Spotlight Sunday 12.12.21

Spotlight Sundays

Some completely devastating news means that it’s time once again to shine the Spotlight on a legend…

Every day is a good day to tell the world how much you love George Perez.

Colleen Doran

Last week, I had intended to write a Spotlight post about Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons, a telling of the history of the Amazons from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Jimenez.

There was just one problem with that: I just didn’t feel up to writing a post last week, and I found the idea of delaying the post by a week amusing, given how much time had passed- albeit with a much better reason, namely the beautiful Jimenez art contained in its pages – between the book’s announcement and it finally appearing on the shelves.

In the course of that week, however, the world of comics received some utterly devastating news: legendary and beloved comic creator George Pérez announced that he has inoperable Stage 3 pancreatic cancer and is estimated to have six months to a year to live.

In what I’ve come to know is typical Pérez fashion, he has accepted his prognosis with grace and positivity, and is focusing on ways to ease the loss for his family, friends, and millions of fans.

But when I got the final diagnosis, one of the first things I knew I wanted to do was say ‘thank you’ to my fans. They deserve to know. I didn’t want to keep putting this off.

George Pérez opens up about his fans, his legendary career, and his terminal illness

Though I’ve never had the privilege of meeting George Pérez in person, he has been a hugely important presence in my life for four decades. Anyone who knows me or has visited this site knows that I love comics more than pretty much anything. That love for comics is the reason that this site and my misguided notions about turning my love for comics into something upon which I can make a living and my motivation to try to build a platform for new comics exist.

And George Pérez is, to a greater extent than any single individual, the reason that my love for comics exists.

And I am far from the only person for whom that’s true.

I wrote a bit about how much I and pretty much everyone else in the world loves George Pérez back when he announced his retirement from comics, and everything I said then still stands – including the sadness – and bears repeating now.

And always, for as long as the opportunity to do so exists.

It seemed especially appropriate to coopt the space that would have been devoted to Historia to talk about Pérez, as Wonder Woman is one of the characters with whom he is so strongly associated, thanks to his iconic relaunch of the character in 1986.

While it’s a very different take, Historia builds on the foundation laid by Pérez in that relaunch, which, honestly, is kind of unavoidable if you want to tell a good Wonder Woman story, and it serves as yet another reminder of just how important the man and his work are to his fans and his peers.

Anyone familiar with Phil Jimenez can see that while his style is very much his own, it is beautifully influenced by Pérez, and his gorgeous and unique renderings of the Amazons and their gods in Historia are no exception.

It may seem silly to some, but I have no shame in admitting that since seeing the news, I have spent a significant amount of time on the brink of tears, and a significant amount of time beyond the brink. I don’t really know him, but I feel like I do, and as I said, he’s been a part of my life for so long.

But the tears I’ve shed have not only been inspired by sadness, but also by beauty, as I’ve witnessed the outpouring of love for Pérez and the sharing of his beautiful work, work that has touched so many lives.

And the sense of loss I and so many others feel is compounded by the fact that he is not merely a supremely skilled creator, he’s a very good man, and those often seem to be even more rare than talent of his level.

Over the course of the time that remains – and beyond – I will likely write more Spotlight posts in which I go more in-depth into how his work has impacted and inspired me in my life, but for now I will close by saying thank you.

Thank you, George Pérez for everything you have done, and for your role in helping me find what I love most in this world.


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