George Perez, a legend among comic book artists, died on Friday May 6, 2022 at the age of 67. Perez died of complications from pancreatic cancer, according to Constance Eza, a friend of Perez’s who managed his social media accounts.
“George passed away peacefully at home yesterday with his wife of 490 months and family by his side. He was in no pain and knew he was loved very, very much,” she wrote.
Perez rose to fame with DC’s New Teen Titans in the 1970s and 1980s and went on to work on Crisis on Infinite Earths. His work inspired films such as Avengers: Infinity War and Wonder Woman.
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Eva noted in her obituary that Perez died on Free Comics Day, which she says was a day he looked forward to every year. She said the date of his death was fitting and that he wanted his fans to enjoy and remember the day.
“Today is Free Comics Day,” she wrote. “A day George absolutely loved and a fitting day to remember his contributions to comics and our lives. I hope you enjoy your day with him in mind. He would have liked that.”
Eva wrote that he was proud to have brought joy into the lives of his fans. She said she hopes they carry that joy with them for the rest of their lives.
Pérez started the “New Teen Titans” with writer Marv Wolfman in 1980. The duo were the creators of Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire, according to CBR, and Dick Grayson became Nightwing.
“Wolfman and Pérez later reshaped the DC Universe with ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths,’ which in turn led to Pérez rebooting ‘Wonder Woman’ in 1987 with a popular five-year run that redefined Diana for a new generation,” wrote CBR . “At Marvel, where Pérez got his start in comics, he is probably best remembered for two separate runs on ‘Avengers’; with Steve Englehart in the 1970s and then with Kurt Busiek in the 1990s, where the two relaunched the series to great acclaim in 1998.”
Perez wrote on Facebook on Dec. 7, 2021 that he had been diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer a few weeks earlier. The cancer was inoperable, doctors told him, and he had six months to a year to live. While he said he was considering chemotherapy and radiation, he decided he didn’t want to spend his last few days in doctor appointments, treatments, hospitalizations and wrangling with the medical system.
He also planned one last appearance to say goodbye to his fans.
He closed his post positively, writing: