Happy Birthday to Legendary Comic-Book Artist George Pérez

Legendary artist George Pérez who took comics to new heights turned 65 years-old today. He remains my favorite artist of all time.

Comics creator George Pérez on Day 3 of the 2012 New York Comic Con, Saturday October 13, 2012 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. This photo was created by Luigi Novi. CC BY 3.0

It’s been said that he has drawn every comic-book character in both the Marvel and DC Universe. George Pérez’ epic runs include The Avengers, Justice League of America, The New Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, Solus, Crimson Plague, and Sachs & Violens with writer Peter David.

Pérez illustrated two of the most pivotal and enduring company wide crossovers for Marvel and DC Comics: Avengers: The Infinity Gauntlet (the basis of the last two Avenger’s movies: Infinity War and End Game) and Crisis on Infinite Earths which was a complete reboot of the DC Universe for its 50th Anniversary.

George Pérez and friends. Self portrait.

The New Teen Titans which he co-created with his friend and frequent collaborator, writer Mark Wolfman, was DC’s top selling title in the 1980s and early 1990s, rivaled only by Marvel Comics’ hugely popular The Uncanny X-Men.

The cover of 1980’s The New Teen Titans #1.

For Titans, Perez created numerous new characters who are integral to the DC Universe today including Cyborg, Raven, Terra (sister of Batman and The Outsider‘s Geo-Force), Jericho, and the transformation of the team’s leader Robin (aka Dick Grayson) into his own man, Nightwing.

Presenting Nightwing! From 1984’s The New Teen Titans #44.

Additionally Pérez re-imagined Princess Diana of Themyscira aka Wonder Woman in 1997. His stories as writer and artist are considered the best in the history of the character and strongly influenced director Patty Jenkin’s 2017 movie version of Wonder Woman.

Superstar writer Mark Millar said on Twitter today: Teen Titans, Justice League, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wonder Woman, War of the Gods, Infinity Gauntlet, The Avengers… Outside of Jack Kirby, is there any artist with a longer and more perfect hit-rate of industry-defining comic-books than George Pérez?

Pérez’s take on Marvel’s first family The Fantastic Four.

Pérez announced he was formally retiring earlier this year. He’d been battling health challenges, including diabetes for many years. He wrote a lengthy letter to fans in January outlining his largely scaled back convention appearance schedule as well as putting a cap on commissions.

Pérez’s cover featuring the death of Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El, Supergirl in Crisis on Infinite Earths from a 1985 DC Comics’ house ad.

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.

Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy 2019 and beyond,

13th Dimension

Less appearances has of course, only increased demand, leading to standing room only crowds for his appearances like the one below this past weekend at Niagara Falls Comic-Con.

Pérez’s depiction of Robin/Dick Grayson was loved by gay fans everywhere and the most lucrative in terms of character commissions. Everyone, it seems, loves Dick.

Often in BDSM scenes.

The creator of the blog We Love Dick said of Perez’s Robin:

George Perez was one of the defining mainstream comics artists when I was growing up, he was critical to the New Teen Titans becoming a best seller and made each member look fantastic and individual. And perhaps there is no finer example of that process than his work with Dick Grayson’s Robin, who he made look REALLY sexy not in spite of, but partly BECAUSE of his fantastically silly outfit.

We Love Dick

“Little things like that aggravating little lock of hair that kept falling across his eyes. You just wanted to brush it out of his face and then run your fingers through his 1980’s MTV-star hair whilst you… ahem, but I digress,” he wrote before presenting the commission he paid Perez for below.

What to pick as a favourite element? Is it the splendid physique and fantastic anatomy? The great tie-up? The shredded costume exposing yet MORE of aforementioned splendid physique and fantastic anatomy? Perhaps the defiantly tensed pose… and how you manage to pose defiantly when you are so completely tied up is a testament to just how damned awesome this piece is!

If forced to pick I might actually go for the marvellous expression which, despite the gag, manages to convey an absolute promise that no matter WHAT whoever did this has done to him, and no matter how secure these bonds are, he IS going to break free and when he does there WILL be a very physical and completely painful reckoning for anyone involved

We Love Dick

Pérez dabbled in BDSM with the series he co-created with writer Peter David, Sachs and Violens. The series was part of the Heavy Hitters line, and featured a greater amount of violence and adult situations compared with mainstream comic books of the time (the title itself is an obvious play on the words “sex and violence”), and as such it was recommended for mature readers.

One of his most beloved characters was Donna Troy, the original Wonder Girl. Pérez says he based her look on America’s sweetheart in 1980: Marie Osmond.

One of the founding members of the Teen Titans, Wonder Girl had a convoluted origin story, that ultimately resulted in her being the adopted sister of Wonder Woman. Wolfman and Pérez’s “Who Is Donna Troy?” from The New Teen Titans #38 is widely regarded as among their best stories and one of the best comic-book stories ever.

“Who is Wonder Girl?” from The New Teen Titans #38

Thank you Mr. Pérez for the best moments of my childhood and many happy returns!

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