For those who haven’t heard, comics legend George Perez has been having some health issues lately. He’s diabetic, and complications from that have led to a (hopefully temporary) loss of eyesight in his left eye.
A brief story: last year, I commissioned Talent Caldwell to do a drawing of my character, Bombshell, at Chicago Comic Con. He said it would be done the first day of the show. I came back around closing time, and it wasn’t done. He said to come back the next day, and it would definitely be done. It wasn’t. He said to come back, etc., until the last day of the show. I went back to see him t the end of the last day, and he asked if he could work on it at home and mail it to me. I said that was fine, and we exchanged contact info. As that was going on, I hear from behind me, “Hey, Tal, how’s it going?” I turn around and my jaw almost hit he floor. It was George Perez. And all I could say was, “Oh my God. George Perez.” He thrust out his hand and shook mine and said, “Hey, how’s it going?” I said something about how great it was to meet him. He said, “I’ve been here all weekend. Where were you?” I said I’d had to work my table all day every day. We’re not all George Perez, having people flock to us. Some of us have to mercilessly shill ourselves to get people interested in our stuff. Then George Perez, Talent Caldwell, and little old me (figuratively. I’m 6’4″ and 240 lb.) had a few minute long conversation about how our weekend had gone, what days were the best for sales/crowds, etc.
It was surreal, but that’s what I love about this industry. Almost everyone is so personable and accessible. Even someone like George Perez, someone who earned his stripes at Marvel and DC, someone whose career stretches back decades, who drew New Teen Titans, Avengers, and Crisis on Infinite Earths, is gracious and humble enough to treat someone who barely has their foot in the door as an equal. I will always remember that graciousness and friendliness.
Please, get better, George, and soon.
Incidentally, I did eventually get that Talent Caldwell commission, 9 months later, and it’s now my Facebook profile header.