George Perez – A Comic Book Hero
Most people will probably not recognize the name George Perez but many will recognize his work. As one of the most popular and influential comic book artists during the 1980s, Perez provided illustrations for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics. If few people know his name, even fewer know that Perez is of Puerto Rican descent.
George Perez was born on June 9, 1954 in New York City to Puerto Rican parents. His family had decided to immigrate only a few years earlier and they had chosen to settle in the Bronx section of New York City. There lived a local Puerto Rican community whom made the Perez family feel right at home.
George’s parents got steady jobs at factories and the family was eventually able to move to Flushing, Queens- where the young Perez started his obsession with comic books. George would often stop by at a comic book store in Queens and spend hours staring at the amazing illustrations they contained. With a strong artistic flair. It was not long before George Perez knew what he wanted to do with his life.
He started his career at Marvel comics, working on now almost forgotten comic strips such as ‘Sons of the Tiger’. Soon George began writing for more popular comic strips at the time such as ‘The Avengers’ and the ‘Fantastic Four’. Working in conjunction with writer Bill Mantlo, Perez also helped to create the ‘White Tiger’ character that briefly appeared in the Spider-Man comic strip.
Before long, Perez made the decision to start working for DC Comics. He started with the ‘Justice League of America’ series and his career began blossoming following the launch of ‘The New Teen Titans’. His four years of work with The New Teen Titans comic strip went a long way to improving his overall style and making him one of the most demanded artists at that time.
Over the years George has worked on comic strips like Superman, Hulk, Wonder Woman, Uncanny X-Men and Silver Surfer. Some of his work, such as the one for ‘Infinite Crises’, afforded him the opportunity to illustrate other famous characters such as “Batman” and “The Flash”.
When Perez started working in the comic book world, his style seemed to be strongly influenced by Jack Kirby. However Perez always chose to use more realistic anatomy and his comic strips were always bright and visually attractive. Over time, his general style has become cleaner and more ornate. George generally preferred to illustrate superhero comics and he has always been especially good at doing action scenes.
The next time you buy a comic book, scan the shelves for his name. You may be surprised at just how much comic art George Perez has created and what the tremendous skill and creativity this fine artist has brought to readers and comic aficionados.