Sometimes, in all the welter of darkness and decay that seems to be the entire order of DC Comics – who are killing off the entire Justice League today, like we all believe that’s going to last – it’s nice to record a moment of genuine tenderness, love and respect.
Veteran artist George Perez, who has worked extensively at both DC and Marvel over the last fifty years, whose speciality has always been fitting more superhjeroes into a single panel than you could shake an infinite number of sticks at, and still making it legible, announced late last year that he has an inoperable cancer, and that rather than prolong his life by a short period through painful treatments that cannot cure but which cause pain and debilitstion, he has chosen to forego any further treatment and instead to make the most of his time left with his wife and family, whilst he can devote himself to them, and they to him.
This has meant ample time for tributes, all heartfelt, from everyone: the companies, his fellow creators, his innumerable fans. Perez knows by how much he is loved and will be missed. HJe deserves to know.
Perez was, of course, the artist on DC’s first monumental continuity-changing series, Crisis on Infinite Earths, for which he worked with writer Marv Wolfman. They were the team that, in 1980, turned round DC’s fortunes when everyone was expecting the compsny to fold and go under, taking comics with it. This was achieved by The New Teen Titans, and it was very probably the most important work he did in his life.
All of this is to explain to you who have not been comics fans for as long as I have just who George Perez is and what he has achieved. Today, in a comic titled Teen Titans Academy no 14, DC have produced the perfect tribute. The series includes a young Latino who is being trained to manage his superpowers. Today, the series writer and artist, Tim Sheridan and Tom Derendick, Diego Perez’s Uncle has turned up. His uncle Jorge.
George Perez has been translated as a character in the DC Universe. In this way, he will be immortal. As indeed he should be.
Such things are rare, and they should be welcomed with open arms and heart. Thank you both.