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Homenajes a Mike Wieringo

Es verdaderamente impresionante la cantidad de mensajes que han aparecido dedicados a recordar a Mike Wieringo.

Tras el mensaje de Matt Wieringo, dando a conocer la triste noticia de la muerte de su hermano, más de 200 mensajes de apoyo han sido publicados en el sitio, sin contar aquellos que simplemente le hemos dedicado algunas palabras en nustros propios Blogs.

De la comunidad artística Estadounidense, sus amigos más cercanos eran Todd DeZago y Craig Rousseau, ambos le dedicaron mensajes muy bonitos, el primero de ellos lo traduje para Comic Verso, el de Craig Rousseau apareció ayer
david petersen sent a nice condolence note and in it called mike, todd and me the "3 Musketeers of the East Coast cons".

whether or not anyone else felt way, we certainly did... at any conventions we were at, we were practically joined at the hip, usually laughing at an in-joke that wasn't really funny to anybody else (although, given enough time we managed to get a few laughs... just ask his sister-in-law suzanne about some "bitty"). most of those shows, we'd also get together early (and make a side-splitting road trip down to heroes) and stay later, just to have the chance to spend time together. as much as we enjoyed spending time with all of our friends (and of course, mike had a LOT of friends... that's the kinda guy he was... just read the hundreds of messages being posted about mike) at shows like this, we'd selfishly just try and go off by ourselves for a meal or two. these shows were the only times we got to spend together all year (of course we'd spend hours on the phone talking about comics, tv, movies, sports, politics, life in general... but it wasn't quite the same), and i know we looked forward to these times for weeks beforehand... and talked about them for weeks after.

which isn't to say mike wasn't at the shows for the fans. from the start of show until close of day on sunday, there was always a line of fans waiting for mike, and he'd make'm feel like he was the lucky one to meet them. he'd sign stacks and stacks of books, talking all the while, never complaining... and rarely even getting up for a walk. he (mostly) stopped sketching at the shows because he never had the time to put pencil to paper with all the fans waiting for an autograph or a handshake.

i made no bones about the fact that mike and todd were clearly the superstars of the trio (the sting and stuart copeland to my "other guy in the police"), i was just happy to be along for the ride with my friends. humble to a fault, mike always made me feel like an equal, when i never even felt in the same league.

much has been made about mike being a nice guy (and he was... easily one of the nicest and most generous guys i've had the pleasure of knowing)... which made his wicked sense of humor even more funny (he could tell jokes that'd make bob saget blush)... often soft-spoken, he'd let loose with a joke that'd have the whole room howling and gasping for breath.

we felt like we were brothers... not by blood (we each have our own brothers that we're very close to), but by choice....

comics lost a truly great talent. we'll never get the chance to see more work from a true modern master.

i lost a brother... and my other brother lost a best friend.

and we lost our third musketeer.

we'll miss you, brother.

There's a coffee shop right next door to our studio, and I go in there just about every day. Usually it's in the afternoon when I start to run out of steam a little, and I need to keep working, but sometimes it's just to shoot the bull with the folks that run the place. Yesterday, I walked in, and the guy working the counter waved at me, and then he did a double-take. "Hey, man," he said. "What's the matter? You look like you just lost your best friend…"

It's a cliché because people do always say it. The sad part is that he was pretty much right on target.

I'll make no claim to being Mike Wieringo's best friend, and I won't claim he was mine. We both had people who were and are closer, and whom we saw more often. I will say, though, that we were special friends, and we had a special relationship. We had similar outlooks on a lot of things, had a lot of common occurrences in our two lives, and even though we never got be around each other as much as we both would have liked, we really cared about each other. To most people, he was either Mike or Ringo; to me, he was always Mikey. I can't think of anybody right now who made me laugh quite as much, and as I write this, I can't think of anyone who's made me cry so much.

