Accent on the first “e.”

§ December 8th, 2021 § Filed under george perez § 7 Comments

Legendary comics artist George Pérez announced via his official Facebook page that he’s been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and likely only has months to live. This is of course incredibly awful news, but hopefully Mr. Pérez is seeing the enormous outpouring of love and appreciation that’s been exploding online since the news was revealed.

That Amazing Heroes up there from 1984 I posted because that’s a great cover that I don’t know has been seen enough online lately. That’s a scan from my personal copy that I bought off the stands way back when…a little beat up, but that’s a testament not just to my love of fanzines, but to how much I liked this particular issue, with its extensive interview with Pérez. I haven’t read it in years, but I’ve got it out, and you bet I’m going to go through it again. And that cover…every face is just filled with personality. No “generic hero face” on two-dimensional caricatures…those are people we’re looking at.

I was tweeting about this today, and it really is a favorite of mine. I was a more-often-than-not purchaser of DC Comics Presents, a series that had a variety of usually solid creators working on each issue. Every once in a while you’d get some surprises, like a Demon team-up drawn by Joe Kubert, or this wild Alex Toth/Jack Kirby Challengers of the Unknown tale.

But then there was this comic, an action-packed one-off teaming Superman up with Kirby’s OMAC, featuring lots of robots, punching of said robots, and plenty of destruction and rubble: all of which being Pérez’s specialties. I wrote an appreciation of about this issue a few years back, with some representative panels.

I’d just started picking up Justice League of America from the rack a few months prior (starting with the story, also drawn by Pérez, discussed in these two posts). Suddenly, here’s this amazing three-parter teaming up the Justice League with the Justice Society, versus a whole pile o’villains, with some if not all crammed into every tiny panel on every wonderful page. Note that includes the new version of ancient Superman villain the Ultra-Humanite in that giant white ape form that’s continued on through today, including in DC’s various animated series.

Anyway, it’s a great adventure, probably my favorite of the JLA/JSA crossovers. So many weird and unfamiliar characters from the Golden Age drawn with the same loving expression and detail as the more recognizable heroes.

What can be said about The New Teen Titans? Like Marvel fandom circled around the X-Men, the book you had to read, so did DC fandom revolve around the Titans. The sheer joy and excitement and innovation on each page seemed way out of proportion to the few coins you paid for every issue. And inside…seeing Pérez handle both alien invasions and soap opera with equal aplomb. What a pleasure this series is.

What a pleasure all of George Pérez’s comics are.

7 Responses to “Accent on the first “e.””

  • And maybe you didn’t mention it specifically because you have recently elsewhere – but who else besides George could have drawn the connective tissue that held JLA #200 together? Or done JLA/Avengers? Or…


  • Thom H. says:

    That issue of Amazing Heroes was released around the time the Baxter version of The New Teen Titans was hitting stands. For my money, that first issue of TNTT is not just one of the most beautiful issues of the Teen Titans ever printed, but one of the most beautiful comics I’ve ever seen.

    When he had the luxury of time, Mr. Perez was able to create such gorgeous detail and innovative layouts. He is one of the greatest comic artists of all time, and clearly an inspiration to the generation of artists who came after him.

  • Daniel T says:

    When Princess Diana’s death received more attention than the death of any public figure in my lifetime to that point, a friend of mine announced at the bar one night that he would never cry over the death of someone he never knew. I agreed with that then and still do now.

    Mostly. I didn’t cry yesterday, but man did I come close. Star Wars and comics were my life when I was a kid, and George Perez was a HUGE part of what I liked about comics.

  • Rich Handley says:

    Oh, that’s awful news! What a tremendous talent.

  • Daniel says:

    Such sad news about Mr. Perez. As a Gen-Xer and (mostly) a DC fan, his work defined my childhood. New Teen Titans. Crisis on Infinite Earths. History of the DC Universe (obviously no longer canon, but History is sadly underrated as a story in its own right with gorgeous Perez artwork). Wonder Woman. I also learned more about the craft of cartooning from the 120-page Focus on George Perez paperback that Fantagraphics put out in 1985 than from any other resource.

    The older I got, the more I gravitated toward artists with simpler, more graphical styles (like David Mazzucchelli, Steve Rude, Darwyn Cooke, Alex Toth). But a few years ago I started buying the hardcover Omnibuses and Deluxe Editions of some favorite childhood titles, and I was surprised by how well Mr. Perez’s artwork has held up (especially the first Wonder Woman omnibus), despite my own tastes having changed. His work had (and continues to have) a significant impact on my life. I wish him and his family all the best during this very difficult time.

    And since you brought it up, how great was Amazing Heroes? I read that magazine religiously when I was a teenager. I know that Gary Groth tends to be dismissive of it, but for a young teenager who was too young for The Comics Journal, AH was the perfect magazine to introduce a teenage comics fan to thoughtful criticism and analysis. In those pre-internet days, I re-read those issues over and over and over again. I discarded my own copies 25 or 30 years ago when I was in college, but a few years ago, while feeling nostalgic, I went on eBay and bought a few dozen of my favorite AH issues (as well as a handful of Comics Interview issues). First, I’m surprised how well they hold up. For a fanzine, the quality of the writing and the critical analysis is still top notch (much more sophisticated than something comparable today like CBR). And second, I’m amazed at how many of those article I still remember (sometimes word for word) 35 years later (reading them so many times as a youth must have imprinted them on my brain).

  • Daniel T says:

    Good lord, other Daniel, I could have written your post word for word except I went on eBay and bought the full run of Amazing Heroes.

  • ExistentialMan says:

    It was the second Pérez run on Avengers that forever cemented my deep, lifelong love for all things comic-book related, in particular the Ultron-Yellowjacket-Wasp-Jocasta story. There were so many things about his artistic style that just burned a template for all sequential art into my adolescent brain. It warms my heart to see the outpouring of love, respect, and admiration for the man.