Acclaimed comics artist shares the sad news that he has inoperable pancreatic cancer.
Even Marvel and DC fans who don't normally pay attention to the names of individual comics artists may know George Pérez. The retired artist penciled Marvel's The Avengers in the 1970s and again in the 1990s, drew DC's The New Teen Titans in the 1980s, penciled DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths in the 1980s, and relaunched Wonder Woman in the 1980s as both writer and artist. He also worked on other popular comics, including Superman and Silver Surfer.
On Tuesday, Pérez posted a message on his official Facebook page announcing the sad news that he has stage 3 pancreatic cancer.
"It is surgically inoperable and my estimated life expectancy is between 6 months to a year," he wrote.
Pérez said he was given the option of further treatment, but has "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."
Despite the bad news, work was still on his mind.
"I am already arranging with my art agent to refund the money paid for sketches that I can no longer finish," Pérez wrote. "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."
His fans and friends shared their sorrow and support on the Facebook post.
"This is devastating, George, but I'm glad we get to chance to say thank you while you are here with us to hear it," wrote fellow comics writer Kurt Busiek. "I 'met' you in the pages of a comic book, and it's been an incredible privilege to get to know you as a person and to work with you as well. As reader, collaborator and friend, I'm glad to know you, George. Thanks for everything."
And writer Brad Meltzer also shared his thoughts.
"George, no other artist has had as much of an impact on my life," Meltzer wrote. "Just need to say that out loud. One of the true highlights of my career was writing a Justice League 0 page just so you could draw it. And what did you do when you found out? You gave me the page. Love you much. And thank you."
Many fans shared photos of themselves with Pérez at comics conventions and other events.
"So sad to hear this news, George," wrote Ian Levenstein. "While I've only met you in convention situations, you were always jovial, kind and courteous, and your artwork is and always will be some of my favorite in the business. May you enjoy these next few months as much as anyone can possibly enjoy anything, and you will be in my thoughts. And thank you for everything you've done over the years. It truly is the best."