Monday, August 13, 2007

Goodbye, Ringo

I didn't know Mike Wieringo personally, but I felt like I did. My buddy Sam had met him years ago in the course of doing some prototype Tellos figures. Today, when Sam called me, I knew why even before I answered the phone.

So I didn't know Mike Wieringo, but like Mike Parobeck, another comics artist who left this world too soon, I felt like I knew him through his work. Readers of this blog need look no further than last week's Sunday Soliloquy, and its quiet study of Reed Richards, for a great example of Wieringo's craftsmanship.



It's all there: the attention to detail, the way the characters move, and the expressiveness of both Reed and Valeria. Wieringo has what some might call a "cartoony" style, but it's hardly unrealistic. His objects have weight and his characters have life. There isn't much action on those two pages, but that just goes to show how good 'Ringo was at making them come alive.

Mike Wieringo worked on some of the Big Two's most treasured properties, including the Flash, Robin the Boy Wonder, Superman, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four. He "got" the appeal of superheroes, I think, and translated that appeal perfectly onto the page. The best superhero artists make us forget about the genre's constant struggle between "realism" and fantasy, and simply transport us into the worlds their pencils create. Mike Wieringo was a master at that. He never seemed to give less than his best, and in turn his best seemed effortless.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. He brought a lot of joy to a lot of us.

2 comments:

Darrin said...

Did Wieringo ever do Impulse? All my Impulse comics are in storage at my parents place so I can't go back and check but the cartoony look is reminiscent of the earlier Impulse comics that were more humor based.

Tom Bondurant said...

Wieringo and Mark Waid created Impulse when the two were on Flash. However, he never drew Bart in his own title. The Impulse artists I remember were Humberto Ramos and Craig Rousseau, and Todd Nauck drew Bart in Young Justice.