On Saturday, while many of us were out attending Free Comic Book Day celebrations, news broke that legendary artist George Pérez had died. The 67-year-old artist was diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer back in late 2021, and had opted to forego what can be a long and painful treatment process, and instead to spend the rest of his days on his own terms.

Thankfully those days included basking in the warm glow of love and affection from his many fans and peers. It’s a beautiful thing to get to tell someone how much they mean to you before they’re gone, and as much as Pérez and his family must have appreciated the outpouring of support, it was just as much a gift that he gave to us to have the opportunity to express it to him while we still could.

As news spread of Pérez’s passing on Saturday, tributes came in from across social media. They’re too numerous to collect all of them – as numerous as the number of characters Pérez could fit on one of his signature spreads – but here’s just a few from those who worked with, knew, and loved him:

Over the course of forty years in comics as an artist and writer, George Pérez drew 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.

Back in 2019, Pérez announced his retirement from comics, with a message to his fans that ended with this:

“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.”

No one could have said it better.

Thank you for everything, George. You will be sorely, sorely missed.

1 COMMENT

  1. I will always remember where I was when I heard the news. In a comic shop on FCBD. I was heartbroken. George took seeds planted in my life by O’Neil and Adams, and Lee and Kirby, and turned a childhood pastime into a lifelong hobby and passion. He is the defining artist of his generation. Forever remembered and sorely missed.

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