Topic: BALTIMORE CON ESCAPES THE SNIPER
posted 10-29-2002 04:36 PM
Call me a geek, but I love convention centers, and really enjoyed the Baltimore Convention Center.
really excited on Sunday to see so many people in downtown Baltimore all
dressed up in costume and headed for the show, until I realized that
those folks were actually dressed up in costume to attend the Baltimore
Ravens/Pittsburgh Steelers football game.
Charles Brownstein surprise George Perez by presenting him the
absolutely gorgeous Defender of Liberty Award at the Friday was quite
touching. I'm still thinking of ways that I can possibly help the comics
industry and specifically the CBLDF so that some day I may be deserving
of such an honor.
That last paragraph above confused me, because I did not know who
actually won the award. Upon some research, I was able to find out that
Charles Brownstein works for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund,
who are the presenters of the award. So it is a safe assumption that
Pérez won the award! This was the original award that George was
suposed to receive in 2000, please read Andy Mangel's explanation: October 29, 2002 | Defender of Liberty.)
GEORGE PÉREZ RECEIVES CBLDF DEFENDER OF LIBERTY AWARD
GEORGE PÉREZ has been honored with the 2000
DEFENDER OF LIBERTY AWARD. Bestowed by the
COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND, this annual
award recognizes outstanding efforts to promote and
protect free speech in the comics community. The award
was presented to Pérez by 1999 Defender of Liberty
BRIAN PULIDO on April 28 following the Harvey Awards
at the PITTSBURGH COMICON.
Pérez is an industry veteran whose work has delighted
fans for more than a quarter of a century. His epic work on
"The Avengers," "The Teen Titans," and "Crisis On Infinite
Earths" is superhero storytelling at its finest. He 's found
renewed popularity re-assembling "The Avengers" with
writer KURT BUSIEK, and his creator-owned comic
"Crimson Plague" will re-launch with Gorilla Comics this
summer. In recent years, Pérez has proven himself a
consistent and gifted fundraiser for the Comic Book Legal
Defense Fund and other charities.
"I'd like to let everyone know just how important the
CBLDF is to me," said Pérez, "and to the entire comics
industry. If we want to be creative, if we want to have a real
variety of work out there, work that not only indulges
people's fantasies but challenges their intellect, than
nothing should be so sacred or profane that it cannot be
talked about, or written about, or drawn about. The day we
let a small faction of society say not 'we don't like what
you're doing,' but 'we won't allow you to do it,' that's the day
that every single principle of this country starts to fall apart.
And I will do my damnedest to be the last man standing on
that day if I have to be. But with the CBLDF I won't have to
be the last man standing. I'll have an army with me."
True to his words, Pérez has raised well over $15,000 for
the CBLDF in the last three years alone. In the process,
he's alerted countless fans and industry professionals
about the very real censorship issues which affect
everyone in the comics community. "My modus operandi
at all comic conventions is to choose a charity and donate
every cent that I make from doing sketches," said Pérez.
"It's a lot more meaningful and beneficial than simply
making a donation. And by sketching non-stop for a full
three day show, I've found I can really raise a lot of money."
Pérez's stamina at these marathon sketching sessions is
legendary. He'll often sketch for more than eight hours at a
time, and he's been known to take sketch orders back to
his hotel room to finish after the convention floor closes.
"As my wife will attest, when I get home I suffer from a
severe case of not being twenty. You may see me as Iron
Man, but you don't see me at home when all the bolts start
to fall out. I'm at full throttle at conventions because I get to
watch the fans at their best. When you tell them where the
money is going, the good vibes I get just make me want to
do more. It's a great feeling to inspire a fan or another
professional to help out. There's a lot of good out there,
and I get to see it first-hand. I leave shows feeling
Fans of Pérez's work aren't the only ones to come out for
these events. He' s often joined by his friends and fellow
comics professionals, including Busiek, "Avengers"
colorist TOM SMITH, and Crimson Plague models DINA
SIMMONS and SHANNON LOWER. With their
assistance, Pérez raised $3,000 over three days at
Wizard World 1999, and over $2,000 in just one day at
Megacon 2000. "The next show I do," he promised, "I've
got some records to break!"
Pérez will be doing more charitable work, and not just for
the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. His next scheduled
appearance is at HEROES CON (June 16-18 in Charlotte,
NC) where he'll be raising money for the CBLDF and the
Burned Children's Fund. After that, look for him at BIG
EASY CON 2001 (Memorial Day weekend in New
Orleans), where he'll be helping out the CBLDF before
boarding MAKING WAVES, the second CBLDF
fundraising cruise. Pérez has also raised thousands of
dollars for the Make-A Wish-Foundation and to benefit
those suffering from muscular dystrophy and diabetes.
"When I read about some of the cases the CBLDF funds,"
admitted Pérez, "I might be unfamiliar with some of the
books involved. But that doesn't matter. I have the choice
to read them or not. The fact that I have that choice is what
makes the CBLDF so important. I don't want someone
else telling me what I can and can't read. I'm a 45 year old
artist, I should have that right.
"It's both an honor and an inspiration to be recognized with
the Defender of Liberty," he continued. "I hope the fact that
I'm such a mainstream comics artist makes my dedication
to the Fund all the more meaningful. There are those out
there who will try to stop a comic book because they say it
might encourage a child to put on a cape and try to fly out
a window! We've all got to be vigilant. I'll have no one to
blame but myself if something were to happen to me and
the CBLDF wasn't there because I didn't choose to
support it when I didn't need to. None of us can afford to be
complacent. If we love this industry, hard times and good
times, we have to fight to protect it. No creator or retailer
or fan should think themselves so safe that they don't need
The Comic Book Legal
Defense Fund is a non-profit organization protecting First Amendment
rights in the comics community. Donations and inquiries should be
directed to the CBLDF at P.O. Box 693, Northampton, MA 01061. For more
CBLDF news and information, pick up a copy of "Busted!," the Fund's free
quarterly newsletter, or visit the CBLDF web-site at http://www.cbldf.org.