Friday, June 13, 2008

Mike Wieringo-tribute sketch

This happy fella is Mike Wieringo-last year fate took Mike away from us,leaving the comic art world-for that matter,the world as a whole- a sadder place.

In honor of his memory a bunch of his peers and friends-which i'm proud to say i was one-are compiling a sketchbook of art-led by his close pal,Todd Dezago-for sale at the Heroes Comic Con in No. Carolina this year (in a couple weeks) the proceeds are to go to Mike's personal favorite charity, the ASPCA.

The reason i brought this up is that i was asked last year to donate a piece for a planned book of art in Mike's memory-i did a series of sketches for the project-some of which you can see below...

the 1st was an idea someone suggested to pit Mike's characters from his book, TELLOS,against my BLACK FOREST characters-i quickly dropped that concept when it felt too much like self promotion and not enough about Mike.

I realized that it needed to be something that honored him AND what we'll remember him best for: his work-so i combined a group of comic book characters he'd become most associated with thru his short career with a caricature of him at his table-a tried and true image of the artist at work (i recall a great shot of Kirby at his table with all the characters coming out of it-so this idea goes way back ;o)

So i concentrated on a select group of characters,including Impulse,Spidey,the FF and the TELLOS crew.

My buddy Bob Tinnell suggested some kind of Mount Rushmore like shot of Ringo (as we affectionately called him) instead of the drawing board- so after many more development sketches i arrived at the image below in pencil.

Then time passed and we were slowly approaching the 2008 con season and no book was getting done-i suspect it was becoming a huge chore to organize as i knew of at LEAST 150 artists who wanted to contribute art to the project-so my pencilled piece sat on the shelf.

Then in Seattle this year i bumped into Todd Dezago at the Emerald City Con and showed him a copy of the piece-he seemed happy with it and-i think-it helped rekindle the spark of getting something out in Mike's memory in time for the Heroes con this year-so i went ahead and inked it and added a grey tone/wash finish and sent it along to Todd-the result is below:

I only wish Mike was still here to see how much he was loved and respected by friends and fans alike.

Best wishes in that studio in the sky,buddy!