Final Words

Folks,

Todd and I have a few things to say before we stop posting here. As Todd mentions, we’re going to leave the last few posts since Mike’s death here so you can read the condolences and rememberances. Then, after a week or so, Mike’s web master, Steven, will archive those posts for posterity but the site will appear as Mike left it when he died. This was his home on the web and, like bad company, I’ve overstayed my welcome.

First, here’s Todd:

so matt had this great idea for us to post one final post here on mike’s blog to sorta settle up and then, after a week or so, remove these last non-mike posts and leave mike’s entire blog–archived and all–up indefinitely, as part of his legacy, so that mike will live on.i love that.so, here is our final post. i’d like to thank all of you–ALL OF YOU–who posted their comments and ‘e’d us and left myspace messages, who sent their thoughts and prayers, sympathies and condolensces–i cannot tell you how much that love and that support helped us all.thank you.

funny–or spooky–, mike and i were talking just a few months ago about all the projects we had in the cooker, all the stories we wanted to tell. he said that he had been a bit down thinking that he wanted to leave a nice legacy and that it had been his brother
matt who reminded him of tellos. matt told him that tellos alone was so much more than anyone could ask for from a lifetime.

we were both very proud of tellos.
and i’m sure that’s where he is now.

todd
elizaville
aug 22 2K7

Me again.

I’ve just lost the coolest big brother ever and I’m going to miss him more than I can express. He was young, healthy and had such wonderful things ahead of him, just over the horizon. And it would be so easy for me to get angry right now. Mike and I both inherited that hair-trigger Wieringo temper. I still have it. But something happened with Mike when he started drawing comics. Either it was achieving his lifelong dream or meeting so many wonderful people like Todd and Craig. Maybe it was just his amazing empathy for other creatures. But he got rid of the temper. He became the gentle soul we’ve come to know the last fifteen years or so.

So, though I could easily give in to the oh-so-tempting urge to put my fist through a wall right now, I won’t. I’m gonna do what Mike would do. I’m going to laugh a little, cry a little (or a lot, actually) and hug Charlie and Toonces and my family. And let the anger go. As someone else said in a tribute, I’m going to be like Mike.

If this horrible tragedy, and that’s what it is, has taught me anything, it’s that the old cliche, “life’s too short”, is a cliche for a reason. If there’s someone you love, tell them you love them every day. Quit putting off that phone call and just do it. If there are friends you’ve lost touch with, reach out. If you’ve hurt someone or they’ve hurt you, ask for forgiveness and forgive. Be good to others and to yourself. Get that check up. Eat healthier. Exercise. If your job is causing you stress, find another one that you love. And learn to love each other a little more. Because life IS too short. In fact, life, it seems, is shorter for some than for others.

I want to again thank everyone, Mike’s friends and his fans, for all the support and all the donations to the ASPCA and the Hero Initiative. So many folks have been so wonderful and helpful, I can’t single out too many because I’d forget some. But the shining lights have been Todd and Craig for their support and friendship to Mike and now his family. Mike’s web master, Steve, for allowing us to post here and keeping the site going under trying circumstances. Scott Cates of MothComix for showing class under pressure. Andrew and Vanessa at Chapel Hill Comics for coming through for us when they were dealing with their own tragedy. Shelton Drum of Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find for making Mike part of his family and going out of his way to help us. Richard Case, Randy Green and Mike’s buddy Glenora for checking on us and Charlie. Cully Hamner, Jeff Parker, Scott Kurtz, Mark Waid, Jamar Nicholas, Rich Faber, Traci Wagner and Chris (“Kempliiiiiitzzzz!”) Kempel and a hundred other people who called my brother their friend and proved it with heartfelt rememberances online or at the service. To my friends, Christian, Don, Marvin and Paul just for being there.

