Remembering George Perez

Comic book artist and co-creator of “The New Teen Titans” sparked my love for superhero comics

I’d written the task in my planner: check on George Perez. I’d been worried because I knew it was coming up to the six months life expectancy he was given by his doctors last December. I searched on Facebook for his official page I follow. What came up instead was the obituary. He died on Friday, May 6, 2022, the day before free comic book day. The day before I went to my indie bookstore to check out Nightwing because Black Nerd Problems raved about it. The character Nightwing was co-created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez.

Nightwing comic credits

When I saw the news, I just sat in my chair and burst into tears. I’d been dreading this day. I had a hard time falling asleep that night. Strong, visceral memories played in my head: walking to my drugstore in the summertime to get the latest New Teen Titans comics. Coming home and tucking myself into a chair in the tiny second-floor apartment, that little oasis my mom created, and reading the latest adventures of Wonder Girl and Raven and Starfire and the rest.

Opening panel of “New Teen Titans” showing George Perez as co-creator and artist

Starfire was my favorite. She was a huge part of my teenage girlhood development. She helped me access my femininity and burgeoning—well, more like raging—sexuality. And let’s be real. To my representation-starved self Starfire was an African princess. And I have since been vindicated. Check out these photos of Starfire (played by actor Anna Diop) from the DC “Titans” TV show that’s now on HBO Max.

From thecomicawakens Instagram: Side by side of Starfire as played by Anna Diop on “Titans” and Starfire from “New Teen Titans” comics
From DCTitans Instagram: Anna Diop as Starfire on “Titans”

I mean, gorgeous, right?

Tragically, my New Teen Titans collection went away in a traumatic event that I refer to as “one of the things that got lost in the fire.” Years later I found a bunch of them at the ACE comic expo. I was so relieved to find them then, and I’m that much more glad to have them now. Because even though yet another connection to my youth has passed on, the legacy he left behind is here with me.

2 thoughts on “Remembering George Perez

  1. I stumbled across your page when attempting to look up something about an old friend with the same name as yourself. Anyhow, I happen to be a fan of some DC stuff, all the way back to the Finger and Kane days, and I wanted to correct you. For some reason you credit artist George Perez for inventing Teen Titans, which isn’t true. If you’re talking about the characters themselves, Robin, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire and Raven, that would be Finger, Kane and a couple others but no George Perez. If you’re talking about the 2003 show, that was created by Glen Murakami, David Slack and Sam Register. Anyhow, I love the 2003 Titans and just wanted to correct that detail. He was an excellent artist however and I’m incredibly saddened to hear of his passing. Take care.


    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. As far as the Teen Titans, I was referring to the 1980s comic book series “The New Teen Titans” that Marv Wolfman and George Perez created together. I updated my excerpt so that’s more clear. Thanks for pointing it out.


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