George Pérez, whose work for DC and Marvel made him one of the most iconic comic book artists of his generation, died Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 67.
“George passed away yesterday peacefully at home with his wife of 490 months and family by his side. He was in no pain and knew he was very, very loved. We are all very grieving but, at the same time, we are so incredibly grateful for the joy he brought to our lives. Knowing that George had to love him, and he loved him back. Fiercely and wholeheartedly. The world is much less vibrant today without him,” read a statement posted Saturday on his Facebook page.
“He loved you all. He loved hearing your messages and seeing the drawings you sent and the tributes you gave. He was deeply proud to have brought so much joy to so many people.”
Late last year, Pérez revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer. He wrote in a December post that he had six months to a year left to live.
“I was given the option of chemotherapy and/or radiation, but after weighing all the variables and assessing how much my remaining days would be consumed by doctor visits, treatments, hospital stays hospital and dealing with the often stressful and frustrating bureaucracy of the medical system, I have chosen to let nature take its course and I will make the most of the time I have left with my beautiful wife of over 40 years, my family, my friends and my fans,” he said in the post.
Pérez’s death was announced on Free Comic Book Day, a day his team said he “absolutely loves”. Pérez worked on titles such as The Avengers, Teen Titans, and the 1987 relaunch of Wonder Woman. He was also behind Crisis on Infinite Earths, a maxi-series that celebrated DC’s 50th anniversary, and he designed the look of the Lex Luthor battle suit in Action Comics, DC Comics said in a press release.
DC Comics said he left an “indelible mark on the world of comics” and influenced “an entire generation of creative talent”.
“George Pérez had an art style that was both dynamic and incredibly expressive,” DC publisher and chief creative officer Jim Lee said in a statement. “His art was the perfect storytelling canvas for some of the most important events in DC history. Although he will be sorely missed, his work will live on with countless fans, as well as all the talent he influenced over the years.
DC editor Marie Javins remembered Pérez as a “one-of-a-kind person who brought so much joy to the world”.
Marvel Entertainment said in a Tweeter that “Pérez’s work opened up seminal stories throughout the comics, and his ‘legacy of kindness and generosity will never be forgotten.’
More tributes poured in as writers and artists shared memories and offered their condolences.
Comics artist Cully Hamner said Pérez was “one of the goats in our business, rest in peace and power.”
“It’s gratifying, at least, that he got to hear how we all felt about him while he was still here,” he tweeted. “He was a Titan. Condolences to his family, many friends and many, many fans.”
Comics author Kurt Busiek tweeted: “I’m so glad to have known and worked with George. And glad he got to see and hold the new JLA/AVENGERS edition, and know how much he means to readers around the world. It was an honor and a privilege, George.”