Sunday, 4 July 2010

Everyone's a critic.

Being realistic about it, The Incredible Hulk as it was in the 1960s shouldn't have worked. Basically it's a big stupid monster hitting other big stupid monsters (and the occasional android) while lacking the intellect to outwit his foes and the articulacy to even give them a good taunting. How could a strip based around so limited a character ever hope to work?

As far as I'm concerned, for most of the 1960s, it didn't. It was there in the way Stan Lee kept re-jigging the format, trying to find one that was right. It was there in a revolving door of artists, none of whom seemed able to produce their best work, nor even to hang around long enough to become associated with it. During that period, only Marie Severin could claim to have genuinely put her stamp on the strip and even then it'd be a stretch to label her work definitive.

Then, in 1968, Herb Trimpe came along and at last, after six years, The Incredible Hulk had an artist who for me is as definitive of it as Jack Kirby was for The Fantastic Four and Steve Ditko The Amazing Spider-Man. And that's why, despite the strip's long and varied history, I'll be concentrating on the work of Herb Trimpe in this blog. Along with his writers, Happy Herb showed the world how you get an interesting story out of, "Hulk smash!", "Grargh!" and "Rargh!" and for that the world of comics - and the human race in general - should be truly thankful.

4 comments:

Kid A said...

Having not really read much Hulk from this period, I am looking forward to the history lesson.

The Cryptic Critic said...

Thanks, Kid. It's nice to hear from you. I feel I should give you some sort of award for being the site's first ever follower and commenter but I'm afraid I have nothing to give apart from my warmest greetings. Welcome all the same. :)

cerebus660 said...

Hi CC! Glad to see that the end of Spider-Man Reviewed isn't the end of your presence here in the blogoverse.

I've got fond memories of reading Ol' Greenskin's adventures in The Mighty World Of Marvel, so I'm looking forward to your take on the strip. And I love the green-and-purple lettering!!

The Cryptic Critic said...

Hello, cerebus. Nice to see you too. I wasn't really going to bother with another blog for a while but I'm clearly addicted to inflicting my opinions on everyone. The green and purple lettering's making me feel a bit nauseous but I'm determined to put up with it for the sake of my "art".

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