Monday, August 13, 2007
Loss of Inspiration
I woke up Monday morning to stumble into my studio with a cup of coffee and answer emails while waking up. The first one was from Tim Townsend, and it carried the report from Newsarama: "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." I was stunned. Unbelievable. It felt wrong somehow, like I was still half asleep or hadn't read the news correctly. He was only 44.
I had only known Mike through emails and conventions, but he was an inspiration to all of us in comics and the kindest person to talk to. His personality shown through in his art; innocent and playful, dynamic and heroic, passionate and stylized in such a way as to make it all look effortless. So much so, he posted a sketch a day on his blog. A sketch a day! He inspired me to do the same. I lasted maybe three days. He loved what he did, and it showed through in everything that he did. His drawing looked fun.
I was lucky enough to ink him on one occasion, on this Batman and Robin commission. I don't really have time to ink comics much any more, but when I was asked "wanna ink Ringo?" I jumped. Of course I did! And I'm glad I did. I got the chance to touch a piece of his art, one page in a huge body of work that has touched us all. Thanks Mike. You were one of the best.
Someone once said of Mike, "he draws like we all wish we could draw." That sums it up perfectly for me. The only consolation is the work he left behind. It's bound to continue to inspire artists and amaze children for generations to come.