This weekend I re-read Tellos, a fantasy comic book that ran from 1999-2000. Writer Todd Dezago and artist Mike Wieringo took a 6-month hiatus to prepare the next story arc, but that arc never materialized. Just a few one-shots and an anthology mini that explored backstories and aftermath, with a few hints at the upcoming story. Though from the sketches and posts on Wieringo’s blog—the latest (at left) posted just last Friday, it was clear they were working on relaunching the series, possibly this year.
So it came as a real shock when I checked my e-mail this morning and saw a post on Warren Ellis’ Bad Signal saying that Mike Wieringo died yesterday at the age of 44.
A second obituary appears at Comic Book Resources. Newsarama also spoke with his friends and collaborators, collecting remembrances from Mark Waid, Todd Dezago and Karl Kesel.
The Mark Waid/Mike Wieringo run on The Flash was one of my favorites. Even though other artists drew Wally West for longer, it’s “â€™Ringo’s” take that I always associate with the character. That run got me interested in Tellos, which sits alongside Chronos and Chase as a favorite series that should have lasted longer than it did.
Two months ago, DC Comics killed off the most recent Flash, Bart Allen—originally Impulse, a character Wieringo co-created with Mark Waid. Wieringo’s remarks on Bart’s fate were widely read, widely quoted, and sparked debate on whether killing characters was merited by story, or simply the this decade’s sales gimmick of choice. He posted the sketch at the right as a memorial to Bart Allen.
His blog has been up and down all day, and Newsarama’s been having trouble keeping up with the traffic to their own site—a testament to how much he’s missed.
In re-reading Tellos this weekend, I came across this remark by Todd Dezago in the letters column for Tellos #10. It seems appropriate to quote it here:
If the concept of Tellos really sprang from anything, it might be that old saying that “no one is really gone as long as we keep them in our hearts.”
Just as some characters in the story lived on in the land of Tellos after death, â€™Ringo will live on in the many stories he told.