I got some new original artwork recently, and this one is really something special. It's a page from the 2007 mini-series Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four with art by Mike Wieringo and Wade von Grawbadger, and as you can see, there's a lot going on and a lot to like with this page. Here's the cover to the issue from which it came:
I found the page on the ComicArtFans website and I knew that I had to grab it. I've wanted to get a page of FF art by Wieringo for a number of years now, but they are increasingly difficult to find. I got this one at a fair price and it's something that I'll keep forever.
Here's a little known story: I contacted Mike about drawing a cover to Teddy and the Yeti in 2007, just a week before he passed away quite suddenly. I have no idea if he would have been able to draw the cover (I'm not sure of his contractual status at the time) or even if he would have been willing, but it was such a shock to learn that he died at such a young age. At the time, I was looking at his website and through his pages of art for sale, and I found a point-of-view image of the Thing opening up his wallet from a recap page from his Fantastic Four run with Mark Waid that I remember so fondly. The page wasn't very expensive but I didn't buy it, and I've regretted that decision ever since. So to come upon this page was a nice surprise and I'm happy to check that purchase off my list.
Wieringo's inker on his Fantastic Four run was Karl Kesel, and Kesel inked all of the story pages from blue line recreations, meaning that most of Wieringo's original FF art is pencil only. The Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four mini series, though, brought inker Wade von Grawbadger into the mix, and pencils and inks were done on the same page, which makes this an extra special treat.
The page itself (21 of 22 in that issue) features the entire FF team plus some great shots of Spider-Man. The Thing is in four different panels, people!! But my favorite overall might be the shot of Reed and Sue hugging each other. The Waid/Wieringo run, more than most others, captured perfectly the loving relationship between these two stalwart Marvel characters, and it's well-represented on this page.
And so my small collection of Fantastic Four original art grows by one. What a page to add, though. It's a real treasure of cosmic proportions.