As anybody who's read this blog for any length of time knows, I enjoy a good obituary, a summing-up of a life well-lived. Merv Griffin is a perfect example.
What you may not know is that I hate a bad obituary -- people who leave us way too soon. This obituary for Mike Wieringo is a bad one. 'Ringo, as he was known to friends and fans, and I guess everybody who knew him was one or the other or both, was one of the most innovative comic book artists to come along in the last 30 years. When I first became aware of his work, he was pencilling the Flash and it took me a little while to get used to his lantern-jawed, more cartoony style of art. But that was only because it was so different than what everybody else was doing. Before long I began to appreciate how fluid and dynamic his lines were, what a great storyteller he was. That run on the Flash (with writer Mark Waid) is absolutely one of my favorite series ever -- and I've been reading comic books for 40 years. Ringo also did Adventures of Superman, The Sensational Spider-Man, Robin and he and Mark Waid were able to capture lightning in a bottle again on an unforgettable run on the Fantastic Four. He also co-created (with Todd Dezago) the fantasy series Tellos.
I met him a couple times at conventions. He was always very friendly and willing to spend some time with you. And he was only 44 years old, and he was a vegetarian in great shape.
Mike Wieringo dead at 44, Jack Chick still spreading poison at age 84. If you ever needed proof that life is not fair, there you have it.