George Pérez, the legendary artist behind some of the biggest events in comics history, has formally announced his retirement from comics. The artist released a letter to fans via his website’s Facebook page:
“With respect to future published work in comics and such,” the artist writes, “While I know it’s been no secret that I’ve been dealing with a myriad number of health issues (diabetes, heart ailments, vision issues, etc.), they have indeed have [sic] forced me to, for all intents and purposes, formally retire from the business of creating new comic stories.”
Pérez goes on to announce he will no longer be completing commissions, and that 2019 will be his final year making a full slate of convention appearances, though he will continue to annually attend DragonCon and FetishCon. The note is as gracious an exit as one would expect from Pérez, who has always come across as one of the most humble talents in comics. He closes the letter reflectively: “I’ve had a wonderfully good run doing exactly what I have wanted to do since I was a child. Now I can sit back and watch the stuff I helped create entertain whole new generations. That’s a pretty nice legacy to look back on.”
The 64-year-old Pérez’s career highlights are too numerous to mention. Over the course of forty years in comics as an artist and writer, Pérez has drawn nearly every major character in the Marvel and DC Comics rosters. With frequent collaborator Marv Wolfman, Pérez co-created The New Teen Titans, which teamed existing sidekicks Robin, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash with new characters Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and a revamped Beast Boy (now called Changeling). Wolfman and Pérez would eventually graduate Dick Grayson out of the Robin identity, creating the character of Nightwing for the former boy wonder. The duo were also responsible for 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, a continuity-shattering event series that saw major characters like The Flash and Supergirl perish in battle, and that rewrote and streamlined DC’s entire 50-year history. Following Crisis, Pérez took over a relaunched Wonder Woman series, integrating elements of Greek mythology into the character’s history for the first time. Pérez would ultimately return to the Avengers in the late ’90s, and in 2003, with Avengers writer Kurt Busiek, he drew a much-anticipated crossover between Marvel’s Avengers and DC’s JLA. Over the course of the four-issue series, Pérez would draw every character who had ever been a member of either team.
Pérez’s influence and place in the history of American comics cannot be overstated. While his output over the past few years has slowed due to health problems, I always got a little excited to see a new George Pérez book on the shelves. If you’ve ever met Pérez at a convention, you know that he’s the friendliest, most enthusiastic ambassador for comics you could ever ask for. His presence will be missed.
The full text of Pérez’s note to fans is below.
DATE : JANUARY 19, 2019
FROM : George Pérez
To all my loyal and kind fans who have supported me throughout the decades,
In recent months, there has been a great deal of speculation as to the future of my career, my health, my ability to draw and my future convention appearances. As a result, I would like to clear up everything first hand so that, hopefully, any rumors, speculation and misinformation can be laid to rest.
With respect to future published work in comics and such … while I know it’s been no secret that I’ve been dealing with a myriad number of health issues (diabetes, heart ailments, vision issues, etc.), they have indeed have forced me to, for all intents and purposes, formally retire from the business of creating new comic stories.
As for home commission requests, I’m afraid that my retirement must now extend to privately commissioned drawings as well. While I am gratified that all of the customers who have received their pieces were more than pleased with the results, some even consequently commissioning more of them, it’s just becoming too much of a strain on my eyes to produce the fully rendered ink and pencil-tone pieces on a quality level that justifies the price I’m being paid for them.
In regards to convention sketches, I will need to cut back on those as well. While I will no longer sketch at the conventions themselves, I will, through my art agent Spencer Beck of The Artists Choice, be taking orders for 5 ( FIVE ) con-style head sketches, per convention day that I am in attendance which will be done at home to be collected at the conventions. Fans placing orders must be personally present to pick up the piece , NO PROXIES. The price for these will be a good deal pricier than in the past, going for $100 each, but please take some solace that all the monies I earn for these sketches, as well as my appearance fees, will be donated to various charities. To place an order, or for initial details, please contact Spencer / The Artist’s Choice directly at Spencerbck@aol.com. Any changes or further announcements will be made by Spencer and myself on his website theartistschoice.com/perez.htm and on my fan website george-perez.net
Furthermore, for those that are interested … although I will only be attending about six conventions this year and one make up convention in 2020 ( *** see below for complete schedule ) 2019 will more than likely be my last year touring this great land meeting so many great fans. As the next decade begins, I have two shows, Dragon Con and Fetish Con that have personal meaning to me which I intend to attend yearly unless circumstances prevent it … but, for all intents, 2019 will wind down that part of my career as well. The good news is, even though I will not be sketching at the shows, I will still be autographing and be available for photo ops, and, as has been my policy throughout my career, I will not be charging for either.
In closing, please don’t feel sorry for me about all these life and career changes. Thankfully I earn more than enough income through royalties to have a comfortable life wherein I may never need to work again. Unless, of course, something really tempting comes along and I’m given sufficient lead time. Hey, you never know.
Long story short, I will be just fine. I’ve had a wonderfully good run doing exactly what I have wanted to do since I was a child. Now I can sit back and watch the stuff I helped create entertain whole new generations. That’s a pretty nice legacy to look back on.
And so much of that is thanks to all of you, the GREATEST fans in the world. I am humbled and forever grateful.
Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy 2019 and beyond,
UPDATE: Mr. Perez will not be accepting requests until approximately 30 days before each specific show. Sketches will be approved at one per person, family or address. First come, First serve. So , please check back 30 days before the show. He will only be doing 9 x 12 head shots and they must be paid for in full at the time the order is accepted.
2019 CONVENTION SCHEDULE
AMAZING COMIC CON ALOHA – FEBRUARY 22 to 24, 2019 – www.amazingcomicconaloha.com
C2E2 – MARCH 22 to 24, 2019 – www.c2e2.com
EAST COAST COMIC CON – MAY 17 to 19, 2019 – www.eastcoastcomicon.com
NIAGARA FALLS COMICS CON – JUNE 7 to 9, 2019 – niagarafallscomiccon.com
TERRIFICON – AUGUST 9 to 11, 2019 – www.terrificon.com ( FRIDAY ONLY )
FETISH CON – AUGUST 9 to 11, 2019 – http://fetishcon.com ( SATURDAY & SUNDAY ONLY )
DRAGON CON – AUGUST 29 to SEPTEMBER 2, 2019 –www.dragoncon.org
Joe Grunenwald is a writer and editor living in the Pacific Northwest. He’s taller than a lot of people but not as tall as some people.