Along with the beautiful Sal Buscema book IDW released late last year they also released this gorgeous collection of the greatest Hulk artist to ever live. The man was a true talent and gentleman. Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting the man knew of his enormous generosity toward the fans who celebrated his work. Nothing made me happier than to meet this man and see just how much he enjoyed conversing with fans. I was lucky enough to afford a few commissions as well – my favorite being the Fixit cover he did for me:
This fantastic book gives you the opportunity to see his work in a new way! While enjoying the raw pencil and inks of each page from his illustrious career they showcase just how amazing of an artist Trimpe truly was. You can get lost exploring the imperfections of a true master of the craft and studying the details he left to his many partners.
In the book you can read a few complete Hulk issues including one of my all time favorites, issue #131! Each issue showcases not only the original art for each page of the comic but also the inserts. The pages are filled with the blemishes, yellowing tape and stains from yesteryear. The handwritten comic notes scribbled across the top of the pages.
Even better, the book is almost the exact size of the original art. Like you’re reading issue from the pages handed to you by Mr. Trimpe himself. If only the man himself was still with us, I’m sure he would be humbled by how fantastic this book came out. At the end of the book we are treated with scribbles, doodles and notes from Herb and his collaborators. We are even given a small portion of covers from the master, including the greatest issue of them all: The Incredible Hulk #165.
Hulk Mug – they are getting the most out of this Trimpe illustration!
I really wish I could find some time to post more – but right now – this week and next posts will be pretty spare. Sorry ahead of time – but there quite a few things in the works and I am having trouble finding time to even check in right now – let alone post! I know issue #9 hits the stands tomorrow… I will really try to free up time to review that – and trust me I have a whole lot of great pieces to show off – so thanks for your patience guys! Thanks for always checking in! I found this ceramic mug in Framingham at Rubber Chicken Comics – there was only one Hulk in a sea of Cap and Spidey mugs so I felt lucky being able to find this! That’s about it for now – I will try to post the review and maybe the Bowen Fixit statue review the rest of this week! Later guys!
I know some of you guys remember the amazing Hulk commission that Tim Sale did for me – it’s still one of my favorites – and he was at the BCC once again. I would have loved to get something from him – but Sale’s prices jumped considerably this year. I can’t say I blame Sale for raising them – if you look on ebay you’d see that his art usually sells for well over what he’s charging. No, it’s more the flippers I blame. People who go to cons looking to get cheap art specifically to turn around and put on ebay for a profit. Most of these guys are unscrupulous too – using excuses and reasons like “I’m getting it for my kid” that takes time and pieces away from actual fans and collectors. I also sort of blame the people who pay outrageous amounts for art like this.
Either way – I can’t blame Sale for raising his prices – especially since he’s such a nice guy. He’s a real decent fellow who seems to enjoy talking to the fans. He also puts more effort and time into his now more expensive fast passes. Of course, he priced himself out of what I am willing to pay for pieces so… I moved on.
Bryn's Grey Hulk!
The pieces you see were done by Bryn Cimino who is the daughter of another Hulk fanatic and friend John Cimino of Hero Envy She was doing them for just $1 and I think they are fantastic!
I actually talked to Bob Layton – a famous Iron Man artist – and I thought I could get something real fun from him. But after only talking to him for five minutes and hearing his negative views about the latest Marvel movies I decided to move on. Maybe he was just having an off day – but he seemed worked up over such trivial things… so I continued to walk over and finally found Trimpe’s table. Some of the pieces he had displayed was pretty exciting stuff:
Wolvie's got Hulk on the brain!
A Hulk cover at Trimpe’s table:
Classic cover by a classic artist!
I was looking for something a little more specific though – I wanted a Fixit piece from him. When I asked about it he said “Who?” I laughed a little and told him it was the grey Hulk when he was a Las Vegas bouncer. Trimpe came back with “Oh – oh yeah – I think I inked a few of those issues.” I told him he did and he said it wouldn’t be a problem. This is what Trimpe delivered:
I was also able to get Trimpe to sign the CGC case to this great variant cover:
THIS is how to get a comic signed people!
And lastly, for the day, a shot of Trimpe working on my cover. I like to think I can get an artist excited about doing a project – something that they haven’t done before. I am sure that Trimpe gets so many requests for a Hulk and original Wolverine that he may just be happy getting a new request once in a while too. I know Fixit isn’t a huge stretch – but at least it’s somewhat different.
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?
