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LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MEETING GEORGE PEREZ.

Marble City Comicon is happening in Knoxville this weekend, and I got to achieve one of the things on my bucket list: meeting George Perez in person.

Starters:

- He wandered into the meeting room without a moderator and told us we almost ended up having to wait a very long time because the con people had forgotten to pick him up at his hotel which was all the way out in Cedar Bluff (a good twenty minutes even without bad interstate traffic) and he’d had to call them.

- He was very gracious though and since there were very few of us and no moderator, he let us ask however many questions we wanted in whatever order we happened to ask, making it feel less like a regular con Q&A and more like a roundtable.

Some stuff from my notes:



On leaving the Teen Titans book: “I was earning top pay whether I pushed myself or not, and that’s bad. I was letting myself ‘get by’. That’s how you stagnate.”

Costume design: Lots of mistakes were made. For example, he didn’t think how badly the blue and white asymmetrical Wasp costume that’s his most associated one would come off in real life until his niece wanted to cosplay it and found she couldn’t because it was so uncomfortable. So more often than not lately, he relies on his wife, who’s a seamstress, to help him. Major source of inspiration is the voices of the characters themselves, i.e. Wasp’s position as a fashion designer.

Leaving DC: No animosity, but creative control caused a lot of it. “There’s a major difference between writing a story and manufacturing a story.” + Micromanaging from too many editors who were clashing in decisions on what should be done/had no idea what should be done.

Collaborators: Marv Wolfman = Gold Standard for taking a chance on him when he still wasn’t well-known, for splitting pay and royalties with him to help him become established, for giving him necessary credit, and for working closely with him. Kurt Busiek = Silver Standard for also doing most of the above, but doesn’t rate as high because Perez worked with him while already a top name, rather than a nobody who needed help.

On creative freedom: “The Best feeling is being able to draw without being desperate for the money, and I have people like Marv and editor Karen Berger and all the fans like you guys to thank for that.”

On his current project for Boom!: “The publisher told me he didn’t want me to tell him the story. He didn’t want to know anything about it, because he wanted it to be a surprise to him. My god, I love it!”

Editors: Micromanaging is a pain. Being redirected without being told what to do = best editors.

Character Design: Hilariously, Trigon was unintentionally based on Hot Stuff from Harvey Comics. If had the chance to do a character over, would have done Brother Blood differently. Less of a typical comic book villain and more of an exaggerated preacher; someone people would actually follow in a cult.

Cosplay: Cosplayers often cause design regret a la “Oh… why did I cover that in tiny feathers? Remember, as my niece will attest with Wasp, what works on print doesn’t always work in real life.” Loves cosplayers, though, for taking his designs, running with them, and sometimes kicking ass with them.

And those were my notes.

After the questions were over, he asked us to bring up all our stuff for him to sign, and when I went first (I had the nerve to go first! I am so pleased with myself!) and opened up Avengers 201 to the Wasp costume I wanted him to sign, he said that he’d totally forgotten he’d done that one, and then thanked me for reminding him about it, because it actually looked like something his niece could wear, since she was insisting her Wasp costume had to be one he’d come up with.

And then.

And then, since only, like, six of us came to the sesson, he offered us all free sketches on the backboards of the comics we’d brought for him to sign.

I have a sketch of Wasp by George Perez.

I was so happy I was shaking when I went back out, and I nearly threw up on the sidewalk as we left the convention center.









Sorry for the image quality. My camera suddenly choked in the middle of the session, so I had to quickly borrow a phone.




Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
hiyami
Apr. 13th, 2014 12:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this! :)
I wish I can meet him one day, his Teen Titans were how I got hooked on DC while I was a forever Marvel fan, back in the days.

And I still think he's one of the top artists of these days (and possibly now, though I must say I haven't kept in touch enough with his work).

I'm surprised so few of you got there to get an autograph in the end?
cosmicbiscuit
Apr. 13th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
Part of the reason so few came was because of more miscommunication. The con organizers made it sound like the Q&A session was going to be the only time he was going to be there, while Perez himself had said on his facebook that he was going to have a booth doing paid sketches the next two days. So most people took the latter option, as it was cheaper, even though it meant not really getting to talk to him. I just paid out more in desperation because OMG getting to hear his thoughts on things.
jcfiala
Apr. 13th, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC)
Fantastic!
thefireisblack
Apr. 17th, 2014 11:13 am (UTC)
He sounds like an awesome guy. Might need to dig into his work and see what else he's got!
icon_uk
Apr. 21st, 2014 10:46 am (UTC)
George Perez is a legend, but he's earned the esteem he is held in by being one hell of an artist, but moreso because he is one spectacular human being.
90scartoonman
May. 11th, 2014 02:57 am (UTC)
Love what he said about character designs...thanks for sharing! His shirt is...oddly subdued.
curlyjo1
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:57 pm (UTC)
I do believe that's the only picture I've ever seen of him where he's not wearing a Hawaiian shirt. o.O
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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