Most of all, thank you to Mike’s fans. You bought his books, you enjoyed his art and you’ve always shown class here at Mike’s blog. This was the friendliest place on the internet and I looked forward to coming here every other day to see Mike’s newest sketch and read your comments. I’ll really miss that. And to the fan that placed Mike’s artwork up and down the street outside the service…the unexpected rain may have washed away your efforts, but they weren’t in vain. We know about it and it touched us deeply. Thank you.

Take care of yourselves and if you want to keep in touch with me or Todd or Craig, we’re on the web. I don’t kid myself that anyone came to my blog for any other reason than I’m Mike’s brother. But I’d still like to hear from you. Soon, this site will be as Mike left it, looking forward to great things. He was taken much too young. But he dreamed big and he achieved those dreams.

How many of us can truly say that?

Mafus
August 23, 2007

37 Responses to “Final Words”

  1. Philippe Boulle Says:

    Dear Matt and family -

    Just wanted to add my condolences to the batch. Mike’s loss really is a tragedy — for comics fans like me certainly, but much more so for you and the others who held him dear.

    I also wanted to thank you for your efforts posting on this site during what must be the most trying of times. Like your brother did, you have made us (the faceless fans) feel like welcome friends — this time joining in grief over Mike’s loss and celebration of his life.

    Clearly Mike wasn’t the only class act in the Wieringo clan.

    Be strong and know that the thoughts of many are with you.


    Philippe Boulle
    Vancouver, BC
    A fan

  2. AW Says:

    Hello,

    Matt–thanks for leaving this site up so we can all pour over Mikes thoughts and art, it means a lot to his fans. I think the person that posted above (Phillipe) summed it up quite well about you being a class act in this incredibly trying time.

    BTW–I picked up the Tellos Colossal yesterday–looks fantastic! It will be prominently displayed for many years to come!

  3. Adam Hutch Says:

    Thank you so much for keeping us, Mike’s fans, updated. You didn’t have to, it wasn’t expected and we all appreciate it. I think this blog with all its musings and drawings is a very fitting tribute to Mike. Today I found myself wandering back through the archives looking at random postings from the last few years, and it brought a smile ot my face.

    I’m also a proud owner of Tellos Colossal. However, mine is somewhere between the Tales of Wonder warehouse and my house. I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival and I can’t wait to someday read it to my daughter when she’s a little older.

    Stay strong.

  4. Doug Z Says:

    Thank you for leaving this monument to Mike’s life available on the internet for years to come!

    While I was Mike’s brother or his best friend, he was friendly with me and generous with his time.

    I was looking forward to giving him a hearty handshake in Baltimore this year, but instead will be spending some time volunteering in the HERO booth in his honor.

    Take care and God bless!

    Z

  5. Doug Z Says:

    Only I could mis-type in tribute. I apologize for my clerical error. It should have read “While I was NOT Mike’s brother or his best friend, he was friendly with me and generous with his time.”

    I apologize again and regret that I didn’t proof-read in my haste to contribute to this tribute to a great artist and greater person.

  6. Leaf Says:

    Good words from both you and Todd, Mafus. Your brother was a helluva guy and so are you, my friend. That’s why I’ll always be there for you—by thy side.

  7. Blog@Newsarama » Wieringo website to stay up “so that mike will live on” Says:

    [...] on” Thursday August 23, 2007, 12:16 pm Tellos ColossalMatt Wieringo and Tood Dezago have posted a message –their final one — on Mike Wieringo’s website this morning about their plans for [...]

  8. Joe Alexander Says:

    Matt, like many others I struggle to express and even fully understand why Mike’s passing has impacted me so powerfully as I was not a close friend but just a big fan. Every day since the shocking news I have scoured different sites just seeking the community of those who have also been so shaken by his loss.