Back in 1990 (or maybe 1991, or so—I can't be sure of the dates, so bear with me), I was just some long-haired kid who was trying to find an in to the comics business. I had become friends with the group that would soon become the first Gaijin Studios, and they were letting me squat on their table space at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. One of the first people I met was Mikey. He introduced himself in a humble, so-totally-him way: He asked me to review his portfolio. I was totally taken aback by this, because I wasn't anybody. But I guess Mikey felt I had something to offer, and it was the first time anyone had ever asked me for such a thing, so opened up his book. And then I closed it. I didn't have much to say, because frankly, he was better than me. And that's pretty much what I told him. (If you don't believe me, check out his Modern Masters volume-- those sample pages are in there, and they're way better than anything I did on Green Lantern: Mosaic). Well, he wouldn't accept the compliment, and he insisted that my stuff was great and that he admired it, and he was nowhere near ready yet. But he handed me his business card, and asked if we could keep in touch. I gave him my card, and that was that. My first portfolio review.

A couple of weeks later, I got a letter from him in the mail, and I recognized the name (How could you not, really? It's such an unusual name, and for years afterwards, we'd both complain to each other about how no one could ever get our names right.). I opened it, and within the first paragraph, I realized that this was a fan letter. A fan letter! Who was I to get a fan letter from anybody, let alone this grey-haired guy who was so much better at this than I was? My first fan letter.

So, I immediately got the number off of his card and called him. He was totally flabbergasted that I'd deign to call him, and didn't quite know what to say. But it was at this point that we began to chat as two guys who wanted the same thing, and we became the friends that we were to be for the next seventeen years.

I still remember the excitement and pride in his voice a couple of years later when he called to tell me he'd gotten The Flash. By this point, I'd broken in with Mosaic, and had moved to Atlanta as the final puzzle piece of that first iteration of Gaijin Studios, and Mikey had done some small-press stuff here and there. But when he broke with The Flash, he broke wide. He soon became a bigger name than I would ever be, and his run with Mark Waid on that book became a benchmark, and the standard by which the series is still judged. And he kept zooming upward to Rogue, to Sensational Spider-Man (with his best friend Todd DeZago), to Tellos (his personal favorite work, in no small part because it was his and because he was working with Todd again), to Superman, to Fantastic Four (again with Mark, and another benchmark), and back to Spidey, and a hundred other titles scattered in between. And in all that time, I never got any sense of ego from him.

He did sometimes feel that he deserved better things to work on, but honestly, we all feel that. Sometimes, you get to do work that you believe with all your being, but mostly, you just pay the bills. Mikey was one of those souls that needed to be deeply satisfied with what he was doing, and he was depressed when he felt he didn't measure up, or when the job didn't let him measure up.

He was always too hard on himself. He never believed he was as good or as in-demand as everybody else did. I would tell him how brilliant he was just about every time we talked, and I'm glad I had the presence of mind to do that while he was alive, and I know all his peers and friends routinely did the same thing.

One thing to understand about him is that he was a fan first, and was until he died. That's been thrown around a lot this week, but only because it was never truer than with Mikey. He'd call me up and just rhapsodize about someone else's work. He was just in awe of so many people, a number of whom were at our studio. I would always be taken aback when he would take the time to call me and tell me how great he thought something of mine was—and I'd be so grateful to hear it, because I admired and respected him and his work so much—but he would gush so much, it would get embarrassing, so I'd tell him to stop. The thing with Mikey, though, was that he meant it. Every word. And he'd only grudgingly accept a compliment from me, and only after a struggle.

The simplest statement I can possibly make is that Mike Wieringo was just a great guy—which, upon writing those words, doesn't seem quite enough. It doesn't seem to fully contain him, this fact of the matter. But he was great in every way you'd want your friends to be great: Kind, caring, sensitive, hilarious, intelligent, talented, skilled, responsible, and a million other things. We never had a conversation in which we didn't make each other laugh. It was true of the very first, and it was true of the very last. And here come the waterworks again.

