Legendary Artist George Perez Diagnosed With Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer

by Jay
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Legendary DC and Marvel writer and artist George Perez has announced he has been diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer.

The 67-year-old retired comics creator released this full statement on his Facebook page:

To all my fans, friends and extended family,

 

It’s rather hard to believe that it’s been almost three years since I formally announced my retirement from producing comics due to my failing vision and other infirmities brought on primarily by my diabetes. At the time I was flattered and humbled by the number of tributes and testimonials given me by my fans and peers. The kind words spoken on those occasions were so heartwarming that I used to quip that “the only thing missing from those events was me lying in a box.

 

It was amusing at the time, I thought.

 

Now, not so much. On November 29th I received confirmation that, after undergoing surgery for a blockage in my liver, I have Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer. It is surgically inoperable and my estimated life expectancy is between 6 months to a year. I have been given the option of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, but after weighing all the variables and assessing just how much of my remaining days would be eaten up by doctor visits, treatments, hospital stays and dealing with the often stressful and frustrating bureaucracy of the medical system, I’ve opted to just let nature take its course and I will enjoy whatever time I have left as fully as possible with my beautiful wife of over 40 years, my family, friends and my fans.

 

Since I received my diagnosis and prognosis, those in my inner circle have given me so much love, support and help, both practical and emotional. They’ve given me peace.

 

There will be some business matters to take care of before I go. I am already arranging with my art agent to refund the money paid for sketches that I can no longer finish. And, since, despite only having one working eye, I can still sign my name, I hope to coordinate one last mass book signing to help make my passing a bit easier. I also hope that I will be able to make one last public appearance wherein I can be photographed with as many of my fans as possible, with the proviso that I get to hug each and every one of them. I just want to be able to say goodbye with smiles as well as tears.

 

I know that many of you will have questions to ask or comments to make, and rather than fueling the fires of speculation and well-meaning but potentially harmful miscommunication, I will be returning to the arena of social media by starting a new Facebook account where fans and friends can communicate with me or my designated rep directly for updates and clarification.

 

For media and press inquiries, please use the contact information on the page as well. Please respect the privacy of my wife and family at this time and use the Facebook page rather than reaching out through other channels.

 

I may not be able to respond as quickly as I would like since I will be endeavoring to get as much outside pleasure as I can in the time allotted me, but I will do my best. Kind words would also be greatly appreciated. More details to follow once it’s up and running.

 

Well, that’s it for now. This is not a message I enjoyed writing, especially during the Holiday Season, but, oddly enough, I’m feeling the Christmas spirit more now than I have in many years. Maybe it’s because it will likely be my last. Or maybe because I am enveloped in the loving arms of so many who love me as much as I love them. It’s quite uplifting to be told that you’ve led a good life, that you’ve brought joy to so many lives and that you’ll be leaving this world a better place because you were part of it.

 

To paraphrase Lou Gehrig:

 

“Some people may think I got a bad break, but today, I feel like the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.”

 

Take care of yourselves – and thank you.

 

George Pérez

 

