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A graduate of Empire State College with a Bachelors in Arts, Herb Trimpe (1939 – 2015) joined the Marvel Comics staff in 1967 as a member of their production department. He was specifically hired to operate their new photostat machine. According to Trimpe, this “opened the door” and where that door led was to a landmark run on one of Marvel’s most popular titles, The incredible Hulk. While many artists have illustrated the Jade Giant since the characters creation in 1962, none have done so with more lasting impact than Trimpe.

Assigned to the newly retitled Hulk series (having recently returned to its original title after running as Tales to Astonish since issue #7) Trimpe finished Marie Severin’s layouts beginning with issue #106 in 1968. Shortly thereafter he took over both interiors and covers for the series and would continue drawing the Hulk in a virtually unbroken stint for the next seven years.

While his run on the Hulk is his seminal work (which also included illustrating the equally seminal issue #181, the first appearance of Wolverine), Trimpe also drew Spiderman, She-Hulk, Doctor Strange, the Sub-Mariner and other major characters in his year-long runs on both The Defenders (1979-1980) and Marvel Team Up (1981-1982). He also drew many other major Marvel characters in their own titles, including Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD. Trimpe also illustrated numerous Marvel licensed movie and television franchise titles, including Godzilla, The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones, Shogun Warriors, Transformers, and G.I. Joe in both the A Real American Hero and Special Missions titles.

But it is for his work on the Hulk and as the artist who illustrated the first published Wolverine story that Trimpe has earned his place among the legends of the comics industry. Wolverine, of course, went on to become one of Marvel’s most popular characters. And Trimpe’s Hulk, considered by many to be the definitive interpretation of the character, served as both and inspiration and guide to to so many of the artists that followed.

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