On Kid Colt he was inked by a newcomer to comics, Herb Trimpe. Trimpe began his career assisting artist Tom Gill, who worked for Dell. Trimpe's first work for Marvel appeared in 1967, and his training consisted of penciling western fillers and two issues of Kid Colt Outlaw (#'s 134 & 135). Trimpe showed great promise and had a strong eye for storytelling. One way of learning the Marvel style of dynamics was inking other artists, and Trimpe was soon assigned inking jobs over Dick Ayers (Ghost Rider # 7) and Marie Severin (on Dr. Strange and, most importantly, The Hulk, a character he would soon inherit and become closely associated with). To read more on Trimpe's career, latch on to Alter Ego # 124, coming up in a few months, and tell Roy I sent you!
An impressive cover by the talented Werner Roth on his debut issue of Kid Colt Outlaw. Herb Trimpe's inking is a complimentary addition. Artie Simek letters, Colors possibly by Stan Goldberg. Kid Colt # 138, January 1968.
I emailed Herb Trimpe way back in Sept 23, 2003, when I was working on my article on Roth that appeared in Alter Ego # 42, although he never met the man, he did discuss his inking:
"The only thing I remember is how clean his pencils were, and I think they were over layouts in blue pencil. He was easy to ink, just connect the dots."
Dynamic splash page to Roth's first Kid Colt story, inked by Herb Trimpe, who does a nice job "connecting the dots"
An example of Roth's command of layout and pacing. "The Avenging Son", Gary Friedrich script, Al Kurzok letters, Trimpe inks. The second story from the aforementioned Kid Colt # 138.
Roth and Trimpe's second and final Kid Colt cover. After this issue Kid Colt was cancelled for a period, resuming publication after an 18 month gap, although only in reprint form (# 140 did include a Roth inventory story inked by Vince Colletta). Trimpe, however continued to draw a slew of exciting covers over the years, terminating when the Kid rode off into the sunset in 1979, Trimpe was at his side till the end, his last cover appearing on # 226, October 1978. From Kid Colt Outlaw # 139, March 1968, Artie Simek letters.
Roth draws the reader into the scene, with Kid Colt in the foreground. Trimpe's brushwork is equally effective. The splash page from the opening story. the same month this issue appeared Roth was teamed with Herb Trimpe on "The Origins of the X-Men" back-up in X-Men # 42.
Roth displays his storytelling skills, with each panel flowing into the other with precision. "Showdown at the Silver Spur!" Gary Freidrich script, Artie Simek letters.
Kid Colt was likely cancelled abruptly and inventory drawn for issue # 140 started to appear just four months later in Rawhide Kid.
You can't keep a good Kid down, as the cover to Rawhide Kid # 64, June 1968, announces the (brief) return of Kid Colt. Herb Trimpe is on hand to ink Larry Lieber's cover, with Sam Rosen lettering. Trimpe also inked the lead Rawhide Kid story, although that combination was not as effective.
Two Kids are not always better than one, especially when one is an impostor! "The Deadly Double", Gary Freidrich story, Al Kurzrok letters.
Trimpe's last inking job over Roth appeared in Rawhide Kid # 67, December 1968. The final Roth drawn story was presented in Kid Colt # 140 (November 1969) when that title was revived. At that point Trimpe was busy working on the Hulk, so Vince Colletta inked the story, and did a nice job. Colletta would be assigned the inking duties over Roth when he moved to DC and penciled Lois Lane for a long spell, beginning with # 106, November 1970.
Herb Trimpe became a solid craftsman, taking over the Hulk comic from Marie Severin and working with her brother John, who superbly inked many of his stories. Trimpe worked steadily for Marvel for over 30 years. In addition to his run on the Incredible Hulk, Trimpe drew SHIELD, Ka-Zar, Ant-Man, Godzilla and Indiana Jones. In the 1985 Trimpe returned to the western genre, penciling a four-issue Rawhide Kid mini-series. Trimpe still draws the occasional comic book, as well as producing commission work. He is also a hell of a nice guy.
After the cancellation of Kid Colt, Werner Roth moved onto other strips, returning to X-Men for a period, over layouts by Don Heck, assisted on Avengers Special # 2, and a final western, the Gunhawk feature that appeared in Western Gunfighters. The majority of Roth's work appeared at DC in the early 1970's, returning to romance stories, mysteries and, as noted, Lois Lane. Roth died of cancer on June 28, 1973, at the age of 52. Although Roth's style was more subdued than many of his peers, especially the larger than life "Kirby dynamic" that typified Marvel's Super-Hero line, his art has a quality of design and sincerity and . Roth's son Gavin passed away a few years ago, but a few years earlier I tracked him down, and he kindly responded to my numerous questions about his father, allowing his reply to be printed as a sidebar with my article in Alter Ego. Gavin had this to say about his fathers work method:
"Dad's training was more meticulous, starting with plotting the pages out, tightening it up, and finally finished pencils. When I say finished pencils, I mean that you could look at the page and the artwork sparkled. It had life; it was finished."
On a personal level, Gavin made this observation about his father:
"He appreciated other artists' work and would comment of how he liked what they had done, and why it worked as a piece of comic art. I never heard him say anything bad about anyone. He wasn't like that."
I think that part of his personality comes through in his comic book work.
Werner Roth and Herb Trimpe were from two different eras of comics, yet both were backbones of the industry. While their art was never flashy or decorative, they could tell a story clearly, and with an understanding of how a page flows. They worked in varied genres and their contributions to the field deserve to be recognized.