One thing before I go: I want to thank everyone reading this from the bottom of my very heavy heart for being a peer, a colleague, a fan, a friend to Mikey. You were all his friends, and your many comments and expressions of love for him and sympathy for those closest to him prove that. That he touched so many people makes it a little easier to deal with all this. I mean, it's still hard to deal with knowing that I won't hear his big laugh or see his goofy, puppy-dawg face anymore, and that none of us will get any more of that gorgeous work of his again. But it makes me smile to know that I wasn't the only person out there that Mike Wieringo had such an effect on.

I know you're up there right now, Mikey, telling Kirby and Eisner and Kane how unworthy you are to be in their midst—trust me, pal, it's not a mistake, and I'd bet they'd be the first to tell you that-- so try to enjoy your time with them.

I miss you, Mikey.

Mark Waid no participa regularmente en Internet, no lleva un Blog, así que no he visto ningún mensaje suyo aparte de lo que apareció en el tributo de Newsarama. Otros artistas han dejado sus mensajes:

I can't even believe I'm typing the above words. Doesn't seem possible that Mike's no longer with us. He was like the art brother I never had, working side by side each other for nearly 10 years, someone who could give me honest feedback, and be so encouraging. There are few people that I've been as close to, that we had our own short-hand language and catch phrases that would start us down a whole line of tangents before bringing a conversation back 'round to what we were talking about in the first place. Few people could make me laugh like Mike could, and I'm sorry that more people couldn't have known that side of him. He was one of the most generous and compassionate souls that I've ever met.

Godspeed, Mites! We'll miss you buddy.

Mike Wieringo passed away on Sunday at the age of 44. He was a peer, a friend, a great artist and and even greater human being. I don't think Mike ever knew just how amazingly talented he really was. I wish I would've told him more. I don't know what to really say except that this is an immense loss to his family, friends and the comic community. A bright light dimmed all too soon.

I'll be seeing you, Mike.


In the summer of 2005, my friend Mike Wieringo invited me to stay with him at his North Carolina home for a week. In the middle of this visit, we would drive up to Charlotte for Heroes Con. Mike slyly rented a mini-van for the trip, insisting it was because he feared his POS car would not make the trip. I suspect he did so because he was worried I wouldn’t fit comfortably in his compact for the long trip. If that was the case, Mike would never admit it.

On our way to Charlotte we listened to a comedy album I had on my ipod. At one point, the comedian said “You know you’re drunk when you get pulled over by the coast guard. Sir, turn off your windshield wipers, it’s not raining. SCREW YOU SEA PIG. Friendly Dolphin. I was saved by a friendly dolphin.”

Mike and I were laughing so hard, that we had to slow down and pull over to onto the shoulder. For the entire con, I would sneak over to Mike’s table where he would have his head buried in a sketch and belt “FREINDLY DOLPHIN” out of the corner of my mouth and just watch him crumple into convulsing laughter. At one point, I drew a picture of the friendly dolphin and had a fan bring it over to him. Moments later, from across the con hall, I heard Mike’s deep belly laugh.

I first me Mike at a small con in Houston, TX. I was sitting at a table, eating lunch with the other guests. Mike was seated next to me alongside, Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, Todd Dezago and Frank Cho. I felt like a fraud. Like a didn’t belong. But Mike was the first guy to almost angrily insist that of COURSE I belonged there and then he went on to tell me how much he loved PvP. He told me to start charging for sketches “That’s your time. You should be paid for your time.”

We talked for hours about comics at the bar that night and I still have, framed forever, the program cover to that con with everyone’s signature on it.

When I gave my Eisner speech, I talked about all the people in comics who have been kinder to me and more inviting and welcoming to me than I feel I deserve. I felt myself getting emotional but held it together until Mike’s smiling face popped in my head.

Mike and I would talk for hours on the phone while each of us worked. I would inquire about his Marvel work and he would always deflect. “It’s the same boring stuff. I’m just drawing some other guys words. I’m more interested in what you’re doing. What’s next with PvP?”

