I have just received some really tragic news from friend and colleague Jon Haward, that comic artist, Mike Wieringo has suffered a sudden heart attack and died on Sunday. Mike was only 44 years old, a vegetarian and worked out.
I had been in touch with Mike recently to ask him if he would like to add his name to the list of folks lined up for the “alternative artists” Worlds End Sketch Book which I plan to release following publication of the “Worlds End” graphic novel, and was awaiting a reply. I had really hoped to have a chance to work with this exceptionally talented comic book creator.
I had never met or spoken to Mike in person and only knew him through his marvellous work on Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Superman, Flash, and Tellos. I first became aware of his work in 1993 when I was working in the Defiant offices in midtown Manhattan and saw his work on the Flash, which was being inked at the time by my buddy and inker Bob Downs. I remember seeing the pages for the first time and thinking, wow I love this guy's work.
In the years since I have collected his work, because whatever Mike worked on had what I expect of a good comic book; FUN!!! The stories were always fun as where his depictions of the characters and settings. Ever full of life and hope and the aspirations for a perfect world, I for one will miss his wonderful and beautifully rendered storytelling. The world has lost a great talent yesterday, but I am sure he’ll be joining Jack and the rest of the comic greats for the jam of all jamming sessions in Heaven sometime soon.
I for one was really looking forward to his next Tellos work with his friend and colleague Todd Dezago. Sadly now this will never happen. I can only imagine what Mike’s family, and Mark Waid and Todd Dezago are going through at this moment in time. It’s a strange thing but you feel you know the artists and writers as you read their work over the years. They become a part of one’s life and yet although you may never have actually met them, it is no less sad when you hear of their passing.
My thought’s go out to all Mike’s family and friends at this very sad time.
There are two posts on the Newsarama website, which can be found here:
Newsarama Post: http://www.newsarama.com/Chicago_07/Ringo.html
Mark Waid, Todd Dezago, and Karl Kesel pay tribute to their colleague and friend here: http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=125150
For those who may never have seen his work, please check it out on the Mike Wieringo Website and Blog, which can be found here: www.mikewieringo.com
I used to enjoy seeing what Mike had sketched and put up there. That’s the trouble; sometimes we act as though we are all immortal. In Mike’s case his work will give him that privilege.
For now I’ll leave you with some of my favourite images drawn by Mike…
Until next time have fun!
August 13th 2007