    I have been going to Heroes for decades now, and it was there I first met him. As the years went by I enjoyed many conversations with Mike and discovered a kindred spirit with regards to some of the direction of comics, and moreso someone who loved animals maybe even more than I did (I couldn’t make the vegetarian commitment he did, I was too weak). We both loved our cat like our closest friend. Like so many others have stated, I met a man who was passionate about his craft, opinionated about his career, yet still humble. I have met my share of comic professionals, mostly thanks to Shelton, and with some you think “good talent, not so pleasant” and others (often times the most talented) you think “that was cool meeting him.” With Mike, he was the ultimate example of the latter. Time after time through the years he would let me watch over his shoulder as he sketched. When I felt I may be interrupting him or being too much of a pest, he would encourage me to stay and talk. Again, maybe it was because I had found someone who shared my perspective on a lot of things, but I absolutely enjoyed his company. Others have stated it well when they say that his work reflected his spirit. If I had only known him as an artist I would have loved his work, or if I had only known him as man I would have loved his personality, but the loss of both artist and man seem too much to take. I can’t imagine the added loss of him being your brother. I will deeply miss him, his blog, and the joy of his letting us share in his creative process. I sincerely appreciate your efforts on behalf of the many fans he had, especially as you have had to be strong when you are grieving so. I believe Mike would be very proud of his brother. I will pray for you and your family. Take care.

  9. Chris B. Says:

    Thank you for leaving this site active. I looked forward to reading and viewing each entry and now I can still do that. This site is one of only eight or ten sites I visit regularly, and you guys have not taken that gift away.
    Thank you.

  10. Stephen James. Says:

    Rest in peace Mike, you were a great artist and you will be missed.

    Thanks for leaving the archive Matt.

  11. Rich Lovatt Says:

    Matt & Todd

    Thanks for the final words, and thanks for leaving this site up. It’ll stay in my bookmarks and link lists – very few sites that aren’t updated are worth coming back to time and time again, but this one is. Mike’s art will always, always make me smile.

    The best to all of you

    Rich

  12. PJ Magalhaes Says:

    Thank you, God bless you all and maybe we will all see each other on the web somewhere.

    -PJ
    Keep the child alive…

  13. Frantz Says:

    Dear Matt,

    I just got the sad, sad news…

    I was working today in a hospital when my girlfriend sent me the terrible message. She works in graphics and I showed her lots of Mike’s stuff because for me he was the most refreshing penciler for years and I could not bear for her not knowing this incredible art.

    I just replied “is it some kind of sick joke?” Unfortunately it was not…

    It seems that everybody at her office were talking about Mike’s passing, these people are working on movies FX, just so you know that mike’s art and therefore, his personality, were recognized and appreciated far from the comics field.

    It was so hard to just accept it, I could barely continue working on the patient’s files. As others said, I cannot explain why I am that moved. Mike and I never met and he did not answered to the one topic I left on the forum, but I felt connected in some way. For me, his drawings surely showed what a good person he was and, feeling that, I felt compelled to know more about him. This is why I liked this site so much, he was so natural and friendly.

    I remember the words from Todd im Modern Masters that hit me with thi simple truth: the reason why we love Mike’s drawings is because he drew just like we would all like to.

    And this become obvious when I look at what I feel are my best drawings, done before I read mike’s books but when I started to it was exactly like he was showing me what I was looking to achieve. Of course I’m still working on the “how to”…

    Well, I think I’ve been long enough so let met me just send you and your family my condolences and my support in this hard time. And thanks, many thanks for having the force to think about us too…

    See you here or on your site.

    A très bientôt,

    Frantz from France

  14. Hansel Says:

    Thank you for leaving this site up and for updating us with what is going on since Mike’s passing. It all reminds me of something that I lose track of too often… that (like you said) life is a gift and we need to treat it as such. This site will always be bookmarked to remind me of this – thank you for leaving it up. His artwork has been and will continue to be an inspiration to myself and others. I just wish it wouldn’t take a tragedy such as this to remind me of where my head SHOULD be.

    As I have said earlier, I was just “one degree of separation” from Mike and would see him walking into the bookstore in Durham that I worked at. I always thought; “man, I’d like to ask him a million questions.” I was always too busy. I’ll never let THAT happen again.