Mike refused to eat meat because he couldn’t bear the idea that any animal would experience grief to provide him sustenance.

Mike never judged me. When at one point, I had difficulty walking due to my weight he casually matched my speed. When I embarrassingly apologized he looked at me with a shocked look and said “My God. Why would you apologize.” I told him not to let me hold him up. “Where do I have to be? I want to hang out with you.”

That year at Heroes Con, Mike got up at 5am to draw an incredible spider-man piece for the show auction. His back pain prevented him from working at the table. Instead bailing on the promise, he just got down on the floor and drew it lying flat.

I am so blessed to be able to say that I talked to Mike last Thursday. We caught up after months of not talking. I asked him last week if he had been upset with me. “Why would I be mad at you?” he asked me.

“Well, I’ve been calling for a month or so and you didn’t answer or return my calls.”

“Yeah, I was feeling a little down and when I get that way, I’m not very good company. So I just stay away from the phone.” Thank god I got to talk to him, because if we hadn’t had that conversation, I would have spent the rest of my life wondering if he died upset with me.

Mike loved comics. He loved drawing them and writing them. He was tired of his contract work I think because he had grown weary of just being an “art monkey” as he would put it. “I want to write my own stories. I want to do more like what YOU do.”

And we would SCREAM at Mike. Why not just DO it? People would eat it up. Do your Saturn Kid book. “Nah. I gotta pay the bills. When am I going to draw it? I have deadlines People don’t buy westerns.” There were always a number of excuses. Always more time in the future to get that figured out.

I’m just so god damn angry today, and empty and heartbroken because I don’t get to talk to Mike anymore. And I’m worried about his cat Charlie because I know that what happens to Charlie would be the most IMPORTANT thing to him.

I called Oliver over at Fanboy radio frantic this morning because I couldn’t find the MP3 of the episode I did with Mike and Kirkman. And I thought “Oh Christ, what if I can never hear that again.” Oliver posted it for everyone. I tried listening to it and I was okay until I heard myself say “Hi Mike.” and Mike lyrically said back “Hi Scott.”

I’ve never lost a friend this close before. I have no point of reference. I’m a huge-obese asshole and I have no heart problems and Mike did everything right and he’s dead. How the hell do I reconcile that? How do I ever look at his brother or Todd or Craig?

Mike, I am so sorry. I am sorry I didn’t call more. And I’m sorry you don’t get to draw all your stories. And I’m sorry I can’t call you and make you laugh anymore.

Thank you for making me feel like I wasn’t me. Like I was one of you guys. One of the cool kids. Even if it only lasted until I got back home. I can never repay you for that.

I miss you terribly.

When the phone rings before 7 AM, a small pit forms in your stomach as you scramble for the phone thinking "this can't be good news." Of course, nine times out of ten it's a wrong number or empty air.

Today was that one other time.

I can't really believe Mike Wieringo is gone. It isn't real to me yet. He was in great shape. He exercised regularly. He complained about working long hours (like all of us!) but never about feeling tired or weak. Hell, we talked on the phone two days ago and it was just another chat with 'Ringo. I had no idea what was around the corner. Neither did Mike.

I had the honor of working with Mike as a writer and as an inker-- in fact, I probably inked more of his pages than any other penciler-- and he was a joy to work with, every panel, every time. His work was deceptively simple-- there was so much knowledge and thought in every single line he put on paper. His work had a subtlety and sophistication that I really wasn't aware of until I began inking him on a regular basis. Then I noticed things like a small waver in a line indicating a muscle just starting to tense, or a tiny nick next to an eye to show slight annoyance or the beginning of a smile. His characters moved and breathed. His storytelling was crystal-clear. The worlds he brought to life were breath-taking. And whenever I inked him I tried my damnedest to capture all of that; to not screw up anything he'd given me.

