It’s one of the great unfinished symphonies in the history of comics. After having successfully teamed up Superman and Spider-Man twice, Batman and …The Original Plot For The Unfinished JLA/AVENGERS Crossover
So many of my favorite comic book characters are of the obscure variety — and one of the most obscure of all is Pariah, the tragic hero introduced by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in Crisis on Infinite Earths. I’ll freely admit that the first thing that drew me to the character was that costume — I loved the audacity of it, from the puffy sleeves, to the strange collar, to the cloak and hood, to the boots. I felt like he had so much untapped potential — I would have played him like a superhero version of Quantum Leap, jumping from disaster to disaster every few issues, trying his best to save lives and atone for his ‘sins’ of hubris in the past.
Well, after years of waiting, DC has decided to bring him back in a huge way this summer. Yay!!!!
But, wait! He’s going to be the villain of their series, Dark Crisis.
Damn. Be careful what you wish for, I suppose.
My all time favorite comic book artist has announced that he has terminal cancer. George Perez has been such a major part of my fandom and I’m glad that I got to meet him several times over the years. I love his work, his enthusiasm, and his endearing personality.
The announcement came in the form of an open letter from George and it shows what kind of man he is. I’m going to post it in its entirety below. Let’s hope for a miracle and, failing that, let’s wish him a peaceful journey.
From George Perez –
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.
Please search for @TheGeorgePerez on Facebook if you’d like to join the page to receive updates. 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.
December 7th, 2021