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Edited by Eric Nolen-Weathington

T W O :

Characters TM & Š2003 Cross Generation Ent., Inc.


Modern Masters Volume Two:

George Pérez Table of Contents Introduction by Marv Wolfman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Part One: “Has Anyone Contacted George Pérez?” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Part Two: Enter Marvel: A Young Artist with Enthusiasm . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Part Three: Making a Mark of His Own at DC Comics . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Part Four: Bad Endings, False Starts, and New Beginnings. . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Part Five: Can’t Get Enough of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Part Six: Storytelling and the Creative Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Art Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99


Part 1:

“Has Anyone Contacted George Pérez?”

MODERN MASTERS: Before we get started I want to clarify the pronunciation of your name: it’s PER-ez, not pe-REZ, as it is commonly mispronounced. With that out of the way, you were born in the Bronx, correct?

GEORGE: Yes, by the time they were married they had moved to New York. My father worked in the meat packing industry and my mom was a homemaker. MM: And you have a brother?

GEORGE PÉREZ: Yep, on June 9, 1954 in the South Bronx.

GEORGE: Yes, my brother was born 11 months, 11 days after I was—David Pérez—and we were the only children. Even though my parents were both from large families, collectively they only came up with two kids.

MM: Both your parents were born in Puerto Rico? GEORGE: My mom, Luz Maria Izquierdo, and my father, Jorge Pérez, were both born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, the same year, but would not actually meet each other until they moved—I believe the same year, I don’t know the exact year—to New Jersey.

MM: Did you and your brother get along? GEORGE: Oh, we got along no differently than other brothers did. We even both aspired to be artists at a young age. Because we were from a poor family, rather than drawing paper we would use the brown paper bags from the grocery store—tear them open and use that as our drawing paper with pencils and crayons. I didn’t even get my first Flair marker pen until I was 13 or 14 years old.

MM: Did they move with their families or on their own? GEORGE: They moved themselves. My grandparents still lived in Puerto Rico at the time. MM: Was it a matter of looking for more job opportunities?

MM: What kind of things were you drawing?

GEORGE: I believe so, yes. I don’t know what job opportunities my mom was expecting, because as long as I’ve known her she’s only worked part-time. But her ambitions might have been different prior to her marriage. But my dad, obviously, was going to the “land of opportunity” as it were. Both were born in fairly poor areas of Puerto Rico.

GEORGE: We were drawing Popeye... even then we were drawing super-heroes. My brother was more appreciative of the old Steve Reeves Hercules movies—the old Peblum Italian musclemen series. HS was his character, which was Hercules-Samson. I would be drawing more super-hero-oriented characters. There was The Bat—he was a blind guy that had the powers of a bat. This was before there was Daredevil. My very first drawing was on a bathroom hamper, actually. I was about five years old, and it was the Rubber Band Man. It was a rubber band with the head of a man, and if anyone ever found that hamper—which is extremely unlikely.... I’m sure that the head looked a lot worse than the rubber band itself. But I created my own super-characters. The Kleptomaniac Kid [laughter]—I can’t remember how he stole things; I think it was that he would look at an

MM: When did they actually meet and develop a relationship? GEORGE: They were married, I believe, in 1951, because they were married three years before I was born. I’m assuming they probably met in 1949, 1950. Everything else is a blur. I never really asked much about their courtship. MM: They had moved by the time they were married? 6

object and suddenly it would appear in his hands—and other similarly silly characters. I was highly inspired by the Legion of SuperHeroes and their also rather silly names. But we would see who could draw the best Popeye, because we were both cartoon fans. My brother read comics as well, although there came a point as we were in the dawn of our teens where my brother stopped drawing and got into sports more. He became more a kid of the streets, while I would be the one who stayed at home and did a lot of drawing, although we were both good students. My brother was, and still is, a very intelligent, educated man. But we just had a drift at that point, where the thing we had in common was that we lived in the same home, but we had different aspirations and different points of view. To this day we have our differences, but we also embrace our similarities. At one point it seemed that David was going to be the better artist of the two of us, but it became moot when he dropped it altogether. From a child’s point of view I kept thinking he was the better artist. He tended to draw more massive characters; my characters tended to be a little more subtle or wimpy, I guess. [laughter] I don’t think subtlety really applies to a child’s scratchings, but my characters looked smaller compared to his. Granted the muscles were probably ridiculous and nowhere near anatomically correct—just lumps on forms—but to me his drawings were much more super-heroic. MM: Did you both like the same comics or did you have separate piles? GEORGE: Oh yes, we tended to buy the same comics. Either I or he would buy the comic, but we would read the same comics. We didn’t have separate collections.

MM: Did you have other family in the area? GEORGE: We had some family. I remember visiting aunts and uncles and everything else, but I never really got all that close to most of my family. I was pretty much a loner at the time. I tended to find more empathy with my fellow classmates than I did with family members. MM: Was there a family atmosphere where you were living? GEORGE: Because most of our family was in Puerto Rico and we didn’t have a car for a lot of the time, there wasn’t as much of a connection. My brother had a godmother that we were close to and there were some other relatives that we used to enjoy visiting. My mother’s cousins—my second cousins— were a bunch of nice people. I guess I tended to gravitate towards the kids who had more interest in the type of stuff I did. More “American,” for the lack of a better term, as opposed to still feeling connected to Puerto Rico. I was much more connected to my New York environment, so I tended to gravitate towards non-Hispanics. I guess they were closer to my ideals, since I was raised on television. The Leave It to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Andy Griffith type of characters were more the characters I embraced, because it was an idyllic world and the world around me—the lower income housing—was poor and sometimes violent. I subconsciously turned my back on my heritage. I wouldn’t 7

Previous Page: It may not be the Steve Reeves version, but this commissioned headshot is all Hercules. Left: A commission piece of Saturn Girl, member of one of George’s childhood favorites: The Legion of Super-Heroes. Above: A high school period self-illo. Below: An early ’70s, pre-pro Captain America sketch. Saturn Girl ™ and ©2003 DC Comics. Captain America, Hercules ™ and ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

GEORGE: Yeah, I was already in the business when “Creature Commandos” came out. So I wrote, penciled, inked with a Flair pen, lettered horribly—I knew nothing about comic book lettering—and it was my first full comic story that actually saw print. I wanted full control over the stuff I did on my own, much to, I think, Jim and Pat’s chagrin. I appreciate that they didn’t just say, “Well screw you, we’re not going to print your stuff.” Because I was probably feeling my oats there and had a certain superior feeling. I felt that I drew better than I actually drew then, so why should I take orders? Pat at one point got a little stern. “Hey, this is our fanzine.” And he was perfectly right. My first dealing with editors. [laughter] I’m grateful that Pat and I have remained friends since then. But even though it was a small print run, it was a proud achievement, because here’s my name in print for the first time. When you’re a kid in high school, even a circulation of 250 seems like, “Wow, look at all these people who are going to be seeing my work.” And from that point the bug had become a plague. [laughter] And nothing was going to stop me from becoming a comic book artist. MM: Since you didn’t get the art training from school, did you seek out art books to learn on your own? GEORGE: I couldn’t afford art books. Pat O’Neill, who has done work in the comics trade— who were producing a fanzine called Factors Unknown. They had one issue already done. And this was real fanzine work. They didn’t go through a big printer, they didn’t have a big print run. It was just raw talent from young fans who wanted to produce their own work. It was digest size and even then it wasn’t considered a highend fanzine. There were a few people who scoffed at Pat and Jim. Tom Sciacca and I had absolutely no avenues. There were no overtures. Nobody was coming up to us and saying, “Why don’t you come work with us,” so we were more than happy to go work with Pat and Jim. I guess they were the Charlton of fanzines. [laughter] Tom and I worked on something together called “Stranded” for Factors Unknown #2, which was not very good even by fan standards at the time. Tom was not really an inker, and neither he nor I really knew how to ink. So combined all our weak spots were evident. But with Factors Unknown #3, as usual, my cockiness got the better of me and I wanted to do my own thing. I did a two-part—which ended up being in the same issue—comic called “Death Squad,” which took as its premise the idea of a werewolf, a vampire, a mummy—which was a direct rip-off of Larry Trainor of the Doom Patrol, because he was actually radioactive underneath the bandages—

MM: You didn’t try to find them in the library? GEORGE: Not really. I made the mistake of learning from comics. It wasn’t until I got my first job as an assistant working with Rich Buckler—who actually saw my work when I got out of high school and was showing my work at conventions, trying to get interviews. I tried to join the junior bullpen at DC and wasn’t accepted there. I went to Continuity, where Neal Adams tore my work up again. [laughter] But Dick Giordano was very positive, at least, in his reviews. And then I met Rich Buckler, and he needed an assistant. That’s when I started getting art training. Not just from Rich, but from the

MM: And this was well before “Creature Commandos” started. 15

Part 2:

Enter Marvel : A Young Artist With Enthusiasm wanted to do Fantastic Four. So I tried to take that largerthan-life style and make it work with my own storytelling and then added little details and decorative things—often to hide the fact that I didn’t know how to draw certain things. I had myself saved by the great Joe Sinnott; he made everything more uniform and kept every character to model. That annual ended up becoming two issues of the regular book months after the fact and I had to add a few pages, so I can see stylistic changes, which again were made a little more homogenous by Joe Sinnott. It was another situation where what I lacked in sophisticated drawing ability was made up for by my natural sense of storytelling and my fearlessness. They saw that with enough experience and enough training, I was made to be a comic book artist.

MM: As you were meeting these pros were you making contacts with the idea of future work?

GEORGE: Not consciously. I mean, I wanted work, but it was still that type of thing where I didn’t want to step on toes too much. I told them I loved doing team books. I think the Avengers was the only one I may have mentioned to Bill Mantlo. As it turned out George Tuska hated drawing the book. Bill, who had become a friend of mine, was willing to try to find me work that would make me happy. When Avengers became available—whether it was permanently or short-term I didn’t know—it was sent my way. Thankfully, even with some of the flaws in my work—including storytelling flaws— Steve Englehart enjoyed having a young artist with enthusiasm rather than an experienced artist with none. At the time when there were no royalties to be had from the sales of a book, an artist would earn the same page rate for drawing a page with a single character as he would a page with a dozen characters. Books like the Avengers were not exactly desirable for the people working under that system. And because I loved it so much I could do it as fast, if not faster, than drawing a single character book. I was in tune with it and so hungry to be known in the business that of course I was going to take a highprofile book like the Avengers. I ended up also getting what was supposed to be just an FF Annual that Rich Buckler was supposed to draw, but for whatever reason he only drew about five pages, so they asked me to finish it since I had been his assistant and should be able to keep the same style. It was a lot more difficult since I didn’t really like doing the Kirby swipes that Rich did. I was trying to avoid doing anything that looked like Kirby, but I had to actually blend in if I

MM: Let’s go back just a bit to 1974. You’re penciling two series: “Man-Wolf,” a standard color comic, and “Sons of the Tiger,” a black&-white magazine strip. You were just starting out, so did you yet realize those series called for two different approaches? GEORGE: Not as much in the beginning, though I would learn later. Ironically, when I took “Man-Wolf” I thought it would have more shadings of horror to it, but Dave Kraft, who took on the writing of the series, wanted to be a little more cosmic, a little more super-heroic. So the series that should have been the darker of the two ended up being the brighter of the two. And the “Sons of the Tiger,” which started out being a homage—or ripoff, take your pick—of the Enter the Dragon paradigm of the white martial artist, the black martial artist, and the Oriental martial artist, ended up becoming much more of a dark, sometimes political series than it was intended to be. Bill Mantlo had a very strong social consciousness and ended up putting that into the series. And Archie Goodwin, when he became editor 20

of the black-&-white line, was the one who pointed out that approaching a black-&white comic should be slightly different. You can work with tonal values in addition to black and white and the action can be a little bit more—not restrained—but not quite as exaggerated, because there are certain times when it should look slightly more realistic. Of course I still didn’t understand that. I drew it pretty much the same, but ironically with less backgrounds, because I thought, “He wants tonal stuff, well, that’s what the inker’s going to put in.” [laughter] So I didn’t put in as much work in the black&-white work and put all the detail in the color work when it probably would’ve worked better the other way around. By putting in too much detail, the colors didn’t look as bright, and by not putting in enough detail the black-&-white work didn’t look dense enough or as realistic as it should. As I got to be better I started to say, “Nah, a comic is a comic whether it’s color

or black-&-white,” and drew them both the same way. They were both action, really. One had a wolf’s head; the other three didn’t. [laughter] And the action— because it was a martial arts comic— couldn’t be too exaggerated, because it still had to look like martial arts. MM: In 1975 you picked up the Inhumans series. How did that come about? GEORGE: Again, Bill Mantlo gave me a call. I think I had already gotten the Avengers. MM: They were published a month apart. GEORGE: Right, I had just started the Avengers and he asked if I would be interested in The Inhumans. I loved the characters from the Fantastic Four. The only caveat was it was already a month late, so I drew my first issue of The Inhumans in one week. Knowing that it was bi-monthly allowed me the luxury of taking it on as a regular series, because I was still drawing very, very fast. I had just gotten Avengers, just gotten Fantastic 21

Previous Page: A 1976 sketch of Galactus and his herald. Above: White Tiger fights The Prowler, from Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #21, with inks by Jack Abel; and Creatures on the Loose #35, page 11, with inks by Frank McLaughlin. Below: A 1977 self-illo. Galactus, Man-Wolf, Prowler, Silver Surfer, White Tiger ™ and ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

GEORGE: Right, it was going into the 150th issue.

