George Pérez, the beloved and influential comic book artist and writer known for his vital work on titles like Wonder Woman and The New Teen Titans, has died at the age of 67.
The prolific penciler’s death Friday was confirmed in a statement on his Facebook page, noting that complications stemming from his lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer as the cause of death.
“He was not in pain and knew he was very, very loved,” the statement on Pérez’s Facebook page read. “We are all very much grieving but, at the same time, we are so incredibly grateful for the joy he brought to our lives. To know George was to love him; and he loved back. Fiercely and with his whole heart. The world is a lot less vibrant today without him in it.”
A marquee artist at both DC and Marvel Comics, Pérez began working with the latter in the early 1970s, illustrating titles such as Astonishing Tales and The Avengers. Early on, Pérez was applauded by fans for the complexity of his packed panels and the realistic style in which he drew the characters.
In the early Eighties, Pérez kicked off his long association with DC Comics by working on their stalwart Justice League of America and, more notably, helping to launch their New Teen Titans line, which soon became one of DC’s most successful franchises; the franchise also created now-DC fixtures like Cyborg, Starfire and Nightwing. Pérez took leave of that comic in 1985 in order to draw on DC’s iconic Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries. Soon after, he helped breathe new life into the Wonder Woman franchise when that character was rebooted in 1987.
“DC joins fans from all over the world in mourning the passing of George Pérez,” DC Comics said in a statement Saturday. “As a writer, co-plotter, penciller, and inker, George Pérez left an indelible mark on the world of comics, bringing pleasure to a legion of fans and influencing a whole generation of creative talent.”
DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee added, “George Pérez had an art style that was both dynamic and incredibly expressive. His art was the perfect storytelling canvas for some of the most important events in DC history. While he will be sorely missed, his work will live on with a countless number of fans, as well as all the talent he’s influenced over the years.”
During his on-off tenure at Marvel, Perez served as an artist on acclaimed mid-Seventies runs of both The Avengers and Fantastic Four, and was the pencilerson the first half of the legendary Infinity Gauntlet miniseries that shaped the trajectory of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“George Pérez was an artist, a writer, a role model, and a friend,” Marvel Comics said in a statement Saturday. “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.”
While Pérez continued to work into the 2000s, his production slowed over the past decade as he continued to deal with health issues, which ultimately forced him to retire in 2019.
Pérez’s death comes just a week after Neal Adams, another renowned DC artist, died at the age of 80. Like Pérez’s work on Wonder Woman, Adams was credited with revitalizing Batman.
A memorial service honoring Pérez will take place May 22 at the Megacon convention in Orlando. Pérez’s Facebook page added Saturday, “Today is Free Comic Book Day. A day George absolutely loved and a fitting day to remember his contributions to comics and to our lives. I hope you’ll enjoy your day today with him in mind. He would have loved that.”