When we talk about the Marvel Comics of the 1960s we always bring up Kirby and Ditko. Steranko. Adams. Everett. Severin. Colan. Ayers. Buscema. Smith. Even divisive talents such as Colletta and Heck receive their share of attention (both positive and negative). We've never spoken about Herb Trimpe at length.
Sure, we made fun of his art in the 1990s when he changed his style to imitate Rob Liefeld. Then we wept for him when he went to the New York Times and revealed how Marvel had let him go after three decades, pretending that we cared.
You can't talk about Wolverine for very long without at least noting he drew Wolvie's first appearance. Likewise G.I. Joe. Captain Britain. And he must surely have drawn more Hulk stories than any other artist.
What can we say? He began his career imitating Kirby and wound up imitating Liefeld. He and Severin were a great team. He loved to draw airplanes, such as in the Phantom Eagle example I've posted above. He spent most of the last two decades teaching art classes.
Will he be forgotten? ...Yes. He'll survive as a footnote in the histories of Wolverine & G.I. Joe.
Want to evaluate him for yourself? Here's my recommended reading list of his Marvel Comics career:
- Marvel Super-Heroes #16 (Phantom Eagle)
- Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #8
- Incredible Hulk #140
- Machine Man #1-4
- Rawhide Kid #1-4
- G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1, 3-4, 6-8, 50
- G.I. Joe: Special Missions #1-21, 23, 25-26, 28