Above: A 2002 commission piece of the Inhumans. Lower Right: Avengers #160, page 14. Inks by Pablo Marcos. Upper Right: A 1978 sketch of Sue Storm, Invisible Girl. Avengers, Inhumans, Invisible Girl ™ and ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

MM: So you were drawing even more characters than normal. GEORGE: I got to draw the roster at the time and, if I recall correctly, got to draw a history of the Avengers, which was a lot of fun. It was a fanboy’s dream. Who’d have thought that would presage my later work? I loved the idea of being able to draw all the different characters in the various ages, and I loved it when characters would make guest appearances. For example, I believe there was a Spider-Man cameo in “Sons of the Tiger” one time. It was “Wow! I get to draw Spider-Man!” At the time drawing these characters professionally was all so new to me, and knowing that they would be professionally inked, professionally colored, professionally printed was all very exciting. MM: In issue #150 you basically drew a framing story around reprinted pages of “flashback” story. Was this to give you a breather or just to save money? 24

GEORGE: I had just fallen behind. There was only so much work a human being could do and it eventually caught up with me. During those early years on into the time I moved to DC, my marriage problems also affected my output. I was not happy at home and it did affect my concentration on my work. MM: Switching back to Inhumans, you did the first four issues and then you left, I assume due to time problems? GEORGE: Yes. Also, it was a fun book to do, but I never really quite caught my niche on that one. I don’t know whether it was working on the very dense Doug Moench plots or whatever, but I never thought I made that as successful as it could have been. I think Gil Kane—even though he probably took it on as another journeyman job—had a better handle on the characters. Probably a lot of it was that, as much boundless energy as I had, I was aware I was really kind of limited in my skills. Juggling that many titles, I had to take shortcuts artwise. After a while I

Part 3:

Making a Mark of His Own at DC Comics

MM: Did you find the gradual move from Marvel to DC a difficult transition?

chance of succeeding. The previous incarnation of the Titans I thought was lackluster. And even though I read the 1960s Titans when Nick Cardy, Gil Kane, Neal Adams and George Tuska were all drawing it and I loved those, Justice League was the book that I wanted to do, similarly to my desire to do Avengers at Marvel.

GEORGE: At first I was a little intimidated. It was like I was auditioning for the first time, because I didn’t know how much editors like Joe Orlando or Julie Schwartz knew me. I had only been working in the business about five years or so and whether they kept up with the new people over at Marvel was totally alien to me. So I kind of felt I had to prove myself. If I hadn’t been invited by Marv Wolfman and Len Wein specifically, I don’t know how I would have fared just going in cold. The fact that I had a letter of introduction, as it were, gave me a little more ease of mind. I was still new and felt that what worked at Marvel may not work at DC—a prime example, of course, being Jack Kirby whose work, I think, wasn’t as well received by the editorial staff at DC as it was at Marvel previously. So Lord knows how things might have been different if it hadn’t been for Marv Wolfman approaching me about the Teen Titans book.

MM: How long was it before your priorities between Titans and Justice League reversed in your mind? GEORGE: In the case of the Titans, the momentum started to build on it even from the very beginning. There was good word of mouth and DC seemed to put a lot of support into that book. It was the first of the Bonus Books offered by DC, where they put a 16-page full comic story into the middle of another book—in our case DC Presents #26. As much as I enjoyed Justice League, some of that might have been dampened by the fact that I knew I was working on plots originally written for Dick Dillin, since Gerry Conway was so incredibly ahead of schedule. He had almost a half a dozen scripts already there. Of course, I wasn’t as involved in the story concepts as I would be on the Teen Titans book. When it came time to decide—as I was slowing down more—which book I should take on, it became apparent that Titans looked like it could very well be a successful book. The sales were better than anyone anticipated. Fan and dealer reaction was also quite favorable. This was a chance to do a book wherein my participation was responsible for its success and I could make a mark of my own.

MM: So New Teen Titans was the first offering from DC? GEORGE: Yes, but I had other things that were printed while it was in development. There was a Green Lantern cover that was my very first work for DC Comics and a “Firestorm” back-up series that also came out before Teen Titans. MM: You did four issues of that, as the back-up in Flash, and then the Justice League came next.

MM: With Titans you received a co-plotting credit.

GEORGE: The Justice League came as a bargaining chip originally. I agreed to do the Teen Titans with Marv and Len—I didn’t have any particular desire to do that series—only if I could get a crack at one or two issues of Justice League. That was the book I really wanted to do, not the Titans, because I didn’t think Titans had much of a

GEORGE: Marv has always been incredibly generous about those types of things. He was adamant about my receiving co-plotting credit on the book. He was also personally instrumental in instituting a tier program of payment for creators; at that point there was no pay32

only drawing the JLA, you’re drawing the JSA and the New Gods. Did you have to do any research or were you familiar with all the characters?

ment for co-plotting. You got paid for a plot, you got paid for a script, and that was pretty much it as far as the writing payments were broken up. Before they finally instituted an official payment where a plot can be divided as well, Marv paid me out of his pocket from the plotting fee that he received. Again, an incredibly generous gesture, since most writers and artists, if they work that way, they figure it’s just the normal way of working and what the artist brings in to the actual storytelling is just part of his job. Marv recognized the fact that I was providing a lot more of my own personal contribution to the story and the direction of the Titans, and felt that deserved recognition both in credit and in payment. MM: Your first issue of Justice League was one of the annual crossover events, so you were not

GEORGE: One of the things about that time period was that I was still a comic book reader. I read the Kirby New Gods, I read the Justice League, I read all the JLA-JSA crossovers. So I was very in tune with the characters. The only restriction I had was that I was working on a full script, since that was the way Gerry Conway and Dick Dillin worked. So there wasn’t as much wiggle room plotwise and in some cases I thought, “God, there’s a hell of a lot going on here and not that much space to put it in.” [laughter] So that was a bit of a challenge. And I was still coming out from my Marvel days, so my characters tended to be big and bulky and maybe a touch stiff at times. I still hadn’t gotten down to the style that would manifest itself after working on the Titans past the first year. I don’t think that Frank McLaughlin—who I inherited from Dick Dillin—was a good fit for me. He worked hard, but he and I really did not work well together. I don’t think I ever found my niche with the proper inker on Justice League. I had a few inkers—some of them did better than others—but never really became a team with any of them. Even though Romeo Tanghal and I over at Titans got to a point where we were no longer complementary—my style was going one way and his was going another way—still it developed a real look for the book. Justice League I don’t think ever really had a definitive Pérez look. MM: You did another crossover before you were done, with the Secret Society of Super-Villains.


