*I Call this the “Romeo and Juliet” shot haha! Mike and Jeff Parker posing for a shot. I think Morbius was supposed to be flying away? Or flying to the ground….I can’t remember but it makes for a funny picture…..Actually lots of the came out bad because they were Polaroids. I must have spent a fortune on film back then…*
*Jeff Parker and Mike posing for a scene in “Morbius” for Marvel* I think it was a pre-requisite that you had to be willing and able to pose for reference shots if you joined the studio and we all did all the time*
*Not sure what this was for but I beleive he was posing for a Morbius page I was drawing at the time. This turned out to be a pretty cool shot in and of itself. Its a good pic of Mike in action.*
Starting out as a young and hungry artist myself with much to learn (even as I do now), I was both amazed and thankful for the time that I spent in Artamus Studios and also as a roommate to Mike for a couple of years. I was astounded at the determination and talent that I saw evolving before my eyes and thankful for the once in a lifetime opportunity to see his legend grow. And that is what Mike became for the sequential art industry. A modern master of the visual form of comics and as influential as those that came before him and influenced him alike. As his studio/apartment mate I saw this every day. I also saw the internal termoil in which he put himself through in order to better his craft. That consistently hard work ethic was extremely inspirational to myself as well as all of the other guys in Artamus Studios. Mike was never truly satisfied with his art and never rested on the praise of the fans to which he felt “undeserved and unjustified”. If truth be known, compliments were an extremely uneasy and foreign thing for Mike to take however justified or deserving they were. He never felt worthy. He never got lazy with his art and his hunger to reach his top potential was in tact to the very last page he drew and he was always very aware of any flaws that he saw in his own art. Of course we all loved seeing it flow out of his pencil on a day to day basis and it inspired us to work harder to be better artists in our own right. Things seemed to flow out of his hands and on to the paper with a grace that likened him to a poet. It always seemed effortless for Mike. And it was that way consistently for him even as hard headed as he could be at times. He made it all look effortless day in and day out. That’s what the great artists in history do. They inspire and lift us up in awe of the apparent ease in which they accomplish their art. Mike loved what he did and enjoyed being a part of it. He loved comics and loved creating them. His laughter filled the halls of Artamus Studios every day and it was contagious for us all. For me, Mike was just next door if I needed an honest opinion on something I had drawn. Not only would he tell me it was bad and push me harder, but he would tell me why it was bad and he knew I could do better. If something was good he would be the first to say ‘that looks great!” and that he knew I could do better! Like I said, he was a true friend and like a brother to me and always believed in me even when I didn’t always believe in myself. I keep this work ethic close to my heart to this day and I will never forget Mike for his guidance.
Millions of fans and friends and family have poured out their heart to Mike and his family since his passing and I cannot attempt to say all the good things that need to be said about Mike Wieringo in this simple post. Read the posts from fans all over the world. They tell his story. Read his comics. They tell his story as well. I’m sure he would be both amazed and humbled at the response the comics industry has sent forth. He was just that type of every day guy.
Lastly, and knowing Mike as well as I did, I think there would be one thing I think that he would want to say and to be remembered by even above his art….
Mike would say “Find what it is in life that you love to do with all your heart. Whatever that may be, work persistantly to persue those dreams and never let them fade away even through hard times or self doubt. Through following your dreams you will find yourself and in that, find peace and happiness.” His life was a testament to this philosophy.
Rest in peace Mike. Thank you for being a ‘real’ hero and true friend. You are fondly remembered and the world is an emptier place without you in it.
Film Shot Studio