Funnybook Babylon

August 15, 2007

Remembering Ringo

Filed under: Blurbs — Pedro Tejeda @ 10:19 pm

Self portrait of Mike

This Sunday, Mike Wieringo passed away at the age of 44. Mike was an artist on a number of books, but he was mostly known for his runs on Impulse, Spider-man, and Fantastic Four.

There are tons of fantastic tributes out there from friends and co-workers of Mike Wieringo that let you know more about him than his work could ever do. As a fan of his work, I wanted to write a little about how what I enjoyed about his art. It’s a conversation I’ve had a few times with people who weren’t familiar with Ringo, who wanted to known why I mourn his loss.

I knew Mike mostly through his run on FF with frequent collaborator Mark Waid. So last night, I sat down with my hardcover copies of the book and flipped through them. I’ve read the series a few times before and in this case, I just sat down and looked at just the art. It was great reliving and appreciating the way the small flourishes that Ringo added to his art that sold the story and characters.

In issue, there is a classic panel where Johnny is put in charge of the financial part of the FF.

David, you’re totally right. The joke is 10 times better with the panel.

Near Perfect, Right?

The first hardcover ends with a really good commentary from Mark Waid and Ringo going back and forth about plot choices and character designs. It featured shots of a smiling Ringo head above his comments that reassured you that he was as happy to draw the book as you were to read it.

He redrew the costume creation scene after not being satisfied with how static it was.

One of my favorite bits is the new costume for Doctor Doom. I found the new design to be a perfect mix of terrifying and functional looking. When I saw that Ringo wasn’t completely satisfied with it and would work harder next time, I couldn’t understand why. I did appreciate the fact that he was the kind of artist that tried to improve himself and his art just got better as this run continued.

In issue, the Human Torch approaches Spider-Man, and well you can just look at the page.

You think this is good, you should see the following page. It’s hilarious! Waid’s a great writer but when he was with Ringo, he just can’t miss.

The look on Spidey’s face is priceless. It’s so hard to convey emotions from a face underneath a mask, especially without altering it. All the storytelling elements from the panel work to Spider-Man’s thought balloon are spot on.


Later on Ringo does a throwaway gag in the middle of the Avengers Disassembled arc with a shot of Ali G reacting to the chaos. I love little winks and nods like this from him that showed how he loved the job he did. Ringo could just nail humor and his numerous sketches on his blog and his deviant art space just underscore. The details in each of his pages is amazing.

Look at the freaking pictures on the fridge. That’s so awesome.

Ringo could run the gamut of stories and feels. Sure he was great at comedy but I always felt he was under appreciated in the others. Especially at the awe inspiring.

Whoa. Johnny gets a lot of love from Ringo in this run.

That’s the way I will always feel reading the books he did. Left in awe with how he kept getting better, how strong he was at conveying his characters emotions and how intuitive he was at storytelling. You could feel the joy and fun he had in each piece of art he did. Comics and the world were a better place because of him. We’ll miss you.

Goodbye Mike. Thanks for all the great times you given us.

1 Comment »

  1. That was a very touching tribute to the artist. I’ve never read his stuff since I don’t “do” superhero stuff (that’s just not the kind of comic my husband shares with me to read) but I’m interested enough that I would be interested in the art. And anyone that knows me, knows I’m picky about my art. I’m sorry to hear such an inspirational artist passed away…

    Comment by Bear — August 16, 2007 @ 5:23 pm

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