Previous Page: 1981 Titans illustration. Clockwise from Upper Left: The JLA and Titans square off on the cover of New Teen Titans #4. A Splash page from Justice League of America #185. A 2002 commission of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man. And an ’80s self-illo. Darkseid, Firestorm, Justice League, Teen Titans ™ and ©2003 DC Comics.

little stiffer too, so this is not a slam on Bret Breeding. Inking with pen and inking the way I did, the characters tended to stiffen up a bit. I needed to learn how to loosen up. I think Marv Wolfman pointed out one time when he looked at my layouts and then looked at my finished work, that some of the energy and natural roundness of the characters got lost in the final interpretation. The one thing I did enjoy on Justice League, which I couldn’t enjoy on Titans, was getting to draw so many icons. The challenge of drawing Batman as a mysterious character in a group setting, of trying to figure out how the Flash can constantly get knocked down when he’s the fastest person in the story. [laughter] It was the same trouble we had with Kid Flash over in the Titans. And with JLA, I always enjoyed being able to do gigantic battle scenes. The JLA was a little more satisfying than Titans in that they were all these great characters coming in for one big fighting party. [laughter] MM: You said you were comfortable with JLA by issue #200. Were you able to sit back and enjoy being in the same issue as Curt Swan and Gil Kane and the rest? GEORGE: When I saw it in print, I was like, “Oh my God, look how great Brian Bolland’s Black Canary and Batman are. I wish mine were that good. Look how great Green Lantern looks when he’s drawn by Gil Kane.” But no matter what I did with the characters, these guys are doing the iconic version. They are the ones who made them famous. They’re the ones who, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be doing them. So it was an honor, and I didn’t feel intimidated until after it was printed, and by that point I didn’t have to worry about it because, hey, it’s done. [laughter] I did okay and the fans like my

stuff on it a lot, but I saw the fact that I was a good artist. These are the great artists who are showing me that I always have to keep improving in order to earn the status that they have. It was a good lesson in humility. I was proud of my work there, but those guys showed me how much I still needed to learn. MM: Back over to Titans, did Marv have the characters he wanted to use in mind before you were brought on? GEORGE: He had the concepts of the characters, yes, and I was asked to design them. Marv had already worked out what he wanted as the group dynamic and when he described the three new characters— Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire—it was fairly easy based on his concepts to come up with the designs. In all cases my first designs were approved; I didn’t have to redesign any character. The only character that received any kind of tweaking was Starfire, who I figured based on the description, was like Red Sonja in outer space, so she ended up having a visual cue from that. When Joe Orlando passed by and saw the character sketches he suggested that maybe her hair should be longer. That I took to the nth degree and gave her the Mighty Mouse contrail, which as it turned out was not all that new, either, because I believe Phoenix 35

Previous Page: Justice League of America #196, page 23 and the last three panels of Justice League of America #197, page 24—both inked by Romeo Tanghal. Love that Killer Frost! Left: An early ’80s sketch of the Silver Age Cheetah. Above: Page 65 of the star-studded (both on the character side and the creative side) Justice League of America #200. Inks by Brett Breeding.

Cheetah, Justice League, Justice Society ™ and ©2003 DC Comics.

This Page: George drew character turnarounds for all of the Titans characters, including those he designed himself. Next Page Top: Titans versus Titans on the cover of New Teen Titans #12. Next Page Bottom: The DC Who’s Who entry for the gods of Olympus. Inks by Dick Giordano. Cyborg, Raven, Starfire, Teen Titans ™ and ©2003 DC Comics.

also had the same effect. I just took it to the point of absurdity. [laughter] And Cyborg borrows some of his design from Deathlok, particularly in the half-mask. Instead of the round cybernetic eye he had the slit. The garter belt that people criticized—I said, “Well something’s got to hold it to his hip.” [laughter] This was before I understood anything about bionics or how that type of science-fictiony construction would look. I was just doing something that looked a little different and trying to make it not look so much like Deathlok. Raven was described as a female Phantom Stranger type. And the hood—which I designed to look like an actual bird’s head—was my contribution, along with the fact that I wanted to give her a dress. She did not look like an action character, because she was wearing an impractical costume for action. She definitely was designed for a sense of mystery and a sense of not being a duke-it-out character. Changeling’s character was just a modification of his red-and-white Doom Patrol costume. And we decided that a greenfaced kid really had no need for a mask. [laughter] MM: You said you got fan response almost immediately. GEORGE: I tended to 36

come into the office just to read fan mail and would see what reaction was. In the case of the Titans, Marv had come in and Jenette Kahn also came in saying what reaction was and that the sales were very good. We didn’t have final figures and at that point we didn’t have royalties, so I didn’t really care what the final figures were. [laughter] But they did say that reaction was very, very strong and they were comparing it both positively and critically as DC’s version of the X-Men. If they were criticizing it strictly as a knockoff of the X-Men—which we figured was bound to happen because we took an old team and added new characters and that was pretty much what the XMen did in their revival—and that was the only thing they were commenting on, then I might would have had cause for concern. But they were also commenting positively that it could be a success like the XMen, and that was pretty much what DC wanted. After missing issue #5—I had fallen behind and was doing a bookstore appearance in Colorado—when I came back I realized this book was special, and until the mid-30s I would not miss another issue of the Titans. It was the longest unbroken run I ever had on any series to date. MM: Curt Swan penciled that issue #5. Did you request Curt? GEORGE: No, I believe either Len Wein or Marv wanted to work with Curt on something. I’m not exactly sure what brought Curt to the party. At the time, the idea of having a fill-in didn’t bother me all that much one way or the other because I didn’t think the book was going to be a success beyond issue #6. I didn’t have much of a vested interest or concern in who was going to be drawing the fill-in, so when someone with the reputation of Curt Swan came in, fantastic. And Curt was doing me, because he was trying to keep the same

