George Perez has left us
George Perez passed away on Friday after a period on hospice care. If you are a comic book fan from the last 40 years, you know his work. He started in comics back in the mid 70’s and quickly showed he was one of the best super-hero artists of all time. If you have friends who are comics artists of professionals, they have been posting tributes to him all weekend, sharing their favorite stories drawn by him, and stories of his kindness.
He was a joyful presence at conventions, loving the interactions with fans, making each signing and meeting memorable for the person on the other side of the table because he just loved comics and the culture around it.
One of the things coming out about him the last few months is how many people he gave a helping hand to in the industry. Recommending people for jobs, hiring people when he could, giving time and art to the Hero Initiative, which is a charity for comics creators who have fallen on hard times, and so much more. He was happy to meet his fans, generous with his time and had a personality that filled the biggest convention hall.
Some of my first comics were his first art on the series that made him a star. I was given Avengers 140 by a babysitter’s sister, which was his first job on that book. The first issue of the Fantastic Four that was not a reprint I bought was 171, where he was the new artist. I followed him from book to book and then over to DC (I was a kid who only bought Marvel until Roy Thomas jumped companies).
His artist was bright, each character looked different, and the stories had action and quiet moments. In fact, when reading an interview with Marv Wolfman about their collaboration and he said that many of the quiet, personal moments in the series were added by George.
The only good thing about this is the George and his family let us know he was entering hospice, and wanted to spend his time telling the people in his life how much they meant to him, and allowed us to all let him know how much he was loved. He was loved for his art, his personality, his kindness, and the joy he gave all of us.
Krayz Joe Rider and I did a podcast back when the announcement was made to talk about our love for his work. His passing leaves behind a body of work that will be impossible for anyone to match, lives who were touched by him, and a sadness that’s hard to put into words.