December 7th, 2021

Legendary Creator Across Infinite Media

Perez broke into the comic business at Marvel Comics in the early 1970s as a penciller for Astonishing Tales, and soon made his mark on legendary runs on AvengersFantastic Four, & Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu. For DC, his mark on the company is seen through such landmark events as Crisis on Infinite Earths and the inaugural run on Tales of The New Teen Titans, both with collaborator Marv Wolfman, as well as Post-Crisis Wonder Woman.
He and Wolfman co-created today’s DC staples such as Cyborg, Deathstroke, Starfire, Raven, Trigon, and others, all of which having received countless adaptations across all media.  Above all, George and Marv’s decision to graduate Dick Grayson from the boy sidekick archetype he pioneered to his own man was innovative and a treat for longtime fans to watch. The beauty of those early decades saw a gradual evolution in the aesthetic of his craft as an artist.
His DC credits also include writing stints on Action Comics and The Adventures of Superman. For Marvel, in the 90s, he returned to his old stomping grounds for the relaunch of The Avengers, co-created The Maestro with writer Peter David in the miniseries The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect, and in the early 2000s did the five-issue JLA/Avengers crossover event with Kurt Busiek.
Beyond the drawing board and typewriter, Perez is also credited as co-chairman of the board of The Hero’s Initiative as well as having served on its Disbursement Committee. He also worked for independent companies such as Gorilla Comics and CrossGen. Upon returning to DC during the New 52, his run on Adventures of Superman was a family affair, patterning a character after his lovely niece, Heather.
In 2013, George underwent laser and injection surgeries to address hemorrhaging that was rendering him blind in his left eye. Although treatment allowed him to return to work, he later suffered a heart attack in 2017, as well as ongoing cardiac issues and other ailments such as total blindness in his left eye and a diabetes diagnosis as of 2019. It was during that year that he had formally announced his retirement from comics creating, but would still endeavor to complete commission requests. However, as he previously stated, that is sadly no longer possible.
At this time, we at DC Comics News would like to share some of our fondest memories of George Perez’s career:

Joshua Raynor – Editor-In-Chief of DC Comics News

When I first heard the news about George Perez, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it.  Some of my absolute favorite characters and stories came from this amazingly talented man. His artwork in The New Teen Titans blew me away, and sparked my desire to seek out more incredible comic book art. George Perez showed me at a young age that these images can tell a story on their own, and it has shaped how I look at comics today.

Seth Singleton – Review Writer/Podcast Host

Perhaps no single moment stands out for me regarding George Perez and the New Teen Titans, better than when I first encountered Brother Blood. He was visually stunning and the depth of his planning the severity of his machinations and its ability to manipulate the political climate or somehow just as if not scarier than the visage of his costume and the power he seemed to draw from blood.
I remember reading “War of The Gods” in the 90s. There’s always something special about the way he draws Wonder Woman, and how that same lens he uses captured the might and mercy of Shazam and Superman. I will always be grateful for the iconic moments he created for Crisis on Infinite Earths. The news of his diagnosis was sudden and final, but it’s the grace and admiration he has shared with his fans when announcing the news that will stay with me forever.
I hope he gets to hug, hold, and pose with as many fans as possible with his upcoming plan to do one last signing.

Steve J. Ray – Review Writer/Podcast Host for DCN and Editor-In-Chief for Dark Knight News

One of the nicest warmest, and kindest comics creators I’ve ever had the privilege to meet and talk to. The first time we met I was injured, and using crutches. He gave up his seat and signed all the comics I has with me, not just two or three. He chatted smiled, hugged my son and I, and was genuinely just amazing.
This is the man who co-created Nightwing, Deathstroke, Tim Drake, Cyborg, Raven, Starfire, Terra, Jericho, and Kole. His legendary runs on Marvel’s Avengers, and DC’s Justice League meant that he was the only real and logical choice to draw the stunning crossover between both teams. His Wonder Woman run set the bar and is still the one that all other creators strive to match, honor and emulate. His Teen Titans is still my favorite team book of all time.
George will be missed, but his work will live forever in the hearts and memories of comics fans.
All our love goes to him, his family and friends at this difficult time.

Matthew B. Lloyd – News Editor/Review Writer

George Perez is the definitive comic book artist of the ’80s. He depicted epic and iconic images of all the characters he drew. His work in the ’80s is like a ‘best of,’ starting in the late 70’s on Justice League of America then onto New Teen Titans. Crisis on Infinite Earths and then Wonder Woman at the end of that decade.

 

Like Jack Kirby in the ’60s and Neal Adams in the ’70s Perez’s work will forever be emblematic of the era because he made every character look like a superstar and was able to show them emoting both subtly and fiercely. And, he is a hell of a nice guy.