Mike was one of my biggest boosters. God love him, he thought I was the very best inker for his pencils. The first time I worked with 'Ringo was as a writer/inker on a one-shot called Spider-Boy, and we were always trying to think up other projects that I could write-and-ink for him. More recently, I'd been stretching my penciling muscles, and Mike was nothing but encouraging and supportive. As I've developed my own sense of storytelling and pacing, the fact is no one has influenced me more than Mike.

The last time I talked to Mike we agreed that both he and I drew "action" not "violence" and, unfortunately, that limited our commercial viability in today's market. Mike commented, a bit bewildered, that only a few years ago his style was "The Look" that all the editors wanted to give their characters, but somehow, suddenly, that had changed. I'd been thinking about that a lot, even before I got the news about Mike, and this is what I decided-- this is what I was going to tell Mike the next time we talked:

Mike's art was about hope, not hopelessness. He drew heroes, not martyrs. And if that was wrong, thank you Mike for never being right.

I have a lot of framed original art on my walls, almost none of it pieces I've worked on. It just seems out of place to me to hang something I've worked on next to a Caniff or Kirby. The one exception is the cover to Fantastic Four 517, penciled by Mike Wieringo. It's my all-time favorite comic-book series, from a run I am very proud to have been a small part of, penciled by an exceptional artist and dear friend.

And it's never coming off the wall.

Karl Kesel
August 13, 2007

  • Cory Walker: fue dibujante de Invincible, para Image. En su Blog sólo publica Bocetos, así que hizo uno de un personaje de Tellos en honor a Mike.

I thought I could dive into some work to keep my mind busy, but it’s just not happening. I’ve spent much of the day looking around on line for tributes to Mike Wieringo and grabbing every picture I see. To hold up my end on that, I’ve dug out some old photos. I know I have more than this, but this is what I found in my basement boxes this morning. I warn you that my memories are fuzzy in places, so some details are surely wrong.

I first met Mike at a New York comicon in 1992 I think. He was only in his twenties, but like a lot of people I thought he was older because his hair went silver so early. He had just drawn Doc Savage for Millenium Comics and had been invited to contribute to a JLA annual by Brian Augustyn and Ruben Diaz. One of my favorite stories of his from later was that this big break was apparently an accident. When Ruben called Mike to hire him for a short story, Mike realized from what he was saying that he was talking about someone else’s samples instead of what he’d sent in. Mike did the right thing of course and said “thanks!” and took the job. I always wonder who that other guy was. Soon after they offered him what became his much loved run with Mark Waid on The Flash.

Not a year later we were in Artamus Studios together. Everyone assumed we just couldn’t spell ‘Artemis’, but it was a play on Toys R’ Us, Art-am-us. Blame Richard Case and Craig Gilmore for that one, I do. At first we were all crammed in Richard’s Hillsborough studio which had no air conditioning- this is North Carolina of course, where you don’t have to cook food in the summertime. Still it was exciting all working together, and Mike was the emerging force in comics. We all drew an issue of Hardcase (for Malibu) that paid for our photocopier. Mike would be in until the wee hours working on Flash. I remember being excited briefly because there was talk of him drawing Captain Marvel for DC, but that didn’t pan out. Mike would show me how to make a dynamic perspective shot work or come in and make a layout work for someone else who might be stuck.

It was the dark days before Google Image search, so we were always heading to the library or raiding magazine recycling bins for reference. We had a polaroid and constantly took pictures of everyone in the studio in poses to draw from. I’m not sure what I had Mike doing in that first shot- it may have been for some samples I drew of the Fantastic Four that landed me all my work at Malibu Comics. In the background I see that enormous light table that Mike and John Lowe had bought, which was actually a display for X-Ray pictures- we weren’t far from Duke University and all of it’s cast-off hospital and school salvage. Here’s one that I remember specifically as being for an issue of Wonder Woman I drew, in 93 or 94. Mike was posing as a pimp named Big Jake, I think. From the nice door I can tell we had moved around the corner to The Mercantile Building, where we all had separate office spaces in one main suite. It was a beautiful old building with a leaky skylight that never got fixed well. We would all use the Ladies bathroom on our hall because it was much nicer than the tiny Men’s room where the toilet faced right into a wall. We spent a fair amount of time climbing through the windows to walk out on the roof to get some air during the day, and just look around at the town.