    Thank you to all of Mike’s family and friends who were strong enough to keep us fans in the loop, at a time when it is toughest to do something like this. My thoughts are with you – and thanks to the other contributors who are putting words to ideas that I can’t express.

    We have always adopted animals from shelters and my daughter wants a dog now that she is old enough. I think we will get more than one, and a cat or 2 as well. I have a few names from some comics that I have read in mind….

  15. ScottDMSimmons Says:

    Matt,

    Your brother was someone I one day hoped to meet. He inspired me just by doing what he loved to do, comics, and he did them well. His version of THE THING is the way I see the Thing in my mind’s eye now. His run on Flash and FF are two of my favorite runs in comics. He was one of the best and most admired artists in comics, and a personal favorite. I poured over the Modern Masters book on him the whole afternoon I bought it, and it is my most cherished book in my art studio book collection. Just wonderful linework, and from all the comments I’ve read online, it sounds like he was a wonderful person too. God bless you and your family.

    Scott

  16. onemoreoption Says:

    Thank you both for your excellent thoughtful words. His artistry communicated so many good things about him. When I saw his art, I thought I understood what he cared about and what he wanted to promote: kindness, sympathy, and always active (rarely idle) working to help others.

    If you are not a DrawingBoard.org regular, here are more kind words DrawingBoard members wrote about Mike:

    http://www.drawingboard.org/viewtopic.php?t=57660

  17. michael Says:

    Matt, Tood and Co. You not only honor Mike by archiving this site. You honor all of us by your kindness and sharing. I won’t pretend it’s as one tenth as hard for me to have gone thru this as you all but it was hard. You, though in the throws of the worst kinds of grief, lightened all of our loads. You thought of us. That’s just not good manners or class. That’s honor. Thanks guys. I’ll see ya around the ‘Net. My love and blessings are always with you guys and gals.

  18. Derek O (ZazMan) Says:

    I Have my Copy of Tellos Colossal, it was the last one on the rack. I am really happy to have it, I really do enjoy Mike work and I am really going to miss Mike. It felt as if he was one of us, A fan just waiting for the next issue of our favorate book. With him gone, The world feels a little darker. I want to be like Mike too, I’ll hold up the light!

    RINGOS ROARS!

  19. michael Says:

    Oh guys I’m so sorry to double post but us over at the Collected Editions Message Boards have been granted our own kind of tribute to Mike if anyone cares to go look. Also there’s a nice thread in the Marvel Masterworks Board section.

    Here’s the URL:
    http://tinyurl.com/2om2hj

  20. Philipp Knall Says:

    Matt,

    Thank you from me as well for keeping us all updated…

    Like a lot of other fans, I am a couple of hundred (thousand) miles apart from anyone I’m acquainted with who knew Mike. I was not able to share my grief with anyone in person when I heard the news. I haven’t even been able to contact the people I wanted to talk to about Mike the most. I moved to Japan half a year ago, so I couldn’t even reread Mike’s comic books, or stare at the sketch he sent me years ago, or at the envelope it came in, which I never threw away because he had the most awesome handwriting. All of these things are back at home in Vienna.
    This is where you and Todd came in, and kept these blogs updated, in a time when I would have locked myself in my room and cut myself off from the outer world. It wouldn’t even have mattered what you wrote, as long as there was something to read about Mike. But you came through and wrote the most moving things.

    Mike was one of the very few artists in comics I was trying to follow onto anything he’d draw. Right down to tearing out pages of Wizard Magazine and archiving them (and I know for a fact I’m not the only one) And so I picked up Tellos, and I won’t lie that I did for Mike’s art in the beginning (sorry Todd). What I ended up getting was not only a comic book, it also got me in contact with a little group of people who frequented the series’ message board, all of them bright, funny and genuinely good people, who stayed in friendly contact long after the Tellos books were published. I met up with a handful of them at several occasions, related to comics or not, and always had a blast. I am still in contact (more or less) with some of them and hold all of them dearly in my heart as true friends.

