To say I was stunned and shocked by the news of Mike's passing is an understatement. When I found out early Monday morning that Mike had suffered a massive heart attack and passed away was like someone punched me in the stomach. All the air left me and I felt sick. I just sat in silence in front of my computer not knowing what to do. As the day went by I just couldn't believe he was gone and still can't. I keep expecting that I'll run into Mike at the next con we're at together.
I met Mike about 12 years ago or so. I knew his work before I actually met him and was a fan. I always get a thrill out of meeting artists whose work I enjoy and meeting him was anything but a let down. He was very nice an personable. A very down to earth guy that just loved drawing comics, and it showed in everything he worked on.
As an artist he brought a fresh clean style to comics that wasn't the norm at that time. His work is fun and exciting to look at and is exactly what good comics are. Clear storytelling and good drawing with a style unique in it's own. You could see on every page he was having fun drawing.
I became friends with Mike from seeing him at cons, mostly Heroes-con. He always had fun stories to tell and was the life of any group gathering. I was a guest at a small show in Greensboro North Carolina earlier this year and Mike was there as well. We had a nice conversation about work and things going on in our lives. He always took an interest in what you were up to professionally and personally.
I hope he knew how much he was revered by his peers and friends not only as an artist but a person. Of course knowing Mike he would think he probably didn't deserve it.
Mike, you'll be missed deeply and thought of often. I'm proud to have had you as a friend.