Library falls short of fundraising goal, but still gets its Hulk statue

A library in suburban Chicago fell well short of its $30,000 fundraising goal to purchase graphic novels, a comics-creating station and a 9-foot-tall statue of the Incredible Hulk, but thanks to the generosity of a California businessman, it's still getting a life-sized Green Goliath to call its own.

The trustees of the Northlake Public Library launched an Indiegogo campaign on April 26 in hopes of expanding its collection of about 2,300 graphic novels and manga, adding computer software and hardware, and buying a Hulk statue that might help attract visitors. “This larger-than-life literary character will become a giant green beacon of light to highlight our graphic novel collection, our creation station … not to mention the library’s sense of humor and whimsy," the campaign description reads. "The project will show off the fun side of the library and get the community talking. The HULK will force patrons to look at the library in a whole new way.”

But with mere days to go, the Indiegogo drive has raised just $3,710; the statue alone costs in the neighborhood of $8,000.

Enter Steve Williams, owner of L.A. Boxing in Orange City, California, who called last Friday with an offer: You see, Williams just happened to have a 9-foot-tall fiberglass statue produced to promote 2008's The Incredible Hulk in theaters. He tells the Franklin Park Herald-Journal he had dressed it in shorts and boxing gloves, transforming Hulk into his company's mascot, only to run into problems with the city, which insisted the statue's presence on a trailer outside the business violated codes. After five years of fighting city hall, he moved across the street, but the landlord didn't want it in his parking lot.

And so Williams went online to find prorspective buyers, but instead came across the Northlake Public Library's campaign.

“We just had to find out if it could fit through our doors,” library trustee Tom Mukite, who joined the board specifically to spearhead this campaign, tells the newspaper. “(After that) it was a big yes. We had a couple people jumping up and down.”

Now the library just needs to conclude talks with a shipping company that may be willing to donate the costs of moving the 150-pound statue halfway across the country.

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