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George Perez Diagnosed with Cancer · 11:45pm Dec 11th, 2021

George Perez is a noteworthy comic artist with decades of experience in the industry in a reputation as an intensely hard worker. One story even accounts that he sprained his wrist while drawing Avengers VS Justice League. He released a statement on his facebook page. In full:

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

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Comments ( 3 )

Oh jeez. What a piece of news...

Well, thanks for everything, George. You were a legend in the field and you will be remembered.

It cannot be understated how much of a master Prez is. He can draw anything from crowd scenes of completely diffrent looking characters, normal everyday crowd scenes full of distinct people, and anything he drew was a perfect depiction of that character.

And for all the bombast, he's always been able to find the humanity in a crisis.

As the world falls apart here, we're treated to a collage of large panels full of people struggling to increasingly claustrophobic smaller panels, both instances of human vulnerability ("I hope.") and those TV panels, just telling us how much worse it's getting. It's like the panels are a count down as we get closer and closer to the end of the world. The firefighter's panel continues into Daredevil helping them out, which forms a bridge between the two group shot panels, and ends on the Hennery Gyrich interview. The world is falling apart and all we've got is the vague promise our greatest heroes are out there somewhere "working on it."

He was a master of motion as storytelling, the most vital aspect of this medium.

This is just two people doing the exact same gestures at each other and it totally works. (And Prez keeps things interesting in the background too. The splash effect of the water to act as cartoon starbursts effect as Cap and Bats trade blows, the rain even falls in diffrent directions depending on which character we're focusing on.)

And then there's his murals! The way he could pack a page full of story.

This page is two stories of similar beats and they're play fine horizontally, but they work just as well vertically. You can read down each row or you can read them left to right...because these moments are happening simultaneously.

And they are still distinct from one another.

While being the exact same plot point.

That is AMAZING.

And this one! The reason Prez can do murals like this and they feel packed but not overwhelming? Because he uses repetition insanely well. Sequences happening simultaneously and having similar beats.

Example: top row, Aquaman lunges at She-Hulk, Wonder Woman punches Hercules, She-Hulk body slams Aquaman. And the scene play out identically at the bottom: Hercules socks Diana, She-Hulk backhands Aquaman, Diana returns fire on Hercules.

And in the middle you've got this mural of the two other fights, playing out, acting as a break between those mirror images. Hell, both rows have a bearded man getting decked by a woman in the middle. You can keep track of all of this.

Seriously, put together this is about five pages of four simultaneous moments about the same thing, and they are a complete, clear, concise story.

And then there's this one, again a display of how Prez uses intimacy and how he expertly frames a scene.

We start with the top row, and the fourth panel, that full shot of the Batcave, is a box created by being wedged between the top row and the vertical row. The caves stalagmites even lead your eye down into the image, which you're supposed to be following all the way down to the Batmobile anyway.

The colouring helps out too: the cave's heavy on shadows and dark blues, greys, and purples, so Cap's red, white and blue figure stands out more, letting us focus on him. And he's literally following the curve of a walkway, leading us over to Batman. Plus, y'know, Oracles giant face.

Which is the first image of the top row, almost next to her head in the fourth panel.

Which ends in a row of three faces.

So two faces to lead you in, three to close us out.

And this already started with Cap's face reflected back at us from Robin's empty mask.

George Prez is a genius storyteller, and we should never forget that.

You should post this as a blog, it's very comprehensive!

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