Mike was a living animation- his face always did exactly what you (and he) needed for a drawing, and he could always strike the optimum pose for a scene. I remember the Heroes Con that Alex Ross first came to where after meeting Mike, drew a perfect rendition of him hours later in a sketchbook. That corrected a lot of other artists who assumed Alex needed photos to draw a likeness, but as he said, “how could you forget that face?”

Back then we all worked through each other’s cd collections trying to find whatever music would inspire us to get through an issue. Mike was very open-minded and could listen to lots of different song genres. We often ate lunch down at Lu-E-G’s, a hippy cafe with bland food but a great staff who would often come visit our offices. We were right around the corner from the house of Doug Marlette, who did the strip Kudzu. Strangely, Mike called me just a few weeks ago to tell me that Marlette had died. For whatever reason we never intersected with him, though we saw his wife around a lot. Hillsborough was an interesting town like that- writer Alan Gurganus lived just a block away as well.
My all-time favorite shot of Mike on one of his birthdays. We would often all do birthdays at Bandidos in Chapel Hill (everyone liked the chips) and inevitably one of the staff would make you wear the hat and add your picture to the birthday wall.
Below is another shot from that night, with Mike sitting next to Chuck and Marc Wojtkiewicz. We must have gone to a hundred parties held at their house out in the country. Mike was always being introduced to lovely physical therapists in a never ending attempt to pair him up. It never worked with me at the time either, but a valiant effort on Marc’s part. Mike had a girlfriend at the time who I really liked and wish could have been around for the long haul. He mentioned a few times that he would like to one day start a family, and I have no doubt he would have made a great dad.

I always remember one New Year’s Eve when I was single too, Mike met me down at the Buffalo-something bar on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, and we just quietly drank beer and played trivia. We were work-out partners at the gym, which is the strongest I’ve ever been thanks to him busting my chops three times a week. Then we’d sit around in the sauna with other friends talking about comics or The X-Files or whatever geek stuff we were into that made the locals shake their heads at us. A few great parties at my house where we’d either end up playing some wacky game Scott Hampton made up or charades. Lots of trips to the theater. I remember us all heading out to see Pulp Fiction. The last one that a number of us got to watch en masse was the rerelease of The Exorcist when I was back in town visiting. We had fun watching an all new audience of college students get creeped out, then all had an unintentional laugh with modern sensibilities as Regan’s doctor prescribed her Ritalyn.

As time went on it got harder and harder to get Mike out of his Durham house. As most of the studio splintered and moved away, there wasn’t anyone to go drag him out. Most of his socializing then happened over the phone, and I know tons of those calls were friends trying to lure him to their various parts of the country. I sure did every chance. If only one of those calls had caught him at the right time and convinced him to sell the house and move to a community where he could get back out and interact with people firsthand. You may have read his excellent blog and got a sense of how he let things get to him. I think being isolated magnifies those worries, and being in the world around people gives us the perspective we need to shake that crap off. He had put a lot into his career over the years, and didn’t feel like it was progressing the way it should, that he was being marginalized. This dogged him constantly.

That’s why if I had any wish short of being able to get him into the hospital earlier, it would be to go back a week and let him see the massive outpouring of love and respect that’s coming from all camps for him now. I know he would be absolutely floored. All the time at shows that he exhausted himself doing laborious sketches- often for free- I keep seeing posts from those lucky fans and the closure that they didn’t ebay the pieces away, they treasured them ever since.

