Classic Comic Cover Corner (PHXCC 2014 Edition) – Godzilla #1

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Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Godzilla #1 – August, 1977

Cover art by Herb Trimpe

Godzilla #1 – August, 1977
Godzilla #1 – August, 1977

Phoenix Comicon 2014 is wrapping up this Sunday and one of the highlights of this year’s convention was seeing the legendary Herb Trimpe, the seminal Incredible Hulk artist who was responsible for the greatest Jade-Giant stories ever. But did you know that Mr. Trimpe is also known for his work with that other big green monster?

Herb Trimpe at Phoenix Comicon 2014
Marvel Legend, Herb Trimpe,
at Phoenix Comicon 2014

Herb Trimpe recently celebrated his 75th birthday (May 26) and for my money he is truly one of the all-time greats of the Marvel universe. The artist was always able to capture the Hulk at his best, as a big, dumb, noble beast. Since Trimpe’s departure from the book in the late seventies the Hulk comics have never enjoyed the same special spark that Herb was able to breathe into them.

Trimpe was a master of the infamous Marvel method, where Pencilers were given a very basic plotline (or none at all) and then the artist would develop the story themselves as they drew the panels for the book. Herb Trimpe was not only responsible for the incredible art, but for outright creating many of the Hulk’s greatest adventures, even though he rarely received a writing byline.

In 1977 Marvel Comics launched their Godzilla comic book series and incorporated “The King of the Monsters” into the Marvel Universe, having the creature go up against Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers, Fantastic Four,Spider-Man and even Peter Parker’s boss, J. Jonah Jameson, at one point (see Godzilla #23 from 1979.) Godzilla #1 was published with both a $0.30 and $0.35 cents cover price.

Godzilla #23
Godzilla #23 – June, 1979

Trimpe was then tapped to illustrate the Godzilla books and drew almost every issue if the title’s 24 issue run. The Godzilla comics are simply a lot of fun and have become a cult classic favorite. If you thought the recent Godzilla film would have been better with superheroes, then this comic book series is definitely for you.

The Phoenix Comicon is open until 6:00 p.m. today, so it’s not too late to get in on the fun. Herb Trimpe is located at Booth # 2312, so be sure to stop by and say, “Happy belated birthday,” and let him know that NERDVANA sent you!

For up-to-date details about Phoenix Comicon 2014, go to: phoenixcomicon.com. For all of NERDVANA’s Phoenix Comicon coverage, click HERE; and follow our ‘live’ Phoenix Comicon 2014 coverage on Twitter @nerdvana.

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About the author

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Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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