and the ink work on the same plate. It was an idea that was ahead of the technology we had available. MM: You really had big storylines carry over into the Titans annuals. That’s something that was rare then and practically non-existent now. GEORGE: It was also something that was very unique for DC at the time. DC’s annuals were primarily collections. This was the first time that DC was doing annuals of original stories, which was something that Marv took from working at Marvel. When Marvel did their annuals they were new stories—sometimes they used reprints as a back-up filler. But Marv was of the belief that—and I totally agreed with him—that these annuals should be something special. They should give you something new for your buck, particularly with comics becoming more expensive. The one thing he did that was unnerving—but also smart, considering if you liked the Titans you had to buy the annuals—was making them the climax of a story built up in the regular series. That in

itself was a pretty gutsy move, saying “Now you have to pay more money to have to see the end of this story.” But it did well. Titans was on an almost unstoppable roll. The momentum was great and we were allowed to do things that were, in the spirit of the times, risky. The Titans was so successful, DC was willing to try almost anything as long as it had the Titans banner on it. And then other books obviously followed suit. I think Titans did a lot to bring some of the innovations of Marvel to DC. Marv was bringing in ideas that he’d already seen be successful and saying, “Hey, it can work for us, too.” MM: Did Marv have the whole “Judas Contract” storyline idea in mind when he brought in Terra? GEORGE: At that point he and I were discussing everything as a unit. It was a true collaborative effort. In fact, many times during that period and later the plots weren’t even written any more. Marv and I would sit down, have a long lunch, discuss it for a long period of time, maybe a couple of phone calls, and I have—had [laugh-


Left: George created a monster when he designed the Bridge of Souls, seen here in New Teen Titans v2, #1, page 18. Below: The initial rough and the final pencils for the New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract trade paperback collection. Teen Titans ™ and ©2003 DC Comics.

wasn’t doing any work for Marvel, and they wanted someone who was associated with Marvel—or at least someone not associated solely with DC—drawing it. It ended up being Walt Simonson—he had drawing power both figuratively and commercially—and he seemed to be a fine choice. The next book, JLA/Avengers, would be a DC-produced book, so I would be the artist on that. After the success of the first X-Men/Titans they thought maybe they should just do that and every other crossover would be another X-Men/Titans book. For the second one they would have looked the other way. I was actually scheduled to do the JLA/Avengers and the second X-Men/Titans book. Of course, when the JLA/Avengers book was scrapped, that killed both projects. That was the end for quite a while of the Marvel/DC crossovers. MM: Gerry Conway was the writer for JLA/Avengers. Were you working Marvel style on that? GEORGE: Oh, yes. I think that was both a benefit, because it freed me to do the type of things I do to expand a story, and a negative, in the fact that—with all due respect to Gerry—this 43

Part 4:

Bad Endings, False Starts and New Beginnings

MM: Which project were you approached with first, War of the Gods or Infinity Gauntlet?

In some cases—like John Ostrander and Marv Wolfman—they wanted to cooperate and tried to do the best they could. John was incredibly helpful, including suggesting the usage of Indian gods and tying in with Firestorm. And Marv tried as best he could to tie-in with Titans. But for the most part the book was floundering and, for a book that was supposed to focus on Wonder Woman and be the crossover of the year, I was unpleasantly surprised when Armageddon came out as “the crossover of the year.” It was like we were working in a vacuum. So War of the Gods ended up becoming a very unpleasant experience and not what I wanted it to be. Adding fuel to the fire, my disgruntledness led me to be careless with my deadlines, so that the crossovers did not work chronologically. Part of that was bad coordination, the unfortunate placing of an assistant editor in charge to replace Karen, and my own disgruntledness. War of the Gods was the beginning of the end of my relationship with the Wonder Woman character.

GEORGE: I think War of the Gods was just taking longer, since it was tied in to the Wonder Woman series and I was trying to lead up to that. Much to my regret, I ended up doing two crowded mini-series at the same time, though I knew I was not going to be drawing War of the Gods. MM: How did War of the Gods develop? GEORGE: Originally it was a gigantic overview from me. I plotted it out with all the tie-ins I wanted to have and discussed it with Karen Berger. It was supposed to be called The Holy Wars, but they thought that was too religious a title. The idea was for it to be a celebration of Wonder Woman’s 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, during the course of War of the Gods, Karen Berger— who was pregnant with her first child—had to take maternity leave. The biggest problem I had was trying to make it a tie-in to the Wonder Woman series. DC might have felt a little less confident about a crossover series centered around a female lead, as opposed to Batman or Superman or some of the stronger selling characters. We were fighting an uphill battle in trying to do the crossovers the way we wanted to make it work. And by the time the series was coming out it was quite obvious that, in some cases, I had done overviews that the creators of the tie-in books never saw—the editors never got them to them. So there was a crossover that no one seemed to know anything about.

MM: Was it your decision to have Son of Vulcan a central character to the story? Was he used because of his mythological association and the fact that he was an obscure character that nothing was being done with? GEORGE: I think both were pivotal in my decision. Son of Vulcan had a Roman mythological reference that I wanted to use. Shazam was used for the same reason— even though he had Zeus in his name, he also had Mercury, the Roman Hermes. It was a desperate ploy to find somebody tied to the Roman pantheon. [laughter] 59

So Tom DeFalco did what was absolutely his right and duty to do as editor and called Ron Lim in to fill in on the last half of issue #4. He told me at a convention, and I said, “I think you should have Ron finish the series.” I knew that with the way I was feeling, I’d just go back and cause the same problem all over again. I always felt that Ron Lim should have been the one to draw Infinity Gauntlet anyway; he drew all the Silver Surfer issues that led up to it. But to show that I respected Tom DeFalco’s decision and had no animosity towards Tom or Marvel, I offered to ink the covers over Ron. I didn’t think it was right for me to insist on still penciling the covers. Also by inking Ron’s covers it showed the readers that I was cooperating and showing my support after leaving the book; if I had penciled the covers, they might have assumed they’d been done ahead of time. In hindsight, when I saw the royalties that came in on the first issues, it wasn’t exactly the smartest move. [laughter] My petulant behavior probably cost me tens of thousands of dollars. But I knew that I just couldn’t stay on it. All I had were characters in outer space, which meant no getting my jollies by putting in extra characters. And it seemed that Thanos was just talking to the heroes, knocking them back, talking, they come back, he knocks them back, he talks some more—it seemed really, really padded