Yes, the new Hulk MM volume is out. I picked up the gold frame cover (#167) and they are now getting into one of my favorite era’s of the Hulk. Trimpe is really getting his confidence in drawing the Jade Giant in all of his glory – and the Leader is ever present! For me, there is not a miss in this collection – every story is amazing – pick up this book, is you can!
I just finished the last Defenders MM so this came at a perfect time – I don’t get a whole lot of time to read extra stuff. It’s funny – I like the Omnibus format but haven’t touched it because I read the issues a few times over in other books. This is why I LOVE the MM books – these I can take with me anywhere – and when I find a myself with a few extra minutes before I have to do a job – I crack open a MM and go into my job with a great attitude!
I have talked about this issue for years now, I have mentioned numerous times how this is my favorite issue – and was shocked to learn that I haven’t even reviewed it yet! At last count I have about a dozen copies of this issue – none of which are CGC graded – that will be my next project. I have three extremely beautiful copies – one signed by Herb Trimpe – a few reading copies and some in the middle grade. Why? I have no idea.
Captain Omen's prisoner!
So, this issue begins with the Hulk on the bottom of the ocean – captured and imprisoned by Captain Omen. The Hulk must keep following Captain Omen’s ship to keep getting oxygen filled helmets. It’s at one of the helmet switches that the Hulk learns that Captain Omen’s crew wants to revolt against him. They want to live on land – they are tired of the bottom of the ocean, deformed and alone. They tell Hulk that he is the only one who can help save them.
Best Tag-Lines EVER! Half-Man, Half-Fish, All HATE!
Meanwhile, Ross, captured by the Russians, is to be killed off; but Talbot is off to save him. The Hulk, assisted by Omen’s crew, begin the mutiny and are ready to take over the ship! They go crashing through the wall – but Captain Omen has another trick up his sleeve – a trick called… AQUON! A half-fish, half-man type creature that it as strong as the Hulk – but can breathe underwater! The Hulk and Aquon have a fearsome battle that ends when they rip through one of the walls of the ship and the ocean pours in!
Hulk and Aquon battle it out!
As the ship fills up with water Omen tells his son to seal off that section or the entire ship will sink. When they do, the Hulk and Aquon are stuck in the flooding part of the ship – still battling – but now Aquon has the advantage! As Aquon takes control of the fight, Omen opens a hatch that drains the water back into the sea. Aquon and Hulk get caught up in the whirl pool – only Hulk stops himself from being sucked out of the ship.
The crew... explode!
Finally, the ship is saved – but Omen’s crew still demands to be taken to the surface. Omen obeys and the crew finally gets taken to the land. They rejoice and celebrate their new freedom – and thank the Hulk – the one they revere as a God, for fulfilling their dreams. Then, the crew, one by one, begin to explode. They burst right out of their skin. Filius, Omen’s son jumps back onto the ship as it ascends into the sea. He begs his Father to let him back onto the ship – but Omen says he dare not open the door again – so that the remainder of the crew does not die as well. He apologizes to his son and continues the dive. His son goes down with the ship, banging on the door, begging for his father to reconsider and open the door to let him in. But he does not. The Hulk is left alone, standing on the beach where a whole group of people once stood who thought of him as a God. He wonders how a Father and Son can live together their whole lives – but not even know each other.
Classic Hulk inner struggle!
This issue represents the best of what the Hulk comic can offer. The Hulk – a reluctant hero once again – saves people – only for them to meet a horrible, ironic fate. The end of the issue has such a great moment with the Hulk thinking about the Father/Son relationship. A relationship that will not even be explored until quite a many issues later. Such a sad, fantastic end. I could read this issue a thousand times and never get tired of it! Grade: A+ Funny enough – if you go to this page and scroll down you will see that there is a mistake on this page – Issue #165 is put on the page twice, once as the cover of #163 AND #165
MTE #25 actually features a completely original tale – about the Hulk and Spiderman at the Winter Olympics. Why at the Witer Olympics? Well, personally, I think it’s because of the freakin’ curling! What the hell is that anyways? Who brushes the ice? And does brushing it really make the stone go any further? I am not totally convinced. I know I get pissed off just watching the ridiculous “sport”. The crazy part is – there is nothing in the Winter Olympics tha thte Hulk would really do well in… maybe the bobsled – but he’d never be able to get in the thing! And what the heck is the Mole Man doing there? He lives underground, right? Deep underground – near the liquid magma (say this last part with the Dr. Evil voice) – what the heck is he doing in the cold?