There was a stretch in 2018 when comics creators were dying at such a pace it felt like we were living in the end of days. In a span of just a few months we lost Steve Ditko, Marie Severin, Gary Friedrich, Russ Heath, and Norm Breyfogle, all capped off by Stan Lee that November. Thankfully, things slowed down a bit after that.
Apparently the law of averages is catching up to us now, because in the space of one week we have lost two of the absolute greatest comics artists ever. Last week it was Neal Adams and now we have lost George Pérez.
Last week when I wrote about Neal Adams, I mentioned that he had stopped doing regular comics work around the same time I had just begun buying them in 1976. With Pérez it was the opposite: he was getting started at nearly the exact same time as I did. In ’76 he was doing Marvel’s two biggest team books, Fantastic Four and Avengers, and from the very beginning his art was never less than gorgeous. And as time went on, it just kept getting better.
George Pérez announced his retirement in January 2019 and I covered his career in greater depth (and posted a ton of images) at the time. I wish he had been given many more years to relax and enjoy himself and soak in the praise he would have been given (and so richly deserved) on the convention circuit.
I can’t even bring myself to try and put on a brave face here, folks. This one hits home. This one really hurts.
R.I.P., George Pérez.