MM: Were you glad to be working for Marvel again? It had been almost ten years since you had done any work for them. GEORGE: Oh, yes. I believe the person who offered me Infinity Gauntlet was Jim Salicrup, and Jim and I go back a long ways. He was proud of the fact that he was responsible for getting me back into the Marvel fold. MM: Part way into Infinity Gauntlet #4 you gave up the penciling assignment. Were there any problems between you and Marvel as a result of that? GEORGE: I was having a hard time keeping my enthusiasm up. I was becoming overly critical of the books I was working on. With Infinity Gauntlet, I felt that the story did not warrant six double-sized books. I had gone into it with a certain idea, Jim Starlin had his own ideas—and, of course, Jim had been doing Thanos for years and it was his character, so I know the problem wasn’t with him, it was with me. I just started losing interest, and as a result I was slowing down. Part of it was that it was being done concurrently with War of the Gods, which was highly stressful. 60

to me. One regret I do not have about leaving was that I really wanted it to be the last Thanos story. When I found out along the way that they were already setting up a follow-up story—Infinity Quest or Infinity Crusade, whatever it was—then I knew it wasn’t what I’d hoped it to be. MM: How long after Infinity Gauntlet was it before you started on Hulk: Future Imperfect? GEORGE: It wasn’t that long a gap. My wife, Carol, read one of Peter David’s novels and then found out he was also a comic book writer. She said, “If you ever get a chance to work with Peter, that might be nice”— she liked his writing. So I approached Peter, Peter approached Bobbi Chase, his editor at Marvel, and Bobbi came to me with the two-part Hulk graphic novel. It had already lost Sam Kieth and, I think, Dale Keown, so Bobbi was ecstatic that I wanted to do it and it

would retain the star clout they had hoped for. But it all started with Carol. MM: Once you started Hulk: Future Imperfect, did you devote all your time to it? GEORGE: Oh, yeah. I wanted to ink it and I’d never inked a project that large before, so that was definitely a time-consumer. I thought Peter had a wonderful plot and there was a lot of challenge to it. When Peter wrote the sequence about the museum where an elderly Rick Jones was keeping a lot of the Marvel artifacts, “Which artifacts should I use?” Peter suggested the ones that were plot-specific—the surfboard; Captain America’s shield; the snuffbox with Jan’s ashes, as well as other urns; Wolverine’s skeleton— and I believe he had the idea of the Sentinel’s head with the Thing’s remains in there. He had a few and I multiplied that 61

Previous Page Top: Breakdowns to War of the Gods #1, page 33. Note that the series was originally to be called The Holy Wars. Previous Page Bottom and Above: Pencils from Infinity Gauntlet. Left: George had hoped Infinity Gauntlet would have the impact of being the last Thanos story. Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman ™ and ©2003 DC Comics. Drax the Destroyer, Firelord, Hulk, Iron Man, Mephisto, Scarlet Witch, Silver Surfer, Sub-Mariner, Thanos, Thor, Warlock ™ and ©2003 DC

really do anything in sales because neither the Avengers or UltraForce were particularly big sellers at the time. MM: What happened on what was supposed to be the Giant-Man miniseries? Right: A 1993 pencil sketch of the Silver Surfer. Below: A 2002 commission drawing of Giant-Man and Wasp. Next Page Top: The cover of Silver Surfer #115. Pencils by Tom Grindberg. Next Page Bottom: Illustration from The Ultimate Silver Surfer trade paperback.

Giant-Man, Silver Surfer, Wasp ™ and ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

GEORGE: I tended to write stories that George Pérez would draw, and unless I was working with an artist who was in tune with that same type of approach to a story it wouldn’t work out. In the case of the Giant-Man mini-series which they folded into the Avengers, the artist was one of the new kids on the block who were hired because they needed to fill a lot of pages at a time when so many comics were being printed. He was not a particularly good artist and he was, unfortunately, a very poor storyteller. It made trying to write it an incredible chore. I would describe scenes with multiple takes and end up with one gigantic image, which I then had to do an entire bit of dialogue for. How I envisioned the story and how I had to finish it in order to compensate for the artwork really disenchanted me. It was the same thing at the start of Silver Surfer—and I inherited the artist on that one, so obviously he had been doing fine before I came along, so I’m not going to put it all on him. But Tom Grindberg and I weren’t a good match. Scot Eaton, who replaced Tom, was a better match for me, but by that point I was going into worlds that I don’t think Marvel was comfortable with, because I was taking the Silver Surfer pretty much out of the Marvel universe. I had the great support of Mark Gruenwald, whose idea it was to do this type of story, but then Mark died suddenly 68

and—like losing Karen Berger on Wonder Woman—the only other person who was willing to fight for my vision— skewed as it might have been—was gone. So my time on Silver Surfer was pretty much up, and at that point I decided it was too hard to do a character so it suits the needs of so many other people who have a proprietorial right to the character. After starting with Ron Garney—we discussed a lot of stuff and thought it was going to be a lot of fun—we realized that the idea wasn’t going to get anywhere. So I left Silver Surfer without ever explaining what happened when the Silver Surfer got back to the regular Marvel universe. The entire arc I had done has been since forgotten and left unexplained as to what the hell happened. MM: How do you feel about the Silver Surfer/Superman crossover? GEORGE: It was fun. It may have been a joke that I laughed at and no one else did, but it was just a nice little throwaway. It was nice to do something that didn’t have a lot of stürm und drang. I was also grateful that I had Ron Lim, because Ron is a lot closer to my storytelling style. So that was a fairly easy write. I think that was my one really fun writing chore during the latter part of my brief

Part 5:

Can’t Get Enough of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

MM: What about CrossGen’s pitch made you think you should be working there as opposed to doing something like the Avengers?

