Monday, August 13, 2007

Mike Wieringo passes away

The comics industry lost a luminary this weekend - Mike Wieringo passed away Sunday of a sudden heart attack. Details are still sketchy as of this time, but according to close sources, the acclaimed artist had chest pains at some point during the day and called 911, but the responders did not make it in time.

Wieringo was 44 years old. He was a vegetarian, and "one of the healthiest ones of us in the bunch," as his longtime friend and collaborator Todd Dezago described him. Currently, there are no details about services or a funeral.

Wieringo worked every day, updating his blog and website with a constant stream of sketches at His last sketch was posted on Friday.

I had to keep the sketch pretty quick today if I was going to get it done and posted at all. I spent the morning with an electrical contractor here at the house. I’ve been having trouble with my heating and air conditioning unit switching its breaker off during the height of the heat of the day the past few afternoons (and for those of you in the southeast dealing with these 100-plus degree days, you know just how sweltering and oppressive this week has been). As it turns out, my entire wiring setup outside is horribly old and doesn’t meet code. It also contains quite a bit of aluminum wiring– which the contractor tells me is very dangerous and not in use anymore. So I got the great news that it’s going to cost me thousands of dollars to bring everything back up to code…. and not have the danger of causing a fire at any point as well. Ah, the joys of being a homeowner….!
I’ve had several folks inquire about my 2007 sketchbook and whether it would be for sale here on the site. Steven Gettis has set up a store link in the PERSONAL section of the column at the right for selling the sketchbook and prints I’ve produced. So anyone interested in the things offered there, I’ve got a PayPal account set up to handle the sales that way.

OK… have a great weekend, everyone.

This is Entry 412.


Wieringo was born June 24th, 1963 in Venice, Italy, and first caught the attention of comic book fans when he joined writer Mark Waid on DC's The Flash with issue #80 in 1993. Together, the two co-created the character Impulse, the future speedster brought back to the present. Wieringo (or, 'Ringo as he was better known by then) moved on to Robin at DC, and then moved to Marvel, where he settled in on Sensational Spider-Man with writer Todd DeZago.
The pairing with DeZago was something of fate, as the two co-created and launched their creator-owned property Tellos, which saw several projects and miniseries published over the years. Ringo moved back to DC for a run on Adventures of Superman, and then, in 2002, reunited with Waid for a run on Fantastic Four that was perhaps best known for fan outcry when Marvel announced that they were going to replace the team. Marvel quickly reversed their decision, and the two completed their run on the series.

Ringo then moved to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man with writer Peter David, and most recently, completed a Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four miniseries written by Jeff Parker. His next project had not been announced, although, as readers of his blog knew, he was very excited at the prospect of doing more Tellos work, with an eye on being able to debut something at next month's Baltimore Comic-Con.

Mike was a regular face at East Coast conventions for years, and was known to both fans and pros as one of the friendliest, and most approachable guys in comics. Heck, he was, I think, the first "pro" I ever met, back when he had just started drawing Flash. I remember asking him for a sketch at a small convention in High Point, North Carolina, he said, "Sure - what of?" And I told him it had to be the Flash - but not with the mask on, with the mask pulled back, showing Wally West. Mike looked thoughtful for a few minutes, gave me a look, and got to drawing. A few minutes later, he gave me the sketch (still framed and in my office) and I thanked him. It wasn't until later that my wife pointed out that he'd drawn me in the mask, instead of Wally. That's the kind of cool guy Mike was. And with the North Carolina comics community being pretty tight-knit, Mike and I got to be pretty good friends after that. He was a great friend, and a friend of the site - all too happy to help out years back when Mike Doran and I needed headshots for the then-version of Newsarama. We looked a little dorky, but I think that was Mike making a little joke that included all of us.

He loved what he did.

Matt Brady

ps - I see we're getting some database errors from the traffic with this news. Heh - it was the news of Mark and Mike being kicked off of the Fantastic Four that melted down our server when it happened a few years back. Mike was the most humble guy you'd ever meet, but I think he's at least getting a smile out of that.

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