I’ll probably have some more thoughts tomorrow since I haven’t scratched the surface, and definitely some more pictures thanks to our friend Chris who’s found a few. Here’s one more, again a dinner shot, from a few years ago in Charlotte, just me and my buddy.
Hoy Jeff Parker publicó más fotos de Mike Wieringo

  • John Rogers: Incluyendo el mismo boceto de Buck Rogers que había publicado Warren Ellis
I'd like to extend my sympathies to Mike's family, his friends, and his legion of fans. I never got a chance to work with him, but Mike Wieringo brought something unique to our corner of the entertainment universe.

He brought JOY. Every bit of work I ever saw of his, you could feel it. Holy shit, we're telling adventure stories of people doing amazing, wonderful things! This is FUN, goddamit! These stories should be FUN.

Warren linked to the above piece of art already, but I'd had it on my hard drive forever as an "inspiration piece", to remind myself of a certain tone for writing. Wieringo captured that tone better than almost anyone I can think of, with his re-imagining of Buck Rogers. For what little it's worth, the reason I loved Wieringo's work was because it made me want to live in that world.

  • J. Bone: Colaborador habitual de Darwyn Cooke
Today ended on a very sad note...I learned that this past weekend the incredibly talented, incredibly nice Mike Wieringo passed away of heart failure. Mike was one of the sweetest guys I've ever met in comics and I'm unbelievably sad that he's gone. But my sadness must pale in comparison to that felt by friends and family members he's left behind. Their loss is immense.

I had the good fortune to work with Mike. The above four pages of art are from the SIDEKICKS Super Summer Fun Special put out by ONI press. My friend J.Torres put it together. I think Mike had written J. to tell him how much he liked our Alison Dare project, and from there a friendship grew. Mike graciously agreed to draw a segment in the Summer Fun book but only if I agreed to ink it. Honest, that's how the job was presented to me and who am I to argue with Mike Wieringo! :)

My brush was merely a tracer's tool on this job, I assure you. The pencils were printably tight. All I had to concentrate on was not ruining the faces on Mike's adorable girls ( at which I hope I was successful). I met Mike later that summer at a convention in Philadelphia and I was happy to find out what a great guy he was. He ended up sitting with some friends and I for the entire night, entertaining us with hilarious stories and jokes. It's the only time I've ever hung out with Mike in person but it truly did leave a lasting impression.

We kept in touch through e-mails over the years...and only now do I realize that I didn't write to him nearly enough. I wish I could send him another e-mail right now...

Rest in peace, Mike. We'll all miss you.

Sincerely, J.Bone

I drew this a few months ago.

I’d received an e-mail from Mike saying how much he loved the work I’d done on The Flash and I responded, as I’d done the few other times we exchanged emails in the past, with humble thanks and a sincere hope to finally meet him at one show or another. But for some reason my e-mails kept getting bounced back to me, and Mike didn’t attend many of the bigger conventions in recent years, so we never got a chance to meet face to face. I wish we had - I always felt that Mike was one of the few guys in the industry I could relate to. His sketches captured the exuberance of youth and the tranquility of nature in a way that I can only aspire to. I wish someone would have just paid him to draw kids and animals and forests all day, because that’s so obviously where his heart was.

Anyway, I did this Tellos fan sketch to send to him, but when I finished it I didn’t like it and I put it back in my bag and forgot about it until today. I wish I’d just sent it.

- karl

I heard the terrible news yesterday morning about Mike's passing at the age of 44. Too young. The first I saw of Mike's work was when he was doing the how-to section in Wizard comics magazine. I really enjoyed his clean crisp pencils and how well he explained forms and how well his drawings demonstrated his lessons. I met Mike last year at the Baltimore con via his pals Craig Rousseau and Todd Dezago. He was amazingly positive and friendly. Over the last year he and I e-mailed each other a few times. The most recent was a few weeks ago about the Russ Manning Award. I replied to him in brief knowing we would be able to catch-up more at this years Baltimore Con. I was wrong.

Mike's work embraced a classic all-ages approach where ladies didn't need to be half naked to be beautiful and villians didn't have to be dripping in blood to be menacing. The comics industry just lost one of their freshest voices. Even after decades in the business, his work still looked original, interesting, solid, and new. I'll miss his artwork.