But I definitely believed in what CrossGen was doing, and when they offered me the idea of doing CrossGen Chronicles, initially it was to be on a freelance basis. I wanted to show support for the company, but I really wasn’t ready to give up the opportunities I had as a freelancer. And added to the negotiation problems, it was around that time that I received word that with Joe Quesada ascending to the throne as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, and one of the things he wanted to address was reviving the JLA/Avengers project. So I was approached by Tom Brevoort as well, saying this project looked to be a go. My wife acknowledged that if I had to make a decision between JLA/Avengers and CrossGen, JLA/Avengers would be the project I would choose. JLA/Avengers did not become actuated until Mark Alessi—who wanted to make sure that if I went to CrossGen, it would be with no regrets—said I should demand a dropdead time for Marvel and DC to offer me a contract on paper for JLA/Avengers, so I would know it wasn’t just talk. I got the last piece of the contract on the last possible day— they got in right under the wire. [laughter] So I went to CrossGen and informed them, “Now I’ve got JLA/Avengers. This is a project I’ve been wanting to do for practically my entire career. I thank you, and I’ll fulfill my commitments and finish off CrossGen Chronicles, but then I have to leave.” Mark Alessi, with the approval of the entire CrossGen staff—because an exception cannot be made without the entire staff agreeing to it—thought I’d be more valuable to them as an employee, and that I should finish my commitment to CrossGen Chronicles, but as a

GEORGE: The Avengers was pretty much about done. I had gotten to the point that it was getting a lot more difficult to handle the monthly title. I was getting tired and didn’t think I was producing the best work I could do— although the fans seemed to disagree, and that was the same argument I had about the Titans, so what do I know? [laughter] It was somewhere along the line of my having already deciding to leave Avengers and the gap when I was still working on Crimson Plague for Gorilla that CrossGen came into the picture and I received a call from Barbara Kesel. Mark Alessi felt that was the best way to approach me—with someone I knew personally—so she was the one who actually came in with the pitch and asked if I would meet with Mark. When I went in to CrossGen, part of it was that I was a bit tired and the idea of doing a book that would be a quarterly and earning a regular salary plus all the insurance coverage and all the other profit sharing and things was very, very tempting. But the reservations I had with CrossGen were that I was used to drawing super-heroes and I had tackled work at companies for financial benefit and found that I ended up becoming unhappy. And I didn’t know if I’d end up feeling the same way with the CrossGen properties. And as an employee, I would be exclusive to them, which would mean turning my back on doing any more work for Marvel or DC. 76

JLA/Avengers,” that would have killed it. The only reason it was to exist—in Joe Quesada’s mind and in the minds of most of the others at Marvel and DC—was as a “George Pérez started it, George Pérez should finish it” type of thing. Joe Quesada declared there would be no further Marvel/DC crossovers on his watch, with this being the grand exception. MM: How was the rest of the creative team for JLA/Avengers decided upon?

staffer. I was retroactively—to the beginning of 2001—made an employee of CrossGen wherein I had all the insurance and perks covered and would be given a one-year leave of absence upon completion of CrossGen Chronicles. October of 2001 was when my sabbatical officially started. So during that time, my work was overlapping between CrossGen and the JLA/Avengers project, and after October JLA/Avengers was my sole income-producing work. If it hadn’t been for Mark putting both a great amount of trust and a great amount of worth to my participation in CrossGen, the JLA/Avengers book might still be in negotiations now. Of course if it would have taken this long for negotiations, the project would be over because I would not have been involved any longer. I am immensely flattered that this project lived or died on my say-so. If I had said, “No, I do not want to do

GEORGE: When the project was originally being discussed, it was with the possibility of Kurt Busiek and Mark Waid working together, since Mark at the time was writing JLA. Of course, by the time Marvel and DC put it all together, Mark was no longer working on JLA, because he had gone over to CrossGen. Kurt and I had worked together on the Avengers, and he was my first and foremost choice to write the book. The only other things I requested were that the book not be put on a schedule until there was enough drawn that we knew it would come out in four monthly installments; that I wanted to ink myself, which meant it was going to take a good deal longer; and that I wanted—with the exception of me as inker—the creative team of the Avengers working on it. That meant bringing in Tom Smith, who during my entire run on the Avengers never had a chance 77

Previous Page: A gorgeous commission sketch of Sojourn’s Arwyn. Left: This rejected cover was intended for Avengers v3, #2. Above: George amidst the roses in a 1997 photo by Andy Mangels. Below: The Avengers and Justice League faceoff in this 1996 commission piece. Justice League ™ and ©2003 DC Comics. Avengers, Scarlet Witch ™ and ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc. Arwyn ™ and ©2003 CrossGen Intellectual Property.

when I was laid up during my run on Avengers with a blood clot in my leg, so I had to go to the hospital until I was cleared. And even then I drew two pages in the hospital bed. Kurt’s problems stopped him at times from even being able to think clearly, and Kurt was getting very frustrated by it. I do worry about Kurt because I’m a friend, but he keeps surprising us all with his tenacity.

in the color pages and Dan was not signing off on them. It was getting very frustrating, because it meant pages were not getting finished. Then Dan was fired from DC— having nothing to do with JLA/Avengers, because we never went over his head—that would have been unfair. Since Mike Carlin came in as the DC editor on the project, things have been going incredibly smoothly. None of the pages that had come in while Dan was the supervising editor on the DC side had yet to be signed off. The last correction of one of the pages came in today. The time from when Tom sent in his first version to the time we signed off on the final version was a grand total of two days, as opposed to waiting weeks to get a feedback from Dan. That had been a major stumbling block. Plus it also slowed down the plots, because Dan’s ideas seemed to sometimes be totally polarized from everyone else’s ideas. But, of course, he represented DC and we didn’t want to have any political harangue about it. Despite everything, by the time Mike Carlin came in, all the plots had been approved, it’s just that issue #4’s plot took four to five months to go from Kurt’s original plot to the final

MM: What about the editorial influence on the book? Are you having to work closely with the editors in order to appease both Marvel and DC? GEORGE: Tom Brevoort we obviously had a working relationship with from Avengers. Dan Raspler, with all due respect, was the toughest one we had to work with. Not because he was the outsider, the only member of the group who was not part of the Avengers team, it’s just that his way of working was really nonconducive to our working styles. I think Dan was a bit of a technophobe, so he didn’t like looking at computer screen interpretations of the colors and wanted to wait for print-outs, which are not the most accurate. So we were making a lot of corrections or suggestions 80

Part 6:

Storytelling and the Creative Process

MM: You said going back and looking at the original JLA/Avengers you see how much you’ve developed over the years. In what ways do you feel your style has developed as far as your figure drawing and your overall approach to a page? Is it a matter of keeping a similar approach but refining your skills?

nice, little, inbred society. [laughter] So I think I’ve learned more. My characterization on faces is better— not that I didn’t do good faces, but I think I draw more realistic faces now. That’s my Crimson Plague by-product. As far as storytelling is concerned, I probably was inspired by many other comic artists. There are things I can do now because I’m a better artist and I’m more comfortable doing them now.

