I thought putting up one of the pieces I painted for Marvel in the nineties was a fitting way to mark the passing of the cover's artist, Mike Wieringo.
I had been following Mike's blog for a while. It was really great and always fun. He always put up beautiful art and did almost daily warm-up sketches that would put most artists to shame.
It was this week, two years ago, on a Friday, where he said he had a busy weekend dealing with some house repairs but he would be back on Monday to resume the art and the blog.
That Sunday he died of a sudden heart attack. He was only 44 years old.
I had never met Mike in person and only got to paint over his art a few times. But, he was one of my favorite artists and was always an inspiration. That I got to paint this cover and that it actually saw print is still something I'm immensely proud of. In those days, most pieces I painted were used for promotional materials. So, even when I painted a cover chances were, when that issue came out, that my work was no where to be seen. This was one of the rare exceptions.
I do remember having to do this piece really quickly. It was sent by messenger to me one afternoon and I had to paint it that night and have it back into a messenger's hands the next morning. Even given the little amount of time to do the work I'm still proud of the results.
I'm proud that I got to work with Mike Wieringo, even if it was only for a little bit and even if he didn't ever know who I was.
Newarama.com has posted a great retrospective of Mike's life and career. You can read it HERE.
Of all the art I did for Marvel over the years, I've only held on to a few pieces for my personal collection. This piece was one of them. Here are a few photos I took this morning of the original art- one of the art, one with a piece of white cardstock between the black and white line work and the colored board, and one with the transparency pulled up so you could see the color work I did.
You're still missed, Mike. You're still missed.