George Pérez, comic book artist who reshaped DC universe, has died
Orlando, Florida - Comic book artist George Pérez, a superhero in his genre and beloved by his fans, has died of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 67.
Pérez died "peacefully at home with his wife of 490 months and family by his side" on Friday, read a post on his official Facebook page. "He was not in pain and knew he was very, very loved."
The South Bronx-born artist is globally known for his work with DC Comics and Marvel, where he began his career before turning 20, as a studio assistant.
His first published comic book work came in 1974, on issue No. 25 of Astonishing Tales.
Known for his detailed and realistic rendering, Pérez made a name for himself as an artist on New Teen Titans in 1980, and for later reshaping the DC Universe with the 1985 company-wide crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, collaborating on both with writer Marv Wolfman.
He is also credited with rebooting Wonder Woman in 1987, as well as for his work with Marvel’s Avengers.
DC Comics shared a touching tribute to the artist on social media, saying that Pérez "made everything look effortless" and that "he will be missed by those here at DC and fans worldwide."
"His contributions were pivotal in both driving and reinventing DC’s long and rich history. George’s stories were a joy to read, and his work resonated with everyone he met," the tweet reads.
Pérez had been battling terminal cancer
In December 2021, the award-winning illustrator revealed on social media that had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, sharing that he had between six months to a year to live.
"I have Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer," he wrote on the private Art of George Pérez Facebook page, saying that he had opted to skip aggressive treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, so he could enjoy his last few months.
"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 40 years, my family, my friends and my fans," he wrote, nearly six months ago.
A memorial service is scheduled to take place in Orlando, Florida, on May 22, on the last day of MegaCon, one of the nation’s largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming events. The service is scheduled for 6:00 PM, and it will be open to all.
It will be a sendoff of a man whose work leaped off the page.
"George Perez never went half way, in art or life," comic book writer Tom King tweeted. "He pushed the limit of what a comic could do: his style was somehow, impossibly both overwhelmingly powerful and subtly graceful. He matched his passion for his trade with his passion for his fans and friends."
Cover photo: GABRIEL OLSEN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP