Wednesday, August 15, 2007

NOT A GOOD DAY



Just got back home from Chicago to a devastating piece of news: Mike Wieringo is dead.

This is hard to take for many reasons, at first there's the shock of his sudden passing, I may be speaking for many of his friends when I say I had no clue he suffered from any kind of life-threatening illness. Then there's the obvious examination of one's own life, the sad realization of our own mortality and of our legacy, etc., etc. But mainly because Mike was a personal friend and a fellow artist (for those of you who are not familiar with him, he worked in the comics field, Tellos & Spiderman to name two of the most prominent titles he drew) He was one of us.

Mike and I were planning an art/sketchbook for next spring, I saw him two months ago in Charlotte, he was in great spirits as we discussed the project and seemed very excited to join our movement and finally put a full-color art book together, he wanted to showcase his personal work not just the stuff that paid the bills.

The fact that he looked in perfect health and so optimistic about the future makes his passing very difficult to accept, I've never seem him so cheerful as I did that weekend. You see, in the past few months leading to Charlotte he seemed a bit unhappy with his personal work, Mike was very hard on himself, he had expressed many times, both, in private to his friends and later on his blog for everyone to see, that he felt a bit insecure about his art and the need to become better, I loved him for it because few artists come to that realization at the heap of their popularity, that took a big heart and even bigger balls, because he had tons of fans praising him night and day and loving his work. He knew there was much more to learn and to experience, he wanted more than just the adoration of his fans, he was true to himself and never bought into that celebrity status nonsense. He really wanted to grow as an artist and not just survive.

Mike was always a gentleman and a gentle man, courteous and polite, down-to-earth, kind and generous, I know people always say nice things about a person who passes away out of respect, even when that person doesn't deserve them but Mike Wieringo WAS all those things and more, he truly was a great human being and that is not an exaggeration, I don't claim to have been one of his best friends but I did consider him one of my few true friends. He e-mailed me 3 days before he died, right after he had read my August 5th post (in which I went postal on a book buyer), not just out of curiousity but expressing real concern for what had happened to me, that was the kind of man he was.

Rest in peace Mike, you will be sorely missed.

14 comments:

Craig Zablo said...

Well said.

TMALO70 said...

A True Tragedy... I wasnt' Fortunate enough to have made a Real Acquaintance with Mike (Only comments back and forth on the Drawing Board)... And it makes Me Sad knowin' that I will never get to meet or receive new words of encouragement from Him... Thanks Mike for Your Generous Contributions to both the Real and Art World...

Tony

DaLe said...

great words for a great artist.

Chad said...

What is really really sad....is there wasn't any illness other than his dissatisfaction over what he was doing. The man was an avid attendee of the gym and a vegetarian!

how could he or anyone have guessed that would happen?

Alberto, it just proves you don't know when your time is up and that if you have desires to make great art and build strong friendships/relationships. don't waste too much time and make the effort. I've met Mike only through a friend that shared a studio with him. I didn't get to kbow him. Oddly enough I tried to get Mike as one of my friends over at DeviantARt just this weekend. Because he was so generous with his comments on my work.

Like everyone on all the forums I am astonished and sad that this happened to him. It now makes me wonder how often it happens to the guys we don't know that well, that post on the forums.

Take care my friend.
Chad T

ShapeStrong said...

You said it well, I have been so amazed at the extent to which he had reached so many people. I had the chance to just correspond with him. He was always so kind. Its the same story you hear from everyone what a kind and wonderful man he was.

you have my thoughs as a good friend of his.

ian said...

As always you are very eloquent and heartfelt. Mike Wieringo was the first blog that I read everyday hoping to see some cool new world he'd dreamed up. I first thought/hoped it was a (very uncharacteristic) hoax, but sadly it was true. I wish I'd had the chance to meet him.

Ian

&Rew said...

sad news. he had so much talent and shared it willingly. his absence will certainly be felt.

:.[

&Rew.

Jason Seiler said...

I'm so sorry, this isn't great news to come home to at all.

The Original Dangster said...

I have his website bookmarked, as yours and I would visit daily for inspiration.

It's amazing the way you can get to know someone through their artwork and words without ever meeting them, and he seemed like he didn't just draw amazing characters, but was one himself.

I think the one thing that I can say is that no artist truly is forgotten. As long as people discover and appreciate their work.

bog_art said...

Gracias también por tu visita, intento lo más que puedo estar a la altura de los grandes blogeros.. como no añadirte a mis links si tienes un excelente blog??.. no tenía ni idea de que eras Ecuatoriano.. 1 abrazo desde este pedacito de tierra llamado Ecuador.. sí se puede!!..

Bógar

RoB said...

A terrible loss to the Art community. He will be missed.

Great words for a talented artist; really well said Alberto.

shan! said...

a true tragedy and a great loss, you will be greatly missed Mike...

Alberto said...

This truely took me by suprise, and it made me really sad.. I went to his website and was about to add him to myspace as a friend, then i started to read all the comments and i was shocked...

Silvio Daniel Kiko said...

nooo, me estas jodiendo, no te puedo creer, me encantaba su estilo, soy fanatico se su Tellos y spiderman, quede mal, que perdida, locoo.