Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP
George Pérez, a famous comic book artist who was influential in shaping the Wonder Woman character that people know today, died on Friday. He was 67 years old.
The news was posted by a family friend in a post on social media. Pérez died peacefully in his house with his wife next to him, Constance Eza said. He had advanced stage pancreatic cancer.
“We are all very sad, but at the same time we are so incredibly grateful for the joy he has brought into our lives,” Eza wrote on Saturday. “To know George meant to love him; and he loved to reciprocate. Fiercely and with all his heart. The world today is much less lively without him.”
In a career spanning more than four decades, Pérez’s meticulous pen stood behind some of the greatest comic book heroes. He created New Teen Titans at DC Comics in 1980 and drew the Avengers for Marvel Comics. He helped close the chapter on Superman.
Pérez’s reboot Wonder Woman in the mid-80s brought the superhero back to her origins in Greek mythology. Patty Jenkins, who directed Wonderful woman films, cited Pérez’s interpretation of the character as a major influence.
In a post reminiscent of Pérez, DC Comics described the artist as a “writer, co-plotter, pen and ink” who left a mark on the Man of Steel. Pérez designed the cult purple-green war suit of villain Lex Luthor Action comicsand wrote stories for The Adventures of Superman.
After being brought to work on DC’s new 52 version of Superman in 2011, Pérez complained about “corporate comics”. He called his short stay on the project “the lowest part of my career” and suggested he was not happy with the changes at the highest level in his contributions.
“If fans love it, fantastic, my name is related to it. If they don’t like it, I can’t help it, even though my name is still related to it,” Pérez told ComicBook.com.
“George Pérez had an artistic style that was both dynamic and incredibly expressive,” said DC publisher and chief creative officer Jim Lee. “His art has been the perfect narrative canvas for some of the most important events in DC’s history. Although he will be sorely missed, his work will live on with countless fans, as well as with all the talent he has influenced over the years.”
After Pérez was diagnosed with third-degree pancreatic cancer in late November, friend Constance Eza kept fans informed about Pérez’s health through frequent posts on his Facebook page. Fans responded by flooding the comments with beautiful wishes and photos they took with Pérez at comic book conventions – as well as over the weekend.
“George’s true legacy is his kindness,” Eza wrote on Saturday. “It’s a love he had for bringing joy to others – and I hope you’ll always carry it with you. Today is Free Comics Day. A day that George absolutely loved and a fitting day to remember his contribution to comics and our lives. I hope so. that you will enjoy this day with him in mind. He would like that. “