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SYFY WIRE George Perez

George Pérez reveals he has inoperable pancreatic cancer; comics community reacts

The comics great has decided not to undergo treatment and to “just let nature take its course.”

By James Comtois

George Pérez, the legendary comic book writer/artist who worked on some of the most popular titles for both Marvel and DC, revealed today that he has been diagnosed with stage three pancreatic cancer. The 67-year-old wrote in a Facebook post that the cancer is “surgically inoperable” and that doctors have given him between six months to a year to live. He has decided not to undergo treatment and to “just let nature take its course.”

“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,” he wrote. 

Pérez helped create such popular storylines as Infinity Gauntlet with Jim Starlin and Crisis on Infinite Earths with Marv Wolfman. He also did memorable work on such titles as Wonder Woman and The Avengers. In 2019, he announced he was retiring from comics due to a myriad of health issues. 

In Today's Facebook post, Pérez added that he hopes to organize one final book signing, and “to make one last public appearance” where he “can be photographed with as many of my fans as possible,” under the condition that he can “hug each and every one of them.” 

“I just want to be able to say goodbye with smiles as well as tears,” he wrote. 

Soon after Pérez made the announcement of his diagnosis, the comics community took to Twitter to express their sadness over the news. 

“This is such sad news. I hope George has a joyful fulfilling time in his last days,” wrote comic artist Mark Brooks. “George has always been a roll [sic] model for me in the way he treats and interacts with his fans. He is a delight for everyone who meets him.”

“At my first convention ever, when I was 12, every pro I met was doing signing shifts, except for George Perez, who was there from open to close, sketching for fans,” comic writer Steve Orlando wrote. “His role in the industry can’t be overstated. A great person, and a role model for all creators.”

“Comic book legend George Perez has announced through his FB page that he has Stage 3 pancreatic cancer and has six months to live. You cannot begin to describe the impact this man had as an artist for DC and Marvel and who by all accounts is an incredibly nice guy too,” wrote Superman & Lois staff writer Adam Mallinger.

“My thoughts are with #GeorgePerez & his family,” wrote artist Staz Johnson. “I lost my Mum to inoperable cancer only a couple of months ago. It is a cruel, cruel condition.”