George Perez interview (August 2004)

August 23, 2004 | Interviews


An example of George Perez fine work on the JLA/Avengers crossover series.

It was the series George Perez had been waiting 20 years to draw.
All the legends would be there: Superman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Batman, Hulk. Oh, and about 200 others.
JLA/Avengers (the JLA part standing for Justice League Of America for those not in the know) brought together the greatest super-hero teams from both DC Comics and Marvel Comics in one epic tale, written by Kurt Busiek and penciled and inked by Perez, who called it: “one of the most thrilling and greatest challenges of my career.”
“It was a fanboy dream to draw all those characters from two different companies meeting together, with, of course, the added pressure of 20 years of anticipation,” said Perez, one of the special guests at this coming weekend’s Canadian National Comic Book Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
This inter-company crossover series was originally conceived in 1982, but fell apart just months after it began due to squabbling, in spite of the fact Perez had already drawn 21 pages.
When the plug was pulled it was thought this idea was dead. But the series finally became a reality late last year and early this year and it lived up to the expectations of many — including its artist.
“After everyone waiting for 20 years, including me, I couldn’t let that be less than my all-out effort,” Perez said.
The series has recently been collected in the Cadillac of hardcover editions, featuring a slipcase containing an oversized hardcover of the complete four-issue series and a fascinating companion volume that outlines its history, complete with annotated copies of Perez’s original 21 pages.
The collection is outstanding and very much befitting the scale of the project.
“I expected that maybe they would give it a hardcover collection, but to do it with this type of production value was really flattering,” Perez said. “It galvanized my feeling that both Marvel and DC have been trying very hard to make this project something that I can be proud of.”
Having recently celebrated his 50th birthday and completed one of the great works of his life, the Floridian artist says he’s in a great place in his life.
“I’m doing exactly what I love to do more than anything else,” he said. “At the age of 50 I’m looking at the road ahead that has … so many avenues waiting for me.
“This is a young medium. There’s always a new artist coming down the pike. That I’m still considered relevant at 50 and after 30 years as a freelance artist — I have a lot to be grateful for.”

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