originally posted August 13,2007 at livejournal
Mike Wieringo died yesterday at the age of 44. Most people have no idea who he is, but to those of us in the know, Mike was a Titan among men. Mike Wieringo ('Ringo to his fans) was one of my favorite comic artists of all times. When everyone was grim and gritty with insane detail and more insane cross-hatching, Mike was drawing clean lines and fun characters. His art was lively without being cartoony. His art was NOT simple; most artists (and fans) know it's much harder to leave lines out than put them in. Mike was a master draftsman, and a master storyteller.
I didn't go out of the way to pick up Mike's artwork; I didn't need to. I was drawn to the type of books Mike evidently loved drawing. His defining runs on the Flash and the Fantastic Four? well, they just sounded like awesome books to me. And there was Mike, drawing some of the coolest characters in comics (when Mike drew the FF, they were COOL). He drew one of my favorite renditions of Spider-Man ever. He drew THE Flash- to me, everyone else's version is a pale shadow of his. He brought something different to each character he drew...
Nowhere is this more evident than in his sketches posted to his weblog. He would, as a warm-up, draw anything under the sun, at a level beyond most "finished" comic art ever hopes to be. and his imagination! Steam-powered Sherlock Holmes? check. Buck Rogers as a swashbuckler? check. Batman as an ape?!? check. and these were warm-ups!
Recently, i've taken up the pencil again, and find myself drawing quite often. A big part of my refound enthusiasm for drawing has come from looking at Mike's blog every day, and more often than not finding something new to ogle and wonder at. "where did he get THAT idea?" and "that's AMAZING!" were my most common thoughts while reading. Seeing what he could do in a few minutes made me want to get back into drawing. I wanted to be like Mike- i wanted to have his dedication to drawing, and more importantly, his love of drawing. So, in that regard, Mike is a huge influence on me. I hope i can keep it up.
I'm going to miss seeing his art on the stands and on the web... and everyone in comics is going to miss him.
(the sketch above is my very poor homage to Mike- one of his many creations that popped up on his blog- "the saturn kid", a character and concept i was insanely excited to see)
Mike's blog was the inspiration for this site, as well as a big influence on my approach to comic art in general. Mike's art is perfect for fans of any age- many of his drawings would fit perfectly in childrens' books or comics. I wanted to re-post this along with the link to Mike's website: mikewieringo.com and encourage everyone to stop by and take a look at some amazing art that will live on the web for years to come.
Have a great weekend. "Normal" posts will resume Monday.
Music: "I Grieve"- Peter Gabriel