Archive for Mike Wieringo

A Cast of Thousands

Spider-Man Family #7

Well, it may not have a cast of thousands, but this 104-page comic is certainly crammed to the gills with guest stars. Basically, this is one of Marvel’s all-ages books, designed to be kid-friendly, but also good reading for grown-ups. And this particular issue was designed by Karl Kesel, Todd Dezago, and Mark Waid as a tribute to the late Mike Wieringo.

Our plot focuses on the Looter, a villain who gets his powers from a chunk of meteorite. Actually, he thinks the meteorite is alive — and he’s even fallen in love with the space-rock. Muy creepy, yes? Anyway, he goes looking for a second meteorite to boost his powers. Spidey gets involved, as do the Fantastic Four, Ka-Zar, Stegron, and Dr. Strange. After that’s over, we’ve got three different, full-length backup features, all of them reprints from earlier Spider-Man stories — the first from one of the “Venom” miniseries, one from “Spider-Man: Death and Destiny,” and the last is a Japanese manga about a kid who calls himself “Spider-Man J.”

Verdict: Thumbs up. The backup stories are fairly forgettable, but the main attraction is the story with the Looter. It’s very fun, lots of action, lots of actual jokes. It’s everything you ever wanted in a Spidey story. It’s too bad that ‘Ringo wasn’t around to draw it himself…

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Gone Too Soon

Comic artist Mike Wieringo is dead of a heart attack at 44. That’s way, way too young for us to lose such a wonderful talent.

Mark Waid is a guy who’s worked with a lot of different artists. This is what he had to say:

I could spend the rest of the day writing and writing and writing to explain how empty this makes the world and I wouldn’t come close to getting it across. Mike’s artistic style quietly influenced an entire generation of artists that followed. I could never get it into his thick, humble head in what regard he was held by his fellow professionals. Mike was a member of a very small club of illustrators–among them, Alex Toth, Michael Golden, Kevin Nowlan–who were so revered by their peers that the brilliance of their work was never a matter of debate.

Any time I saw Mike’s characteristic “‘Ringo!” signature on the cover, I knew I was going to get a beautifully and excitingly drawn comic.

He’ll be sorely missed.

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