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CAT'S MEOW SPECIAL EDITION: A Tribute to Mike Wieringo (1963-2007)
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Tribute by John Norris, August 14, 2007

“TELLOS is a magical patchwork world made up of countless different lands and realms, populated by mythical and legendary creatures, filled with adventure…and danger!

Come and join us…the journey is just beginning…”

With those words, two things were launched: the epic saga that is TELLOS and my love for comics. I've told this story before, but it's worth repeating here. Before TELLOS came along, I had merely a passing interest in comics. When I went to the comic shop, more often than not I browsed the back-issue bins and selected whichever book had the coolest-looking cover. Eventually I worked my way toward newer releases. One Wednesday, I was browsing the shelves while waiting for the week's new comics to be put out. My eyes locked on to the cover for TELLOS #7. It was the most stunning thing I'd seen up to that point. That cover introduced me not only to TELLOS, but also to its creators, Todd Dezago and Mike Wieringo.

TELLOS literally changed my life and my perspective. It showed me that comics were more than spandex-clad superheroes and that they could be taken seriously as an art form. It also introduced me to other comic fans. I met several people that I may not have met otherwise through our interests in this book, which led me to participating in online chats and posting in forums on sites such as Comic Book Resources and the now-defunct Tellos.com. The first comics letter I ever wrote was published in issue #8. I could go on and on.

But I digress.

Mike—or ‘Ringo, as he was affectionately known—was a true original. He had a style that was all his own. There's no confusing his style with that of another artist. When you look at one of his pages, you know it's him. He was, as best I can describe it, detailed and economical at the same time. He drew marvelous landscapes and backgrounds, yet I don't ever remember looking at one of his pages and thinking that he overdid it; he drew what was needed to get the point across. And he put his stamp on every character, whether they were his own or already established. Some say that the Flash, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four looked their best when ‘Ringo drew them. How fitting, then, that his last project allowed him to draw both Spidey and the Fantastic Four, and that his last sketch was of Jarek from TELLOS. I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, but I was able to communicate with him through e-mail and through sites such as Comic Book Resources and DeviantArt. He seemed a very friendly fellow, always ready with an encouraging word.

Thank you, Mike. Were it not for TELLOS, I probably would not be reading comics today, much less reviewing them. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that you have entertained and inspired me. You may be gone, but you will live on through your artwork.

Editor's note: There are tributes to Wieringo can be found all over the web.

This one is very good: Tribute by Cully Hamner and service/donation info: http://forum.newsarama.com /showthread.php?t=125305

Newsarama has many more
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