Monday, August 13, 2007

Mike Wieringo :: 1963-2007

The Heroes family is in mourning today: Sunday, August 12, fan favorite artist and HeroesCon regular Mike Wieringo suffered a heart attack and passed away. Mike was the artist behind many popular runs on big-name characters like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Flash, and many more. He was also the co-creator, along with writer and close friend Todd Dezago, of Tellos. He was just 44 years old.

The unbelievable news of Mike's death overnight was the first thing I heard this morning—it’s still impossible to accept. He was a fan at the 1985 Heroes Convention, his first one, and I had the opportunity to meet him that year. He was of course an aspiring young artist, and I thought he showed a lot of promise. He never missed another con after that first trip. I watched him work on his art from year to year, and was so proud of him when he got those first independent jobs; then practically overnight he was a pro. His art took on a life of its own, and besides his artistic talents, he became one of the most universally respected and loved creators in the industry. And at the same time, Mike was becoming a part of our/my family. He was like a brother or a son to me, and established himself as firmly with my staff and the fans. He would have done anything for me—and many times, did--and I would have for him. That’s one of the things that being a family means, doing things for one another out of love.

In many ways, Mike embodies everything that I love about comics; in a very real way, he represents our closest friends and "family" members. When we refer to the HeroesCon "family", it's Mike Wieringo that we're talking about. When we say that we're excited to see everybody this summer, it's Mike Wieringo that we can't wait to see. And when we talk about how much we love and cherish the many pro's and fans that make what we do possible, it's Mike Wieringo that we're loving and cherishing.

And next year, when we come together again and remember the friends we've lost, it'll be Mike Wieringo that we're missing. I am proud to have known Mike for the past 22 years and to have c­alled him friend and brother. Thanks for the wonderful art, support and memories, and most of all, for your friendship. Rest in peace, Mike.

12 comments:

Phil Southern said...

It is sad and shocking news. Mike Wieringo was always a kind and gentle man, who always remembered your name and made the time to say "hello". Additonally, he was a dazzling comic book artist who was also a professional in every sense of the word. You always got the feeling he felt extraordinarily lucky to be working in comics.

Phil

Alex Wilson said...

Very upsetting. Thoughts go out to his friends and family.

Daniel Von Egidy said...

I've been a fan since I was 10 and he was doing Sensational Spider-Man (he did one of the top versions of the character.) He was a gentleman when I met him at this year's con. He will be remembered fondly.

Rich Barrett said...

This is really shocking and tragic news. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mike in person (his lines at the con were always too long!) but I've talked to him online a couple of times and he was nothing but nice. This is a great loss.

Big Dog Studios said...

One of the good guys, Mike made comics fun again. His run on Flash, Spidey & the FF in particular. I always looked forward to anything he was on because I knew it would be a great escape.

We'll miss you Mike...

My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fans.

-Brandon

Dustin Harbin said...

Mike Wieringo was the sort of person that made you remember what you were aspiring to all along. Not only was he a great artist, always passionate about improving, he was a great man, and a joy to see each year at our convention. To say that he will be missed is a great, great understatement. But what else is there to say?

Chuck Wells said...

A Heroescon icon. Condolences to his family & friends. I've been bummed about this news all day and am sure that I'll treasure my Wieringo sketch even more now that he's gone.

Douglas Merkle said...

....

Rusty Baily said...

What a nice guy...to be doing what every fan at the show, WISHED they could do, and to do it while being so humble and kind. I have to agree with Phil, he seemed like he thought he was the luckest guy to be doing what he loved and it showed!

Jason Wheatley said...

I was shocked and saddened when I learned of this yesterday morning as well. 'Ringo was one of my favorite artists, hands down. His work on Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Flash...it always seemed like when those characters were at their best, Mike Wieringo was there.

It brings me great sadness to think that we'll never be fortunate enough to see his work again. As someone said above, his work injected something that's sorely lacking in many of today's comics...fun. It had a vibrance and an energy that jumped off the page and grabbed you. That he loved what he did shined through on every page.

One of my happiest moments as a fan was when I was finally lucky enough to get a sketch from 'Ringo here at Heroes on Free Comic Book Day 2005. I didn't have much time to stand in the sketch lines, but I would've waited for as long as I needed to get a sketch from him. To say I wasn't disappointed is an understatement...he took the time, as he did with every fan, to ink and finish the sketch, and now his Spider-Man is one of my prized pieces of original art.

Mike Wieringo, you were taken from us too soon. You will be missed.

- Jason

Shawn Reynolds said...

I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person. He was a talented artist. He will be missed. My prayers go out to his family.

Paul Rogers said...

Hiya Shelton and the Heroes Family. This has been a hard week...a week of shock, of loss, of saddness...and a week of love, companionship & rememberence...a week of grieving the loss of a close friend and the celebration of the life of my buddy Mike Wieringo...I would like to share a story with you if I could...It began in 1985 when myself & a guy I met just a few years earlier called Mike heard about a comic book convention in Charlotte, North Carolina called the Heroes Con...We packed up and traveled the exciting three hours to our first major comic book convention ever...Wow, it was great, we talked to artists, writers and fans, shared our love of comics, got invited to a great party (the infamous GamJam) and vowed to come back to this amazing celebration of comic books every year...And we did, over the next twenty years Mike and I would always come to the Heroes Con, usually together, but as the years went by and our lives grew apart we would meet at this celebration of comics to share stories and enjoy the company of fellow fans and professionals...Mike loved the Heroes Con, just ask Shelton, this is not just a convention, this is a family of people that love comics as much as we always have...And now Mike is gone...And I am so very sad...I have lost my friend and we have all lost an amazing talent...A man with unlimited vision & compassion...A man that stood tall and gave so much, so unselfishly to some many others...Thank you Shelton for your kindness over the last 20 years and your words in Durham this weekend, I know Mike would have appreciated it...I love you Mike and I miss you...Paul.