George Pérez ist tödlich erkrankt & richtet sich ein letztes Mal an seine Fans

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George Pérez ist tödlich erkrankt & richtet sich ein letztes Mal an seine Fans
© DC Comics

Diese Woche startete mit ungemein traurigen Neuigkeiten: der ikonische und legendäre Comickünstler George Pérez wendete sich über seinen Facebook Account an seine Leser*innen und informierte darüber, dass er schwer an Bauchspeicheldrüsenkrebs erkrankt sei und sich mittlerweile in einem fortgeschrittenem Stadium der Erkrankung befände. Die Diagnose dazu sei ihm erst in den letzten Novembertagen eingegangen.

Nach seinen Aussagen sei die Erkrankung inoperabel, wobei die ihn behandelnden Mediziner*innen gegenwärtig von einer verbleibenden Lebenserwartung von 6 bis 12 Monaten ausgingen.

Pérez gab an, die wenige ihm noch verbleibende Zeit mit seinen Freunden und Familie zu verbringen und außerdem noch ein letztes Signing-Event für seine unzähligen Fans organisieren zu wollen.

Der gefeierte Autor und Zeichner begann seine heldenhafte Karriere in den frühen 1970er Jahren bei Marvel Comics, wo er anfangs vornehmlich Backup-Storys zeichnete. Es dauerte nicht lange bis er als Stammzeichner für die laufende „Avengers“ Reihe eingesetzt wurde und dabei als Co-Schöpfer für die Figur Taskmaster fungierte.

Nach einigen Ausflügen zu anderen Serien wie den „Fantastic Four“ wechselte Pérez zu DC Comics und übernahm die Arbeit an der „Justice League of America“.

Zusammen mit dem kaum minder legendären Autor Marv Wolfman übernahm Pérez die „New Teen Titans“ und schrieb Comicgeschichte. Panini Comics veröffentlicht die Arbeit gerade erstmals in deutscher Übersetzung in einer Paperback-Reihe, wohlgemerkt.

Anschließend entwickelte er - abermals zusammen mit Marv Wolfman - das Mega-Event „Crisis on Infinite Earths“ für DC Comics und schrieb folglich die Origin-Story von Wonder Woman in seiner Arbeit an der Ongoing-Serie der Figur um.

In den frühen 1990ern kehrte George Pérez zu Marvel zurück und wollte dort den Erfolg der Crisis wiederholen. So setzte er zusammen mit Ron Lim die von Jim Starlin verfasste Event-Story „Infinity Gauntlet“ um.

Später trat er noch als Co-Creator von Maestro in der Peter David Story „Hulk: Future Imperfect“ auf, bevor er sich noch weiteren Projekten wie u.a. der ersten „Heroes Reborn“ Initiative widmete.

Hier das vollständige Statement Pérez’, welches er über Facebook veröffentlichte:

From George to his fans, friends and extended family, please read below. This page will serve as a place to connect with George as well as receive updates. Please, respect the privacy of George and his family at this difficult time and reach out ONLY through this avenue.

Thank you and please see below:

To all my fans, friends and extended family,

It’s rather hard to believe that it’s been almost three years since I formally announced my retirement from producing comics due to my failing vision and other infirmities brought on primarily by my diabetes. At the time I was flattered and humbled by the number of tributes and testimonials given me by my fans and peers. The kind words spoken on those occasions were so heartwarming that I used to quip that “the only thing missing from those events was me lying in a box.

”It was amusing at the time, I thought.

Now, not so much. On November 29th I received confirmation that, after undergoing surgery for a blockage in my liver, I have Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer. It is surgically inoperable and my estimated life expectancy is between 6 months to a year. I have been given the option of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, but after weighing all the variables and assessing just how much of my remaining days would be eaten up by doctor visits, treatments, hospital stays and dealing with the often stressful and frustrating bureaucracy of the medical system, I’ve opted to just let nature take its course and I will enjoy whatever time I have left as fully as possible with my beautiful wife of over 40 years, my family, friends and my fans.

Since I received my diagnosis and prognosis, those in my inner circle have given me so much love, support and help, both practical and emotional. They’ve given me peace.

There will be some business matters to take care of before I go. I am already arranging with my art agent to refund the money paid for sketches that I can no longer finish. And, since, despite only having one working eye, I can still sign my name, I hope to coordinate one last mass book signing to help make my passing a bit easier. I also hope that I will be able to make one last public appearance wherein I can be photographed with as many of my fans as possible, with the proviso that I get to hug each and every one of them. I just want to be able to say goodbye with smiles as well as tears.

I know that many of you will have questions to ask or comments to make, and rather than fueling the fires of speculation and well-meaning but potentially harmful miscommunication, I will be returning to the arena of social media by starting a new Facebook account where fans and friends can communicate with me or my designated rep directly for updates and clarification.

For media and press inquiries, please use the contact information on the page as well. Please respect the privacy of my wife and family at this time and use the Facebook page rather than reaching out through other channels.

I may not be able to respond as quickly as I would like since I will be endeavoring to get as much outside pleasure as I can in the time allotted me, but I will do my best. Kind words would also be greatly appreciated. More details to follow once it’s up and running.

Well, that’s it for now. This is not a message I enjoyed writing, especially during the Holiday Season, but, oddly enough, I’m feeling the Christmas spirit more now than I have in many years. Maybe it’s because it will likely be my last. Or maybe because I am enveloped in the loving arms of so many who love me as much as I love them. It’s quite uplifting to be told that you’ve led a good life, that you’ve brought joy to so many lives and that you’ll be leaving this world a better place because you were part of it. To paraphrase Lou Gehrig: “Some people may think I got a bad break, but today, I feel like the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.”

Take care of yourselves—and thank you.

George Pérez

December 7th, 2021

George Pérez auf der New York Comic Con im Jahr 2012 © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons
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8. Dezember 2021 20:50

Das sind beschissene Nachrichten.

Ich wünsche ihm für seine verbleibende Zeit alles Gute.