THE GEORGE PEREZ INTERVIEWS: The master artist also reveals a little secret about Superman…
UPDATED 5/13/22: The great George Perez has died at the age of 67. This first ran in June 2019 as part of THE GEORGE PEREZ INTERVIEWS. We re-present it here. Click here for our complete index of Perez features. — Dan
Welcome to THE GEORGE PEREZ INTERVIEWS, a weekly series where the comics master discusses his greatest series.
Over 13 weeks, Perez, who’s retiring from the world of comics, gives you his take on each installment of our recent TOP 13 GEORGE PEREZ COUNTDOWN, which was written by 13th Dimension contributor Anthony Durso. (Click here for much more on that.) The segments are culled from a panel Perez and I did at East Coast Comicon.
Last time was #3 — The New Teen Titans. (Click here.)
This week, it’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, which Perez launched with writer Marv Wolfman in 1985:
Dan Greenfield: Number 2 on the list was Crisis on Infinite Earths:
George Perez: Ah, yes. I call it my fanboy wet dream. (Laughter.) Again, from what I’ve been told, I was not the original artist signed to the book. But the reason I wasn’t asked was because I had worked on The New Teen Titans and everything else, they didn’t know if I’d be interested.
When I heard about it and came in, when they were still doing story conferences about it, I had my fingerprints all over it before I even touched a page: “Are you crazy?! Unless you have somebody you really want, I would love to do a book like this. Draw everybody? Now you do mean everybody right? We don’t have to leave anybody out?” (Laughter.)
They did leave somebody out — Hal Jordan wasn’t in that book, I always regretted that. Because John Stewart was the predominant Green Lantern at the time. But I said, “No, I will gladly do it,” and they said, “Do you really want to?” I said, “Yes!”
It was, again, like the Who’s Who covers — how many times can I draw the Legion and Anthro? I can go from future to past. I can draw characters (from the) obscure to the most well-known. I can do the Golden Age Superman in addition to the regular, modern day Superman!
And paying attention, you’ll notice the two Supermen move differently, that they act differently, because I was channeling in my mind George Reeves and Christopher Reeve. And as I was drawing them together I would hear Christopher Reeve to George Reeves: (hums the Superman movie theme and segues into the TV theme). I had the themes running in my head! I was having such a grand, grand time.
I take great pride because … I’m not the fastest artist (but) I never missed — only one issue shipped late and it wasn’t my fault! Ironically, it was the ‘death of the Flash’ issue. The Fastest Man Alive, and it was the one issue that was late. (Laughter.)
Because the printers had a stack of books that they printed on a schedule, and Crisis wasn’t on the top of their pile so they did it in order of what was on top of the pile. What they should have gone by was the priority of the sales. So I think Our Army at War printed on time, and Crisis came out a week late. But it was on time! I actually drew that in record time. Again, ironic that it was the Flash issue.
I also take great pride that all the Crisis stories that have been done since then, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis… mine is the only one where the same artist drew every page. I didn’t miss an issue. (Applause.)
NEXT: JLA/AVENGERS. Click here.
— The GEORGE PEREZ INTERVIEWS Index. Click here.
— GEORGE PEREZ’s TOP 13 Comics Series — RANKED. Click here.
NOTE: The text has been edited and condensed for clarity.