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 Herb Trimpe Cover Artist Tough Guy, Mohawk Media
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Jazma V.P.

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Posted - 02/09/2012 :  06:51:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit Richv1's Homepage  Reply with Quote Bookmark and Share

Herb Trimpe
Cover Artist for Tough Guy
Published by: Mohawk Media
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Posted: 09/02/2012

Rich: You are famous for being the first person to draw Wolverine for publication, what do you think of his growth since you drew him?

Herb: I like him a lot better now than then. Kinda dumb, really. That guy wouldn't have gone very far--except it's the only version that the fans want these days. Go figure.

Rich: You penciled "Captain America: America's Avenger". How did you try to bring Captain America across, what was his personality?

Herb: That's a deep question, and the only thing I can say, is, when I was drawing comics, I never went that deep. I primarily focused on clarity and storytelling. I guess I was assuming that Cap's personality spoke for itself.

Rich: Why did you like drawing "G.I. Joe: Real American Hero", especially since you are a veteran?

Herb: Truth to tell, I didn't exactly like drawing G.I. Joe. Or, maybe I should say it was too hard drawing Joe/Missions. Too many characters, too work intensive. As to being a veteran, I have no problem drawing military stuff. But in Joe, I saw no real similarity. The title was a lot closer to science-fiction than it was to real military life. It's got to be that way when you are basically selling toys. Otherwise, the toys would be pretty boring. No? On the other hand, there was a lot of satisfaction in completing a book that looked good. Larry put a lot of effort into the characters and the writing and it showed.

Rich: How do you feel about the Hulk character, how has he affected you?

Herb: The Hulk was my first and longest gig. We had a good time doing that title, and I think everyone contributing to the book had a little bit of themselves in the character. Roy and Len and the rest of the writers at the time had a good grasp of what the Kirby/Lee creation was all about. It's a classic theme, really. One of pathos and tragedy, I would say. Man or monster: which is he? These are two of the many facets of our own human characteristics. I think many of us identified with the Hulk in that regard, as opposed to superhero characters in general. The last part of your question might be, how did I affect the Hulk? I would say, Well, I am the Hulk.

Rich: How did you get on board "Tough Guy"?

Herb: Like every other job. Somebody calls me and says will you do this, that, or the other thing for money, and I say, sure, how much?

Rich: What do you personally think of the Tough Guy character?

Herb: I try not to think too much about a character's personality. I mostly look at what he or she does. As Stan Lee once said, and I paraphrase, "the comic book is primarily a visual medium," a courageous thing for a writer to say, by the way. It fitted my philosophy, if you could call it that, perfectly. I totally agree with the statement.

Rich: What does your cover bring across Tough Guy's personality?

Herb: The character, by deed, is aggressive, tough, and willing to take chances--damn the torpedoes. I don't know if that came across or not. But that, I think, is for others to decide.

Rich: What do you have planned next for your career and what are you currently working on?

Herb: I never considered I had a career. I saw it as a job, as did many of the others I worked when I began at Marvel. But, it was a great job. We had a lot of fun in the bullpen, sometimes to Stan's annoyance. During that time, the "star" mentality did not exist as it became later on. Now, everyone has BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE on the brain. These days comics are "serious business." Toward the end at Marvel, my end, it definitely was not fun anymore. Right now I'm doing Joe covers for IDW in California. Other than that, I have no plans as far as comic books are concerned.

Rich: How can someone contact you?

Herb: My email is trimpdog[at] I just opened up my old website again at, but it may be out of date. I have a representative in NY, Jeff Jaworski, who sells my art online and at auctions. His email is Check him out for his website. It's very good, and he features other artists, as well.

Rich: How do you feel about all the fans of your work?

Herb: No fans, no work. So many people have said to me how important my work was in getting them through tough times. It kinda blows me away, considering I was basically taking a paycheck to survive. They say thanks for the pleasure and the happiness they felt. Story after story of their first comic book--a Hulk, or a GI Joe, or, you name it, and what it meant to them. I have told them it is me that should be doing the thanking. They put a roof over our heads, put food on the table, kept me working by continuing to buy. Who owes the greatest debt?

Richard Vasseur
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