Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And the winner is...!

Obviously, there’s a whole convention worth of things to talk about but that’s all for a later post when I have more time. The important item at the moment is letting you know the name of the winner of the very first “’Ringo” scholarship award. So without further ado, I give you...

Katelyn Rochelle, who prefers to go by her middle name, Rae.

Fortunately, Rae was able to make it to the Heroes Convention in Charlotte for the official announcement, just prior to the annual art auction at the Westin Hotel. Suzanne and I got to hang out with her all day on Saturday and found her to be very polite, sweet and charming. We took her around to meet a few of Mike’s friends who offered her some free, friendly advice. Todd Dezago, being Todd Dezago, teased her at every opportunity.

This was her first convention so it was a lot to take in but she seemed to have a good time. There was a S.C.A.D. booth set up where Tom Lyle, one of her instructors, was appearing and I think it helped her to have some friendly, familiar faces around. Not that she was any shrinking violet. She charmed the socks off everyone.

When we made the announcement, it was to rousing applause (for which we were immensely grateful) and I think everyone in the room was taken with her. Rae had to leave early the next morning so we said our goodbyes after the auction and Suzanne and I agreed (and I hope Rae will forgive us for feeling a little paternal toward her that very emotional evening) that it felt like we were sending our daughter out into the world.

When Suzanne and I started this scholarship in Mike’s memory, we thought it would be easy to choose the winner. We assumed we’d get the portfolios from the three finalists and one would stand out above all others immediately and that would be that. But this was not meant to be. I guess the finalists wouldn’t have been finalists if there wasn’t something there and the decision was very difficult, almost heart-breaking. We wish we could have given the award to all three but we couldn’t. We had to decide on one person and, with the generous help of our rotating panel of judges, we very rightly chose Rae.

After graduation, she wants become a comic book artist. When we asked her if she had a specific genre in mind, she paused a moment and said she’d like to draw something in horror. Maybe with werewolves.

Anyone who knows me would have to wonder...could this get any more perfect?

Actually, yes it could. Tom Lyle informed us on Sunday that people were stopping by the S.C.A.D. booth that morning, requesting sketches from the winner of the Mike Wieringo Scholarship. I think Mike would be very proud of that.

Katelyn Rae Rochelle. Remember that name. I think you’ll be hearing it a lot in a couple years.

Good luck, Rae. You deserve it.


Christian D. Leaf said...

Hear! Hear! Congrats again, Rae!

Tim Perkins said...

Wonderful News!

Warren said...

Congrats, Rae! I'll be looking for your work in the future!

And Matt and Suzanne, thanks for a great time at Heroes Con. I really enjoyed getting to hang out with you guys and chatting about comics and stuff. You're good people. Hope those glasses made it home intact. :) See you next year!

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt,
That's just awesome. Congrats to Rae.
I'm just disappointed that I couldn't make it this year.

Ya'll take care.

Brian said...

Congrats, Rae.

Bat said...

Sounds like a very worthy choice! Nice meeting you guys at Heroes!

Heywood Jablomie said...

Congrats Rae!

And I will keep an eye out as well!

Squeeze said...

Go Rae Go!! What a nice young lady. Can't wait to see her work.

Warren- nice talking with you. The glasses did make it home in one piece. Can't believe it.
Emilio- Missed you terribly this year! Was not the same without you.
Bat- Nice meeting you and thanks for supporting the 'Ringo scholarship fund.
Brian- Thanks for your help. Nice talking with you this weekend.

Leanne said...

Congrats, Rae! I wish I'd congratulated her in person at the show, but it didn't dawn on me that she was the winner of the scholarship award until I saw her on stage!

I am all for more women in comics, obviously, and she sounds like a great talent! And werewolf comics? I am THERE.

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for her work in the future.

Dean Trippe said...

I was so glad to be there for the announcement. As a SCAD graduate and a creator who had the extreme fortune of knowing Mike, it's just awesome to see this scholarship continue to foster the creativity and good will its namesake poured into everything he did. Way to go, Rae. :)

Paul Rogers said...

Hiya Rae! Congrats on the First 'Ringo Award! It was good to meet you and be there at the beginning of the art auction for the award! BTW, my favorite comic when I was younger was 'Werewolf By Night', great, moody Mike Ploog artwork issues #1-16 (also Marvel's 'Man-Thing' & 'Frankenstein'), check these out if you haven't already. Look forward to your work. Long Live The 'Ringo!:)

Adam Hutch said...

Congrats Rae!
Very awesome news!