06 Jun California businessman donates free Hulk statue to Northlake library
NORTHLAKE — The Hulk is taking off his boxing gloves and traveling 2,000 miles to the Northlake Library.
On April 26, the Northlake Library began an effort to raise $30,000. The funds would go toward a nine-foot tall statue of comic character The Hulk, equipment to create comics and more graphic novels.
With four days left, the library has raised $3,705. The statue alone would cost $7,000 or $8,000.
Then last Friday, May 31, the library got a call from Steve Williams, the owner of L.A. Boxing in Orange City, California.
“I had (a Hulk statue) for the last five years,” Williams said. “I was looking to sell it to a collector who had an interest in a giant superhero.”
The nine-foot tall fiberglass statue of the Hulk was originally constructed to promote The Hulk movie in 2008. Statues were sent to movie theaters around the United States, and L.A. Boxing bought one shortly after.
“We put it on a trailer and put giant boxing gloves on it,” Williams said. “The newspapers covered it, the kids in the area loved it, people would take pictures of it. It was a landmark.”
It was also a mascot. L.A. Boxing posted The Hulk on its website and ordered Hulk figurines and T-shirts for its members.
Officials in Orange City, however, were less enamored of the boxing behemoth and claimed it violated the city code. L.A. Boxing fought the city’s code enforcement for several years and, in February, moved across the street.
“The new landlord didn’t like it in the parking lot,” Williams said. So he went to Google to look up buyers and instead found the Northlake Library.
“We just had to find out if it could fit through our doors,” said Tom Mukite, a Northlake resident who joined the library board to bring in The Hulk. “(After that) it was a big yes. We had a couple people jumping up and down.”
The statue is nine feet tall, weighs about 150 pounds and has an arm span that is six to seven feet wide. The Northlake Library is in discussions with a shipping company that may donate the cost of getting the statue from Orange City to Northlake. When it arrives, the library plans to display it on the second floor near its graphic novel collection.
The donation means its much more likely the library will be able to raise the $4,000 or so it needs for a digital creation station used to design comics and a created three-dimensional comic characters.
Outside Northlake, the meaning may be different.
“This project really showed what libraries can be capable of if they just think outside the box,” Mukite said. “Very shortly we’ll have a giant green friend in Northlake.”