R.I.P. Herb Trimpe

I was sad to hear that Herb Trimpe died recently.

I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Trimpe in 2011 and we talked about his education, his early years at Marvel, some of the major projects on which he worked. He shared some stories of Stan Lee and Roy Thomas and Tom DeFalco. We barely even scratched the surface, though, of all that he had done both inside and outside of comics. I do regret that we never had the opportunity to talk again. I would have loved to speak more about a few different projects, leaving Marvel after thirty years and going back to school, teaching, his volunteer work at Ground Zero after 9/11.

What struck me re-reading the interview today was how there was so much more that he wanted to do, how much energy he had, but also how content and happy he was. It's an annoying cliche that artists are grumpy and dissatisfied people. Admittedly it's common. I won't argue that, but Mr. Trimpe was a man who wasn't a superstar artist. He wasn't huge then and he isn't huge now, though he is deeply respected and admired by so many of us who work in comics. But he was a man who felt that he had nothing left to prove to anyone–including himself. There was still plenty he wanted to do. I remember when we spoke he was talking about taking lessons to learn to fly a helicopter and he wanted to write. Maybe he was always a well-natured, kind-hearted guy, but it's always nice to encounter that among people.

He was a talented artist, a thoughtful person, and a kind man. I don't know what more I can say. Or what higher compliment I can say about anyone.


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