Yesterday, we spent the day walking in the woods on the shores of a nearby reservoir, marvelling at our corner of the world. We came home to the shocking news that a dear, humane, decent and talented human being had died.

A few weeks ago we asked Mike Wieringo to write a few short sentences for the back cover of Never As Bad As You Think; I was going to send him a copy when they arrived from the printer this week.

I guess we have one extra now. I need it like another hole in my head.

Yesterday, most of the comics world woke to the terrible news that Mike Wieringo had died of a sudden heart-attack. I still find it hard to believe. Apparently Mike was healthy as a horse, though we all suffer from a certain amount of deadline stress as a matter of course, healthwise, but this came as a real shock.

For a few months last year, Mike and I were emailing back and forth about possible projects we could work on together, because I was a huge fan of his art. He was from the same era as me, just a few years older, but we grew up reading the same comics, and liked all the same ones. Like me, he was frustrated at the lack of popular alternatives to capes and masks in the US market, but when he worked on them, it was like having that early 70s Marvel era back again. He was one of the best in the field, and though I didn't know him well, I will miss him.

Mike was one of my greatest influence as a young artist. Back in my teens I was heavily into the "Image" look, big muscles, heavy on the rendering and heavy on the angst. Then I came across Mikes work on the Flash, which opened my eyes to the "less is more" theory. His work was fun! From there I proceeded to buy everything Mike worked on. His influence on my art needless to say was huge. His art was like a bright light shining through the darkness that was all over the market. When I finally got a chance to meet him, his light shined brighter as I learned how great of a guy he was. I first met him at a small con in Toronto, and he was kind enough to do a sketch of the Flash for me. I also showed him my first work for Top Cow to get his input, and his words were kind and encouraging. He spoke to me like I was one of his peers and welcomed me to the industry. I got a chance to hang out with him again at the first Wizard con in Philly, and it was fantastic just getting a chance to chat with him and pick his brain about art and joke around. We must have sat in that hotel lobby for hours just talking about all sorts of stuff. I'd never forget how he'd call me "franzzeeeeeeesssssss" in an arnold like accent messing around. On the flight home from the con, J. Bone, Arthur De La Cruz and I all agreed that was the hightlight of the weekend. He was a funny guy, a great artist, one of the nicest guys in the industry and an amazing inspiration. His light will continue to burn brightly as it resonates far and wide.

By thy side.

I did this last night to pay a tribute to a great artist.

Hope you like it, Mike, this is for you.


Podría seguir publicando más y más mensajes, pero creo que ya me excedí, aunque no me sentiría cómodo cerrando éste listado sin incluir algunos de los que han publicado algunos amigos y conocidos míos.

Hace unos semanas hablaba medio en broma con mi Padre a propósito de la muerte de Manuel Contreras, que tal vez el mejor castigo para algunas personas sería poder volver una semana después de su muerte y ver cómo afectó su vida al mundo, en el caso de Contreras, ni siquiera su familia fue a buscar su cadáver...

En el caso de Mikew Wieringo, no han parado los homenajes, recuerdos y dedicatorias y probablemente no lo hagan en bastantes semanas.
El funeral de Mike Wieringo se realizará el fin de semana, tras un velatorio público a realizar el día Viernes. Su familia ha solicitado que quienes quieran apoyar las cosas en las que creía Mike Wieringo, aportaran una donación a la Hero Initiave, una organización encargada de asistir a profesionales del comic, que, ya olvidados por la industria, se encuentran en problemas económicos o de salud, o a la A.S.P.C.A. (la Asociación Americana de Prevención de la Crueldad contra Animales), en el trabajo y la vida de Mike Wieringo se podía ver su cariño hacia los animales, su gato Charlie. 'Ringo era vegetariano por ser una de aquellas personas que no aceptan la idea de matar a un animal para alimentarse...


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