In separate press releases issued today, Marvel Comics announced the signings of artists Mike Wieringo and Brandon Peterson to exclusive deals with the publisher.
For Wieringo, the signing comes in the same year that he was fired off of "Fantastic Four" along with writer Mark Waid, then re-hired months later. Wieringo is exclusive to Marvel through the year 2005 and his work will continue to be seen in "Fantastic Four." This January see's the beginning of a key new story arc, the three part "Hereafter," with issue #509.
"While it's no secret to folks who keep up with comics news that the summer was pretty 'eventful' for me, I'm really happy to say that things have worked out for the best in the end," said Wieringo in the release. "I'm proud and excited that Marvel thought enough of my work that they would be want to offer me an exclusive agreement to draw for them for the next couple of years. Working with Mark Waid, [FF editor] Tom Brevoort and Joe Quesada has been a blast - and it's a wonderful thing that it's going to continue.
"As cliché as it might sound, illustrating 'Fantastic Four' has been a dream-come-true," continued Wieringo. "I grew up reading the FF, 'Spider-Man,' the 'X-Men' and all the other wonderful characters that fill out the Marvel Universe, and I've been fortunate to work on many of them. My experience on FF has been a special one," however. "It's been really thrilling to work on Marvel's flagship title - the one that started the whole ball rolling. And having the opportunity to work with Mark, and to be given the opportunity to add our spin to these incredible characters has been an honor.
"So, thank you, Marvel. And thanks to those who have enjoyed what we are doing."
"I've been a fan of 'Ringo's work for years," said Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada in the release. "As an artist his clean line work and wonderful characterization has made me envious of his skills for way too many years. And I think that fans will agree with me when I say that Mike's work on the FF has redefined the look of the characters and book in a way that has made it accessible to a whole new audience!
"I'm thrilled that Mike has decided to stay at Marvel and make it his home for the next few years. Along with li'l Marky Waid, fans of the FF and Marvel fans in general are going to be in for many more issues of great comics entertainment from the World's Greatest Comic Magazine!"
Later in the day Marvel announced a second key artistic signing, this time with artist Brandon Peterson. Peterson has most recently served as an artist, Art Director and Vice President of CrossGen Entertainment before leaving the company amidst their ongoing financial woes. Peterson's exclusive keeps him with Marvel through the year 2006. According to the release, Peterson will begin drawing covers on "Ultimate X-Men," then moving on to "several high-profile new assignments that will be announced in the coming weeks" according to Marvel.
"I've known Brandon for quite some time now, he is one of those rare talents that can do it all and he does it all at a Master's level," said Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada in the release. "He's also one of the most enthusiastic people I know and I'm thrilled that he's bringing that energy to Marvel.
"We have some amazing stuff planned for Brandon including the reinvention of a classic Marvel character that will have fans talking for years to come. There aren't many people in the comics industry that can draw with his ability and energy so I'm thrilled for us and for our fans everywhere that he'll be dedicating his amazing talents to the pantheon of Marvel Heroes."
"Over the last few years while occupied at another job, I've observed the incredible progress Marvel has made with the editorial leadership of Joe Quesada," said Peterson in the release. "Marvel has really undergone a renaissance with things like Marvel Knights, the Ultimate universe, and the rejuvenation of the core titles. I appreciated from a distance the hard work and skill that they and everyone at Marvel have shown.
"After I had left my former job, Joe and I talked at length about some of the great projects Marvel had planned, and I found myself getting caught up in the infectious enthusiasm he has for the company. It didn't take too long to see we were on the same page and Marvel was the place for me to be. Marvel has a great support staff and everyone has been really positive about me coming aboard, especially C.B. Cebulski who has been instrumental in helping Marvel and me come together."