The legendary DC Comics artist George Perez died on Friday, May 6, 2022, at the age of 67, according to Constance Eza, a close friend who posted a statement on Pérez’s Facebook page and her personal Twitter account. Perez himself had revealed in December, 2021, that he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“Everyone knows George’s legacy as a creator,” Eza’s statement read. “His art, characters and stories will be revered for years to come. But, as towering as that legacy is, it pales in comparison to the legacy of the man George was. George’s true legacy is his kindness. It’s the love he had for bringing others joy — and I hope you all carry that with you always.”
According to Memory Alpha, Perez made four contributions to the “Star Trek” universe, starting in 1984. He created the cover art for the first three “Star Trek” comics published by DC — “The Wormhole Connection,” “… The Only Good Klingon,” and “Errand of War! — and, with several other DC artists, contributed art to “Who’s Who in Star Trek,” which was published in 1987.
DC Comics, in a statement posted on Twitter, wrote, “George Pérez made everything look effortless. 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. He will be missed by those here at DC and fans worldwide.”
DC Statement on Perez’s Death
Marvel Entertainment also released a statement via Twitter. It read, “George Pérez was an artist, a writer, a role model, and a friend. His work paved seminal stories across comics, and his legacy of kindness and generosity will never be forgotten. Our family at Marvel mourns his loss today, and our hearts are with his family and loved ones.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Perez was born in 1954 in the South Bronx, New York, with the Puerto-Rican American writer, penciler, colorist, and inker launching his comics career in the 1970s and making his major-publisher debut in 1974 with Marvel Comics’ “Astonishing Tales #25. ” He later helped create the White Tiger, the first Puerto Rican superhero, and worked on Marvel’s “The Inhumans,” “Fantastic Four,” “The Avengers,” as well as DC’s “The New Teen Titans,” “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and “Wonder Woman,” a title for which he also wrote. The Hollywood Reporter noted that he also contributed to “The New Titans,” “War of the Gods,” “Infinity Gauntlet,” “Batman,” the “JLA/Avengers” crossover, “The Brave and the Bold,” “Superman,” and “Sirens,” among others.
Perez’s Cover for ‘The Wormhole Connection’
Perez earned several Jack Kirby Awards and the Inkwell Awards Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award for lifetime achievement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was inducted into The Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2017. According to Variety, Pérez was a member of The Hero Initiative, a comic book charity dedicated to providing health and medical assistance for comic book professionals. He was a co-chair of the non-profit’s board and served on its Disbursement Committee. Perez had announced his retirement in 2019, which he attributed to failing vision and other infirmities caused primarily by diabetes.
He revealed his pancreatic cancer diagnosis on December 7, 2021, in a statement on Facebook. Rejecting chemotherapy and radiation therapy, he opted instead 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.” At the end of his lengthy statement, he concluded with the following thoughts, “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.”
Pérez, according to Variety, is survived by his wife, Carol Flynn.