    That’s just one story of many, I am sure, you have been told about how much your brother gave to us. Living on different continents, and always having different schedules, prevented me from ever meeting Mike face to face. But I still have a thousand happy memories that he is responsible for, and I will never forget that. And I’ll never be able to thank you enough for making sure he’s not forgotten.

  21. Joe Jusko Says:

    I was really happy to read that you’re leaving the site up. It’s a treasure trove of Mike’s genius that everyone possible should be exposed to! Thanks!

  22. Spencer Says:

    Thank you. And he is missed.

  23. Graham Robertson Says:

    Mike’s art is one of the reasons this forty-something Scotsman still loves and reads comic books, and my heart goes out to those who loved him. I hope you all stay strong.

  24. Josh Says:

    I’m glad the site is staying up. It’s really weird to think about how Mike won’t be posting on here anymore. As Todd said, Mike will be missed.

  25. Aaron Sanders-Symeon Says:

    To Mike’s friends and Family

    I cannot say how sorry I am for your loss. I know what it’s like to loose a loved one. I lost my granddad three years ago and he was like a father to me. But life goes on. Time is the greatest healer. It gets easier I promise you. Just always remember the best times you had with them and they’ll live on inside you forever.

    Mike truly was one of the greatest comic book artists to come out of his generation. His style was very original and a style I came to love very much. Whatever happens Mike has left a legacy with his work and it will inspire future generations to aspire to be like him.

    I hope to one day myself become a comic book writer and join the great ranks that Mike was a part of. I’m happy that Mike achieved what he wanted to achieve in his life. Maybe he didn’t achieve everything he wanted to, but he still nonetheless achieved a hell of a lot in his life. How many people out there can say that they drew Spider-Man and Fantastic Four comics for a living and also co-created a comic series that was popular and very successful ? Take care Matt, Todd & Charlie. Mike couldn’t have asked for a better brother, best friend and loyal cat.

    Aaron from London

  26. Brian D Says:

    Mike had an online gallery on an artist community website called deviantArt.com. http://wieringo.deviantart.com/.
    All around the community there has been an outpouring of grief, condolance and rememberance of Mike. Many pay homage to Mike through their own art. A tribute to Mike has been created on this site here http://for-mike.deviantart.com/ to begin a collection of these artworks. I just wanted to be sure his family and friends were aware.

  27. Jose Says:

    It´s a great idea to keep the blog and all the art online. I would recommend all aspiring artists to visit, enjoy the great sketches and learn a lot from Mike´s words.
    He will continue being a great inspiration for everyone even after his passing.

    Jose from Spain

  28. Josh Says:

    I have a MySpace profile that I got last year and I started posting blogs not long after I got it. Since then I’ve been trying to post artwork on it as often as possibly, like Mike used to do on here. I’d post one of my drawings and talk about it and whatever else I had to say for that post. I thought it was a cool way to incorporate my art into my MySpace page. I’ve visited Mike’s site the most of any of the artist sites I’ve seen. His art is amazing. I was reading Matt’s blog and he mentioned how excited Mike was about the Tellos Colossal Hardcover. It’s cool that he managed to make that happen while he was around. Tellos is biggest work. And it must’ve been his most proud accomplishment of his career.

  29. jdefee Says:

    I just read this news. I am very sorry such a wonderful person is gone. I did not know him personally, but through his art. He shared with me a love for art through his work and inspired me to draw and try my hand at artwork. His style spoke to me. So I feel he did. I am deeply saddened to lose such an inspiration. His book Tellos is what helped me to find the artist inside myself, and the story itself made me cry, and helped me through some hard times. Mike is, was, and always will be one of the greats to me, and to others. Truly an inspiration, and help to me. He is missed by me and others.

  30. Johannes Says:

    Rest in peace Mike, you will be greatly missed. Thank you for the inspiration. And my condolences to the family. Thank you for keeping the archive alive Matt!

  31. Paul Rogers Says:

    Hiya. Thank you Matt, Suzanne & Todd for your Love. If you are here, reading these words, you already know the Love that we, all of us, have for Mike Wieringo. A fan, an acquaintance, a colleague, a friend…all have the same feelings in our hearts at this time. That is because, we are a community. Yeah, that’s right, something we have always known, because we all have the same thing in common, our love of comics, the characters that dance around in these amazing four color adventures, the joy, the excitement, the suspense, the drama, the fun, the sorrow and the loss, all a part of our unique artform. Unique, just like Mike. We lost Mike this month…but…not really, not completely, just think about it, Mike is still here, with his pages & pages & pages of published work, his sketches to fans met just that day, his blogs & artwork on his daily updated website sharing his feelings, observations and opinions on the same life that we are all going through…Mike spoke to us, he spoke to our community…He touched more lives in our community in a Positive way than I think he will ever know…But we know…So, go to your collection and find a copy of Tellos, a copy of Flash or Robin or Adventures Of Superman or Fantastic Four or Rogue or Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman or any other great book Mike left for us to enjoy. Celebrate the life of Mike Wieringo, as a fan, an acquaintance, a colleague and the best friend that I have ever had. You will always be here with us. I love you buddy. And I miss you. Paul.

  32. Bryan Wong Says:

    Though I never met Mike, there can be no doubt that the world has lost not just a phenomenal talent, but a true gentleman. I’ve been a fan of his work for years, the energy and larger than life sense of personality he poured into every line was something I always looked forward to whenever I saw his name on the front of a comic book. The thing that surprised me about him though, was his readiness to give a helping hand to up and comers and virtual unknowns in the comic book industry. As an aspiring comic book illustrator myself, knowing that someone like Mike would go out of his way to make things a bit easier meant the world to me.

  33. rebecca Says:

    Dear Mr. Wieringo family,
    I know nothing I say can ease the pain you are feelingright now.Not completely. But I can say God loves you and is wathching you and is there for you.He will always love you.

  34. nancy Says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss! It’s great loss to the art world as well. You and your family (and your brother’s cat too!) have my sincere condolences.

  35. Chad Townsend Says:

    In REGARDS TO MIKES DEVIANT ART SITE. I e-mailed Deviant Art about Mike and they said they are willing to help you guys out in any way in regards to his deviant art site. I made mention of keeping his site running indefinitely but they didn’t tell whether that was possible or not. I think that is for you guys to negotiate.

    Take care.
    Chad T.

  36. Paul Rogers Says:

    Saying goodbye is hard. This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. Saying goodbye to Mike. Mike Wieringo was my friend. We shared our lives early on, before he found his calling, before he would share his gift with this world, a gift that will forever live on, before that, we were just friends. The kind of friends that just hung around and talked about comic books, before they were as cool as they are now, Watchmen, Daredevil, Swamp Thing, Superman, Batman, X-Men, Cerebus, Groo, Crisis & more. Fun, excitement & adventure, just like the people that spoke for them, that brought them to life, Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, Allan Moore, John Byrne, Dave Sim, Sergio Argonies, George Perez & all the rest that worked, not just because of a paycheck, but because, they liked it. This was our world. This world of four-color entertainment that somehow captured our hearts and imaginations, a world that Mike was meant to be in, that was meant to contribute to. And He did. Mike became an artist, a storyteller, a friend and an inspiration to others, many, many others. Mike, if you never met him, was the kind of guy that put you at ease, because he met you as an equal, a comic book fan, someone that loved this art form as much as you did. And he shared that with us until the end. Mike Wieringo died on Sunday, August 12th, 2007. His Mother & Father lost a Son, a Beloved son. Matt lost a Brother, a Beloved Brother. And I lost a Friend, a Beloved Friend. I love you Mike. I miss you and I will always hold you close to my heart. Your buddy, Paul.

  37. Rachael Says:

    I wish I’d found this blog earlier. I came late, with this last post. I admire Mike and what all he’s accomplished and it’s inspiring to see the support you’ve all given him.

    Rest in peace, Mike.