Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Creative Yodas...George Perez

If John Byrne helped my figure drawings go from slightly thicker stick figures to more normal human dimensions, George Perez helped me improve on that and showed me how to put them on a page.

                                                                George Perez
My first Perez book was Avengers #200. The cover was awesome and the inside with the World's Mightiest Heroes fighting Immortus, who somehow seduced Ms. Marvel and got her pregnant, was really great early Perez work. All the stuff I loved about his work was there: the crystal clear storytelling, the facial expressions and gestures and the skilled rendering of different locations.

Mr. Perez had been at Marvel for a while and was a regular penciller on the Fantastic Four before he took on the Avengers. His career took off when he went to DC and co-created the New Teen Titans with Marv Wolfman.
The Titans became a fan fave and one of the most popular titles for DC in the 80's, rivalling the Uncanny X-Men for stories with depth and characterization, not to mention just straight up great artwork for over forty issues, as well as tie-ins and Annuals.

Perez also drew the now legendary DC Maxi-series, Crisis on Infinite Earths, which redefined and streamlined the convoluted morass of DC continuity and relaunched Wonder Woman with Greg Potter and Len Wein. Eventually, he became the sole writer and artist. Perez also worked on Superman and a second iteration of the Titans, called the New Titans.
He also started working on the War of the Gods for DC, but there were editorial conflicts. He left DC and started drawing the Infinity Gauntlet for Marvel. He wasn't able to complete the whole run. Outside of working on some of the characters at Malibu Comics, Perez stepped away from the limelight for a while.

In the mid-90's Perez returned and started his acclaimed run on the Avengers with Kurt Busiek. He also worked on The Incredible Hulk:Future Imperfect and Sachs and Violens.
He also returned to DC and worked on a third Titans title with Dan Jurgens. A particular high point during this time was the overdue arrival of the JLA/Avengers crossover which, teamed Perez with Kurt Busiek again.

After trying his hand at self-publishing with Crimson Plague and failing and his short stay at CrossGen Comics, Perez ended back up at DC where he currently writes Superman and does breakdowns that are finished by Jesus Merino.
Now, I admit, my favorite work of Mr. Perez are the Titans books he did with Marv Wolfman. That's where a lot of the way I lay out pages and my pacing comes from, not to mention all the expressive faces and gestures. I could relate to the characters, even if I didn't have super powers, like I did with the X-Men.
I may not be able to draw as well as Perez, but I know I wouldn't be anywhere near as good as I am without his example. For this, I am very grateful. 

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