I have been trying to find the words regarding George Perez’s news of curtailing his con schedule and shutting down his social media site and I am so bummed.
It’s really hard to express how I feel upon hearing the news that one of my favorite creators in comics has decided not to do any more shows in states that supported the President-Elect.
I think this hurts most because while I am not a personal friend of his, I have met him many times over my years of attending comic cons and he is one of the few creators who will stop what he is doing and speak to me. Sure, many of you will say “Well most creators do that.” No, not like this. I first met Perez back in 2008 at my very first comic con in Baltimore. Perez was hard at work at his table and I didn’t want to interrupt him so I spoke and asked for a picture, and I left him to his work.
Over the years, as I had comics to be signed, I would go to his table, wait patiently and when it was my turn, I would get my books signed and get a picture with him as well. Perez was always very polite and would, when possible, come from behind his table and stand with you to get a picture. Not too many creators will do that.
The most humbling moment happened back in 2014. It was early Saturday morning and my wife and I were interviewing Ivan Reis. Perez’s table was right next to his and anyone that’s ever been in Perez’s line knows even if you wait for an hour or two it would be totally worth it. If you were getting a sketch, it was going to be quality work. If he was signing a book, you would get a nice smile and a few words in conversation and if you cosplayed, he embraced us all. He loves cosplayers!
This particular morning, Perez stopped what he was doing, came over to Ivan’s table and we all took a picture. That, to me, was one of the most amazing moments in my life. When a legendary creator, like Perez, will stop what he is doing with a line full of people to compliment us on our work, it says a lot about the kind of person he is.
Perez is the kind of person who is affable to everyone. He is not the kind of person to pick sides or come off as someone who will only speak to a select few. I have met many people in the industry unfortunately a few would barely give you the time of day but not Perez. He has such a big heart and that is the reason why his lines are so long no matter what comic con you go to. Everyone was welcome. While those who don’t support hatred and racism have to suffer it’s hard to sit in the same room when people are not respectful of you or your culture.
By the way, in case you didn’t know, he is of Puerto Rican descent, so it may be even easier to do the math as to why he will not support states that are ok with hate.
Mr. Perez is one of the few people who has lived up to the word “legendary” and not just because of his body of work, but his actions as a person as well.
Mr. Perez, it is saddening to know that some of us may not see you for awhile but thank you. Thank you for all of the support you have shown the cosplay community all of these years. Thank you for the artwork that I have gotten from you.
Thank you for the special present of putting my likeness in your comic (I am still smiling about that years later) and thank you for always being a class act that many could stand to follow even to this day.
Thank you for everything and I am sorry that the will of a few has affected the many. I will hold out hope that I will see you again.
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