Artist George Perez reveals he has terminal cancer, in powerful message to his fans

George Perez
George Perez

Comic book legend George Perez, who retired just three years ago, has announced through his Facebook page that he has Stage 3 pancreatic cancer and has six months to live.

Truly one of the greatest superhero artists, he is perhaps best known for his work on series such as DC Comics Crisis on Infinite Earths, The New Teen Titans, and Wonder Woman, and Marvel’s The Avengers and Infinity Gauntlet.

Social media has been awash with tributes to the much-loved, generous and brave creator, with good wishes directed toward George and his family at this difficult time.

Abiding by his request for respect and privacy for his wife, we are representing his full statement from his Facebook page – his only point of cont at this difficult time – to his many fans around the world in full.

Art by George Perez
Art by George Perez

A Message from George Perez

From George to his fans, friends and extended family, please read below. This Facebook page will serve as a place to connect with George as well as receive updates. Please, respect the privacy of George and his family at this difficult time and reach out only through this avenue.

To all my fans, friends and extended family,

It’s rather hard to believe that it’s been almost three years since I formally announced my retirement from producing comics due to my failing vision and other infirmities brought on primarily by my diabetes. At the time I was flattered and humbled by the number of tributes and testimonials given me by my fans and peers. The kind words spoken on those occasions were so heartwarming that I used to quip that “the only thing missing from those events was me lying in a box.”

It was amusing at the time, I thought.

Now, not so much. On November 29th I received confirmation that, after undergoing surgery for a blockage in my liver, I have Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer. It is surgically inoperable and my estimated life expectancy is between 6 months to a year. I have been given the option of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, but after weighing all the variables and assessing just how much of my remaining days would be eaten up by doctor visits, treatments, hospital stays and dealing with the often stressful and frustrating bureaucracy of the medical system, I’ve opted to just let nature take its course and I will enjoy whatever time I have left as fully as possible with my beautiful wife of over 40 years, my family, friends and my fans.

Since I received my diagnosis and prognosis, those in my inner circle have given me so much love, support and help, both practical and emotional. They’ve given me peace.

There will be some business matters to take care of before I go. I am already arranging with my art agent to refund the money paid for sketches that I can no longer finish. And, since, despite only having one working eye, I can still sign my name, I hope to coordinate one last mass book signing to help make my passing a bit easier. I also hope that I will be able to make one last public appearance wherein I can be photographed with as many of my fans as possible, with the proviso that I get to hug each and every one of them. I just want to be able to say goodbye with smiles as well as tears.

I know that many of you will have questions to ask or comments to make, and rather than fueling the fires of speculation and well-meaning but potentially harmful miscommunication, I will be returning to the arena of social media by starting a new Facebook account where fans and friends can communicate with me or my designated rep directly for updates and clarification.

For media and press inquiries, please use the contact information on the page as well. Please respect the privacy of my wife and family at this time and use the Facebook page rather than reaching out through other channels.

I may not be able to respond as quickly as I would like since I will be endeavoring to get as much outside pleasure as I can in the time allotted me, but I will do my best. Kind words would also be greatly appreciated. More details to follow once it’s up and running.

Well, that’s it for now. This is not a message I enjoyed writing, especially during the Holiday Season, but, oddly enough, I’m feeling the Christmas spirit more now than I have in many years. Maybe it’s because it will likely be my last. Or maybe because I am enveloped in the loving arms of so many who love me as much as I love them. It’s quite uplifting to be told that you’ve led a good life, that you’ve brought joy to so many lives and that you’ll be leaving this world a better place because you were part of it. To paraphrase Lou Gehrig: “Some people may think I got a bad break, but today, I feel like the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.”

Take care of yourselves – and thank you.

George Pérez
December 7th, 2021

No – thank you, George Perez. For everything. Let’s let George know how much he and his work are loved at this time.

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



Categories: Comic Art, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, US Comics

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