The comics industry has lost one of its most respected members this weekend – artist Mike Wieringo has passed away at the age of 44, according to numerous sources speaking with CBR News. Details are unclear right now, but early reports say he experienced a sudden and massive heart attack. Newsarama is reporting that Sunday afternoon Wieringo experienced chest pains and did call 911, but first responders were unable to reach him in time.
Wieringo was born June 24th, 1963 and shot to fame in the early 1990s working with writer Mark Waid on a memorable and character defining run on "The Flash." From that point on, Wieringo worked steadily in the comics industry, including teaming with writer Todd DeZago on the creator owned series "Tellos," which is set to be collected by Image Comics. Wieringo's mainstream work continued with Marvel Comics, where in 2002 he and Waid reteamed for a memorable run on "Fantastic Four" and has more recently been seen working on "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" with Peter David and "Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four" with writer Jeff Parker.
Wieringo was always a friend to CBR and was until recently a long time client of its parent company, Boiling Point Web Hosting. On his official Web site, he posted a new sketch three days a week. His last sketch posted Friday, seen below, fittingly featured characters from his series "Tellos." He hosted his official forum here on CBR where a memorial thread has begun. Often his fans would post the art they were working on and ask for his criticism, which he was always happy to share.
Comic Book Resources extends its most heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Wieringo.
Updated 10:55 AM
CBR News spoke with long-time collaborator Mark Waid Monday morning, who was obviously shocked by the news. "Everything is moving in slow-motion this morning. I have never worked with anyone more talented than Mike, more on my exact creative wavelength, and likely never will. Mike was one of the very best friends I have ever had and without question one of the two best partners. Someone remind Barry Kitson to keep taking care of his health, because if he goes, there's really no point to me ever sitting down to a keyboard ever again."
Updated 11:55 AM
Artist Matt Haley sent his thoughts on Wieringo to CBR Monday afternoon: "What do I say about my friend? I don't know how to deal with this, it's a case of 'I was just talking to him.' Mike and I came up through the comics ranks together, and we used to trade sketches of each others' childhood superhero characters. He genuinely loved drawing comics, and his absolute joy in creating shone in books like 'Tellos,' where I used to call him and beg him to do a children's book because of the charm and wit he infused his animal characters with. I could go on and on about how he was a master of the artform blah blah, but none of that matters. He loved to draw, and now he's gone. And it makes me want to draw twice as hard to remember and honor him.
"I miss my friend." -- Matt Haley