From Top to Bottom: HULK SMASH ARTISTS!

by Matt

Welcome to the 7th edition of the weekly "From Top to Bottom" column! Every week I will look at something within the comics industry and give you my opinion on what I think is the best and what I think ranks amongst the bottom-feeders.

Last week I took a look at the Top and Bottom of Comic Crossovers that I want to see published. This week, in eager anticipation for the new Hulk film, I will be taking a look at my Top 3 Hulk artists along with some that I didn't think did the Green Goliath justice.

To me, the Hulk should be a monster, more mean looking than nice and should be more bulky than ripped like a weight lifter. The Hulk gets his strength from the Gamma radiation not really from his muscles. He shouldn't have muscles on muscles for muscles sake, which then are all intertwined with thousands and thousands of veins. He should be large and intimidating, not like a human on roids.

3) John Byrne
Byrne only drew the Hulk for a short time. (A trend that Byrne seems to have on most of his books.) But he drew a powerful and savage Hulk.

2) Herb Trimpe
When I think of the Hulk, I think of this classic look drawn perfectly by Herb Trimpe. Trimpe had an amazing run on the Hulk that lasted about seven years. He drew a very simple Hulk, his Hulk was not overly muscular or full of veins. The one thing that I like that Trimpe did was that he managed to make the Hulk look like a monster but he still possessed an innocence behind the monster. Very much like Frankenstein.

1) John Romita Jr.
Romita's Hulk is exactly what I think the Hulk should be. His Hulk is not saddled with tons of muscles and veins, his Hulk is large and more importantly displays a ticking time-bomb that just smolders beneath the surface. Even when the Hulk is not angry, the look on his face and his body languages tells a different story. He is ALWAYS angry.

The bottom choices that I made are not due to the artist themselves. All of the artists that I have listed here, regardless if they were in the top or here in the bottom, they are insanely talented and I highly respect them. I just don't think that they were correct artists to portray what I think the Hulk should be.

3) Mike Deodato Jr.
Deodato can certainly draw a large, menacing, and very scary Hulk but the Hulk looked unnatural and I was turned off because he was so full of veins. Like I mentioned before, the Hulk is bulky and strong but not so ripped and 'veiny'.

2) Gary Frank
Frank got the bulkiness correct and he drew a good looking Hulk but that was part of the problem, his Hulk was too good looking. This was due because of the Hulk's character at the time, (the Hulk was merged into the smart Hulk) but he was a little too normal looking. If this piece was done in black and white would we have known it was the Hulk? Or just Superman on roids and without the cape?

1) Jeff Purves
He got the monster part right but his Hulk was too simple. His Hulk was not intimidating enough and large enough. While his art was clear and you can see what was happening, it didn't have any zest/anger to it. He did draw one of my favorite Hulk story lines in Countdown.

There has been a lot of fantastic artists that have drawn the Hulk during his series that I am sure most of you will point out to me. What about Keown? Kubert? Perez? Buscema? Well, I have 2 words for you: HULK SMASH!

See ya next week when I bring my Father's Day edition! (I know, I know, I will be a few days late!)


Chris Ware said...

I'll agree with you on JR Jr as my #1 pick, but #2 would be Dale Keown and #3 would be Todd McFarlane.

Jon Quixote said...

John Byrne makes the list, but Sal Buscema does not? Even old man Byrne would probably take umbrage with that, and he loves himself like a 13 year old boy in a Vaseline warehouse.

Matt said...

Well, I am trying to get more traffic! :)