GEORGE: I think it’s more refining skills and learning more. One of the things of not having a formal artistic education is that my foundation was a little weak, so I was building up on it little by little. Subtle things like how to draw the musculature on bodies, proportions, how blacks can be used to create mass, how to mold the body. Those are the things I was learning as I was going along. Using the example of JLA/Avengers from 20 years ago to now, when I was doing JLA/Avengers I was still primarily doing the Teen Titans book. My characters tended to be a little light. I notice my legs looked a little thin. I didn’t throw bodies into perspective as much as I should have. Although I did do it, I wasn’t as comfortable with it as I have later become. Also other artists have come into the field since then who have inspired me in various ways. The entire Image school, for lack of a better term, did not exist when I did JLA/Avengers, and there are certain positive things I picked up from them— which, of course, they say they picked up from me. It’s a

MM: Logan’s Run is where you started using photo reference and you were using it very heavily then and again in Crimson Plague. What about the projects in between? When do you typically use photo reference? GEORGE: I started to use reference particularly for things in the real world, because otherwise super-heroes have nothing to look super-heroic against. For vehicles and the like I would try to get reference, because I can’t draw vehicles from memory. I have no real love for mechanics, so I don’t have an understanding of how they’re built and I have to have some kind of reference to draw the basic linework. Putting characters into “real” backgrounds as opposed to always, what I call, Kirby backgrounds—Jack created all these incredible buildings, but none of them really existed. I try to find a mixture where I put real buildings with some sense of real architecture to define even the fictional building so they’re not quite as outlandish or “Wow, look at all the great brickwork. Where are the windows?” And remembering now that when I do downshots that it’s not just draw just buildings, but remembering the fact that there are streets down there. With folds in clothing, by using photographs for things like that, then I’m doing my interpretation of reality as opposed to doing my interpretation of another artist’s interpretation. If I needed a photograph for a reference for a background and traced the photo on a lightbox and then did all the drawing, I’m still drawing the background. I haven’t copied anybody’s artwork by doing that. I’ve 87

Below: While they’re not in a Miss America pageant and they’re not exactly Amazons, this 2001 commission piece is an excellent display of how George differentiates between the women he draws. Upper Right: Unused design sketches for Titans character, Azrael, which were abandoned when José Luis Garcia-Lopez came on board as the new penciler. Lower Right: Wonder Woman visits “the other side of the island” in this 2001 drawing.

Azrael, Starfire, Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman ™ and ©2003 DC Comics. Sandman, Scarlet Witch, Tigra, Valkyrie, Warbird ™ and ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

taken a recognized shortcut, as artists have done even for drawing portraits. I hated to swipe, but I could swipe from a photo since I was still drawing the thing. That was one of the reasons I kept the Wonder Woman series in Boston. It challenged me to draw her in a real environment. I could play as much as I wanted with Themyscira, but Boston gave me a sense that Wonder Woman was in a real world and that I should try very hard to keep her real. It was a need to be able to diversify. If I hadn’t made a conscious effort to draw things realistically, to use photo references, I don’t think I would be comfortable working for CrossGen, where subtlety is a bit more necessary. All the artists I appreciate on that level—Curt Swan, Neal Adams, Wally Wood, all those people—they all used photo references to learn. MM: With the work at CrossGen, is the photo reference used to make the fantasy settings seem more real? GEORGE: I seem to be channeling more


movie art direction, I guess, depending on the type of world. The most recent issue of Solus—#4—I was harkening back to art deco science fiction, 1950s science fiction, which is what also inspired Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, Steve Ditko. So people were seeing a lot of that in there. Yes, I was channeling them, but with the knowledge they were filtering the 1950s sci-fi look of the time. It was real only in the sense of an art director’s view of what the future was going to look like. One character I drew—just to give him a distinct face—I imagined as a Jewish friend of mine who has what people would consider a stereotypical Jewish face. His was the face I chose; he just happened to be Jewish. I have a much broader view of what is beautiful, what is handsome, and it isn’t always the cookie-cutter face, even on the super-hero. I gave characters broken noses, or a slightly effeminate lip. They had to look different from each other. I compare it to a Miss America pageant. After a while, if you look at enough Miss America

the mind was more exciting than just finding a way of choreographing the next fight. What worked with Wonder Woman I don’t think worked well when I first started on Superman. Silver Surfer was the same thing; I was deconstructing the Silver Surfer as a character. It was a feeling that all the action stuff had pretty much been done. Drawing him away to the other side of the universe— as Mark Gruenwald used to say, “The universe is so large, but he always seems to be going to the same places”—where they’d never heard of him and playing with that, and stripping him of everything that makes him unique so we could study what makes him unique—that’s the stuff I like. I don’t know if they actually make good comics—at least good-selling comics. Thankfully, Wonder Woman was iconic, and while I was drawing the book people were willing to forgive me my excesses. [laughter] When you are a writer, you are the one that has to come in with an idea and then


Previous Page Top: Breakdowns for Action #643, page 13. Brett Breeding later finished the artwork. Previous Page Bottom: Commission of Wonder Woman in her go-go outfit, which she wore during her powerless phase. Left: Layout for the cover of Batman #437. Below: Layouts from pages 3 and 9 of New Titans #59, later to be penciled by Tom Grummett and inked by Bob McLeod. All characters ™ and ©2003 DC Comics.

Thing ™ and ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

George Pérez

Art Gallery

Batman, New Teen Titans ™ and ©2003 DC Comics.

New Teen Titans ™ and ©2003 DC Comics.


Superman ™ and ©2003 DC Comics.

Circe, Wonder Woman ™ and ©2003 DC Comics.


Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Ultron ™ and ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.


George Pérez

Beast, Captain America, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Thor ™ and ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

Modern Masters:

For more than twenty-five years George Pérez has been a fan favorite in the comic book field. From his artwork for The Avengers and Teen Titans to the Crisis on Infinite Earths series which forever changed DC Comics, this versatile and influential artist is known for delivering top-notch art that fans can’t get enough of! Now, this second volume in the new Modern Masters series delves into the artist’s life, as Pérez discusses his Puerto Rican upbringing, how he broke into the comics field, and the attention to detail that has made him one of comics’ top tier talents. Modern Masters Volume 2: George Pérez contains page after page of rare and unseen artwork, illustrating a comprehensive interview with Pérez on his stellar career! Released in conjunction with Pérez’ work in the upcoming JLA/Avengers series—one of the most highly anticipated events in comic book history—this book is the first such retrospective of the highly acclaimed artist, and the ultimate look at the work of a true Modern Master: George Pérez! (128-page trade paperback) $14.95 (Digital Edition) $5.95


Modern Masters Volume 2: George Perez  

For more than twenty-five years George Pérez has been a fan favorite in the comic book field. From his artwork for The Avengers and Teen Tit...

Modern Masters Volume 2: George Perez  

For more than twenty-five years George Pérez has been a fan favorite in the comic book field. From his artwork for The Avengers and Teen Tit...