign a poster or something… okay… but an issue he had nothing to do with, come on! The worst part is, if you search out Stan Lee sigs on ebay you will get a huge amount of merchandise all signed by Stan. So it’s not like the signature is rare or anything – in fact, that’s pretty much all he does these days! He goes to cons and charges people to autograph stuff!
Trimpe Sig #2
This is all being said, of course, as I show you more and more items that are signed in my collection. Well, there are a few ways I will get things signed: #1 – Trades – I will have a trade signed because a trade, for all intents and purposes, is a reprint of material that has already been published elsewhere.
Mike Mignola Sig
#2 – A comic that is signed on the INSIDE – still defacing a comic – but at least the cover isn’t ruined by it – or I will have my extra copy of a comic signed. I would refuse to get my one and only copy signed. (Same thing applies to action figures)
Peter David Sig #2 - inside Hulk Visionaries Vol. 1
Another way to get a comic signed – if you have a CGC comic – have them sign the case. You are not ruining the comic but at the same time you get the sig you’re looking for! Herb Trimpe is coming to the 2012 comic-con – I am planning on getting something signed by him – and it’s a CGC comic – I am doing exactly what I just described, having him sign the case.
Trimpe Sig #3
#3 – I would have any poster signed. Original Art – by the artist ONLY – should be signed. Statues can be signed on the base ONLY. Have you seen some of these statues that people have signed on the statue itself? They have ruined the whole thing! It’s now an eyesore!
Aaron Lopresti Sig
CGC now has a service called the Signature Series where they grade the comic AND authenticate the signature on the book. I see the good in this service as it is impossible for forgers to pass off bunk sigs on graded books – but this is where I am most astounded – who pays more for an autograph? I have a whole bunch of stuff signed – it’s not really something I care about – what I hold dear is the memory of how I got the autograph.
Tim Sale Sig - Inside Hulk: Gray HC
For example, here is Bruce Cambell’s signature inside his “If Chins Could Kill” book:
How in the hell does that scribble say Bruce Cambell?
It’s made out to me and I remember pretty much everything about that night. Meeting him, how nice he was, cordial, looking to talk to his fans rather than just sign and then move along to the next guy. It was fantastic! That’s what I think about when I see this.
Randy Queen Sketch and Sig - on Print
When I look at the Herb Trimpe signatures I think about the first commission I had him do for me – in the email he sent he said to send along a few comics and he will sign them. So I sent a few extras and they all came back signed – it was a nice extra that he did for me (I think I sent one of them to Fiddy) – but no way would I have paid for that! I can’t wrap my head around why people would actually PAY to have people sign something – or even worse – pay a premium for something that is already autographed. I mean, where is the memory in that?
Tripme Sig #4 - on DF Limited Print
I know I may sound pretty harsh on signatures – but it’s one of the issues that has no shades of grey to me. You might say “But doesn’t it add value to your comic?” and I would say… Yes and No. Yes, obviously there are some collectors out there who are ready to pay a premium for a simple scribble on a cover – but they are a very select group. You have now made your collectible less collectible to other collectors. So, who is in the majority? The people who like signatures on there comics – or people who would rather have a clean comic – I feel a poll coming on!
One of the most signatures in my collection is Trimpe’s – on the box of a Hulk bust. Yup, someone had him sign the box… I have no idea why. I wanted the bust and this particular auction was going for a decent price so I got it – but the signature had no bearing on my choice to purchase it. In fact, to be completely honest, I thought it was pretty silly that someone had him sign the box – a box that ended up in storage in my attic.
Herb Trimpe Sig #5
But anyways, let me know what you think – do you guys out there collect signatures? Would you pay a premium for one? And why?
Some posters that Wizard used to include with your purchase of their magazine. Now they give you nothing. Wizard used to give really cheap exclusive figures and great posters like these – now you get just the magazine! What kind of crap is that?
Sam Keith did the poster on the left – Adam Kubert did the one on the left – and I’m not sure who did the one on the bottom – all I know is that it’s better than mine.
Wizard is a magazine about comics and what’s going on in the comic community. Hulk has graced the cover a few times – and I have them all. I think I have them all. Here is a small smapling of those covers. The Homer Hulk is pretty cheesy, true, but still funny.
The entire Hulk fan population (which, some of my friends say consists of just me) rejoiced when Adam Kubert took over the pencils of the Incredible Hulk comic. Course, that also meant that he was going to be a bit slower than regular artists – more guests artists inbetween regular story issues – but this was the first cover that he presented to us – and it was awesome. So we forgot about any of those other negatives.