Herb Trimpe, best known for his long run on Marvel’s Incredible Hulk series, including the first appearances of Wolverine in the Incredible Hulk #180 and #181, passed away recently on April 13, 2015 at the age of 75. Not long after, the vultures started showing up trying to profit off of his passing.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends!
If you can’t tell already, I probably spend a little bit too much time on eBay looking for collectibles — but don’t we all. Sometimes, you can find great deals or really cool and unique items. And sometimes… just sometimes… you can find things that make you sick to your stomach and want to kick someone in the face with your fist.
Like this for example:
Now, loyal reader, let me put this into perspective for you. Herb Trimpe did a lot of charity work, including work for the Hero Initiative, which is a foundation that helps comic book creators and their families with expenses such as medical bills and the like. You see, since many early comic book artists and writers worked freelance, they never received any benefits. But don’t take my word for it:
From The Hero Initiative
The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays’ creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.
Okay, now back to this $2500 sketch. Herb Trimpe never charged nearly this amount for his work. In fact, I got a sketch from Herb very similar to ones in the later examples I’m about to show you for around $250 last year and most of that money Herb put towards the Hero Initiative.
I understand that the value of artwork will undoubtedly increase after an artist dies — which it has if you check eBay auction history with bids for sketch covers going up to $1380 — but a $2500 asking price? That’s nearly twice the amount!
Oh, but it gets better!
I… I can’t even. No. Just no. Do me a favor. The next time you’re on eBay and you see this listing, message the seller and say, “shame on you”.
But, look at me! I’m doing a good thing and donating to charity!
Good for you! A whopping 20% of the final sale price goes to charity! Let’s see… 20% of $4500 is $900. That’s a bit better right?
Sure, $900 is a HUGE chunk of money to donate to a charity, but not when you’re making a $3600 profit. Fine, fine, you take into account eBay and PayPal fees and the cost for you to buy the artwork originally — it doesn’t equal quite that much. Cry me a river, bub. You know what you’re doing and it’s disgusting.
Now, here is something that might even be criminal:
This is a signed 11×17 Homage sketch of the iconic Incredible hulk 181 with pen and pencil! It is one of, if not the last sketch ever signed by Herb Trimpe. Signed on April 12 2015 at East Coast comic con. RIP
THIS IS NOT A PRINT. IT’S A HAND DRAWN SKETCH. IT IS UNKNOWN WHO ACTUALLY DID THE SKETCH. WHEN HERB SAW IT HE HAD A HUGE SMILE ON HIS FACE. I PHOTOGRAPHED THE MOMENT!
This exact same piece of artwork showed up again less than a week later.
This is an original art piece in ink by Herb Trimpe. It recreates the original cover of the first appearance of Wolverine. This is a beautiful piece worthy of framing, by the late Herb Trimpe legendary comic book artist.
Did you pay attention? The first listing stated, “it is unknown who actually did the sketch. When Herb saw it he had a huge smile on his face”.
The artwork was unsigned and taken to Trimpe to be signed as it is a recreation of his original cover. But, the original seller clearly stated it is unknown who actually drew the image, implying — it wasn’t Trimpe. After looking at the image closely myself, I’m not 100% convinced it’s an original Trimpe either. And it raises the question — if it was originally drawn by Trimpe, then why did he not sign it after he was done and instead had to have a fan bring it to him to be signed? Either way, it was originally purchased for $380 with the intent to be sold for nearly ten times that amount.
So, let me put it into perspective for you again:
I got this Herb Trimpe Wolverine, which is a 9×14 colored sketch in watercolor, from Anthony’s Comic Book Art for $500 AFTER Herb Trimpe passed away (long story short, I sold my original sketch cover a while back because I don’t collect sketch covers anymore). Anthony could have easily changed his price on this piece of artwork after Herb’s passing, but he didn’t (I tip my hat to you, sir). If you’re a collector of original artwork or looking to get into the hobby, I definitely recommend him as he has proven he’s a stand-up guy.
And that’s just the thing — we collect these images of heroes, who in the face of adversity, always choose to do the right thing — yet these eBay sellers are down right exploiting the death of one of the creators of these heroes? As The Dude once said, “this aggression will not stand, man”.
I understand people need to eat, but this isn’t right. Nearly $10,000 for a drawing from an artist who recently passed away and absolutely none of the money is going to a charity or the artist’s family? Is this the kind of world we’re living in — because if so then I can’t wait to see the $100,000 Stan Lee signature books on eBay after he passes away.
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