It was a true shock to the comic book world when Mike “Ringo” Wieringo passed away back in 2007. At just 44 years old he had become such a well known icon known for drawing book like The Fantastic Four, The Flash, Robin, Rogue, and The Sensational Spider-Man.
Perhaps my favorite Ringo book was Tellos which he co-created with writer Todd Dezago. It was a fantasy adventure originally published by Image Comics about a boy named Jarek and his huge anthropomorphic tiger Koj. As their adventure starts they end up meeting a sly fox named Rikk and a gorgeous pirate named Serra. It is a journey for Jarek as he longs to discover who he is while also trying to figure out why a kid wizard is out to destroy him.
It was a beautiful world full of talking animals, magic, and wonder. There was various issues once the main series ended at Image including a short follow-up series, and one-shots. It featured what can be said as Ringo’s finest work. You too Dezago – it was just a great playground to have an adventure in. If there is any problem it can be said that Tellos didn’t continue for many, many years.
While it seems it has been many years in the making it was just recently announced that two volumes of what is going to be called The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute are being released. The website https://mikewieringotellostribute.com/ just launched and its intro page let’s us know what the project is all about:
The Mike Wieringo TELLOS Tribute is a 500 page, original graphic novel presented in two over-size, hardcover volumes. It features the artwork of over 200 of the comics industry’s most popular and talented artists and is dedicated to the memory of late artist, Mike Wieringo, with all proceeds from this project being donated to the ASPCA in Mike’s name.
Three years in the making, the Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute continues the adventures of characters made popular in the original Tellos series created by Mike and writer Todd Dezago and published by Image Comics. They are; Jarek—a young hero with magikal abilities he does not yet understand, Koj—a tiger-warrior who is both Jarek’s partner and protector, Serra—the young pirate queen who finds herself somehow linked to these two reluctant heroes and, Rikk—the fox-thief bent on finding his fortune but, more often than not, finds trouble instead.In this tale, they are reunited to stop the dread Sur-Azal, the ruthless leader of the denizens of Nether, slithering, scuttling creatures that dwell far beneath the lands of Tellos. As Sur-Azal and his minions move to make Tellos habitable once more for his primordial brethren, other dark creatures called The Baden sweep across the many kingdoms, terrorizing and possessing the bodies of the population.
Produced by a dazzling array of Mike’s friends, fans, and colleagues, the Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute is dedicated to the memory of this kind, caring, and talented artist and friend.
In an attempt to insure that all monies go to the ASPCA, we have made this a very limited offer; The two volumes — shipping in June and September of this year — are unique in that they will only be offered in this format ONE TIME and ONE TIME ONLY. These exclusive books WILL NOT be available in any stores. The only way to order the Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute is here, on this website. Once initial ordering is done, it’s done. This means ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
It is certainly a massive project with each book costing $50 a piece. It is certainly a labor of love for Dezago as well as a fitting farewell to an amazing man who helped bring the world of Tellos to life. The two books are nearly 300 pages a piece so they are just loaded to the brim. A list of who is pitching in is on the website – I’m not going to list who is involved because you would be sitting here reading all day.
You only have until early April to order the first book which ships in June. The second book’s cut off is July and ships in September. All proceeds go the ASPCA – which is really sweet (especially if you are an animal lover).
I’ve read the website back and forth and I still can’t find the contents of what is going to be inside. I’m going to safely assume that it collects everything that was released before plus a crapload of content you’ve never seen. With the talent they’ve lined up I’m sure Dezago has something sweet planned for these behemoths.
If you are Tellos fan, a Ringo fan, a fan of fantasy, and even just comic books in general this is such a limited time book that you need to check it out now before they won’t be available. From the sounds of it they are printing what they need, the books won’t be in stores, and once they are gone…they are gone. Until you look on eBay in three years and see them selling for 500 bucks a piece.
To check out the website, including who is onboard, memories of Mike, and how to order the books, head on over to: https://mikewieringotellostribute.com.