Jason “Jay” Larouche – News/Review Writer

I first became truly aware of George Perez through his return to Avengers following their “Heroes Reborn” saga. I even bought the pencils-only variant. Even without the colors and inks, those penciled images were alive. You felt the power of Thor – the first time we’d seen a bearded Thor at that time – as he returned from Asgard, the immenseness of Giant-Man, and the beautiful architecture of Avengers Mansion. Since the story was a recruitment issue, George and Kurt squeezed as many cameos of the Marvel Universe roster into that story it probably made Stan Lee blush. You saw influences from Jack Kirby in his work through the crackle effects, and the line thickness in a later issue showed a multi-level complex gave you vertigo because the depth was so REAL to a then-16-year-old me. Being able to draw the humanity on a face like The Hulk’s is the mark of a master; that final panel in “Future Imperfect” showing The Professor Hulk mourning his friend’s death is just as deep as a display of power (nice show of Hulk throwing Cap’s shield, by the way, George!)

 

I later picked up a hardcover of “The Judas contract,” which debuted Dick Grayson as Nightwing. Marv and George told a powerful story of betrayal, ascension, and tragedy. Their preceding collaboration, Crisis on Infinite Earths, was my introduction to the full scope of the DC Universe. I truly hope he enjoyed the CW adaptation of that story as much as Ray Fisher’s portrayal of Cyborg in “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.” I wish that he could have shared the spotlight with Marv Wolfman in that Crisis cameo. I saw those two as innovative as Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams before them because they took chances and broke away from established convention. T

 

The crossover fight in JLA/Avengers between Captain America and Batman showed George’s mastery of subtlety. Rather than large splashy static images of them together in the same panel, George had attack and counterattack of fists and feet alone panel for panel. What made that work is a gradual decrease in the energy of the fight, as both combatants realized they were evenly matched. Kurt’s captions were redundant because you could see in Geroge’s drawn faces of both men the futility of this fight dawning on them both. To me, that sequence was as dramatic as seen a certain Man of Steel pick up Mjolnir and Captain America’s shield later on.

 

As I write this, it’s been four months since I lost my grandmother, who suffered from similar ailments that George has endured. As I read his statement it was hard not to cry at the parallels. But I am in awe of his ability to be optimistic and be thankful for this amazing life he’s had. He has the right attitude and I hope that he is able to maintain it. I, myself, am grateful to have read his work and was inspired by it. I’m also grateful to have sat in a panel he hosted in Toronto several years back and got his signature on his New 52 Superman. You truly are a lucky man, George. One of the most humble and grounded artists I’ve ever known. May God bless you and your house until the stars turn dark and I deeply hope you and your family are able to enjoy the holiday season. Thank you, my friend.”

Kendra Hale – Review Writer/Podcast Host

Kindness, passion, talent, charisma, iconic…there are so many realms of description that can be associated with George Perez. He has stoked the fires of the muses for generations of creators while hosting a warm smile. A genuine treasure who has brought us some of the greatest stories carrying massive impact. I am grateful to have a library to pull from of beautiful art and characters drawn with love. Thank you George for everything you have done, will do in these coming days. I thank you for all the smiles and the tears.

Derek McNeil – Review Writer

I am extremely sat at learning the news, but I am glad to have been able to enjoy the work of George Perez. I primarily associate him with the New Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Wonder Woman, but I have enjoyed any project of his that I’ve read. My thoughts are with Mr. Perez and his family.

Brad Filicky – News/Review Writer

It’s fitting to state my thoughts on the works of George Perez on a DC Comics related website. My introduction to his work was his art for Crisis On Infinite Earths and following closely behind that his work on a post Crisis Wonder Woman. I used to be mesmerized studying the detail of his art. For me he has always demonstrated exactly how detailed and majestic comic art can be. No one can do big event books quite like George.

We at DC Comics News wish Mr. Perez and his family all the best and will be praying for him/sending all the positive energies his way.


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