Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Tribute to Trimpe

“Comic Book reading is a solitary activity best shared with others.” – Matthew G. Mann, Sr. (date unknown)

I came up with that statement some time ago to illustrate the truism that the collective relational experience between readers, whether through a blog, podcast, e-mail, or simply chatting at your Local Comic Shop (LCS) is as much a part of the hobby as reading the comic itself and collecting it to be appreciated another day. This idea especially applies when there is a bond between a fan and a comic book creator. That bond is initially established when you first fall in love with an individual’s work and start to follow them as one of your favorites.  Regardless of whether you’re a child or an adult, a connection of some sort is made between you, because every creator puts a bit of themselves into their craft. 

And if you ever get to meet that person one day (and they’re not a jerk), it just enriches the whole experience even more.  Better still is if you develop a person to person relationship with them, rather than just a fan to creator one.  Best of all is if you are blessed to become friends. Now certainly the term “friends”, like “love”, has many layers and degrees, so please do not presume that I am embellishing on any of the friendships I claim to have with any comic book professionals.  I’m just happy for the ones I have no matter the degree.  That’s why when one of them ends abruptly…

You see, my friend, the legendary artist of Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk, Godzilla, and G.I.Joe to name a few, Herb Trimpe, passed away unexpectedly two weeks ago on 2015 April 14.  I just found out yesterday while perusing the www.marvelmasterworks.com website and saw their bulletin about IDW's upcoming Herb Trimpe's Incredible Hulk Artist Edition HC. I'm still reeling from the news. It's been much more on my mind than the protests in Baltimore City that sent me home from work this morning.

I wanted to pay tribute to Herb by recounting my friendship with him, which began in 2007, consisted of only subsequent annual in-person meetings at the Baltimore Comic-Con, and a few e-mails in-between. 

2012 Baltimore Comic-Con