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Quantum Blog: The Pace is Set

posted Jun 17, 2009, 12:07 AM by Vu Sleeper   [ updated Jun 17, 2009, 12:28 AM ]

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We’ll return to our scheduled saga of my time with Star Trek in Hollywood in a couple of posts. For now, there are a couple of other things I want to talk about. One of them is the man I consider the single greatest living artist in comic books: The one and only George Perez!

Here’s the wrap-around cover of the portfolio book Perez: Accent on the First E, which I ordered through the mail in high school. Click on the image to get the full effect! This early rendering of the Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer, and Galactus demonstrates, even at the dawn of his professional career, everything that George’s work is about. I still have my copy of Accent, signed by George himself. At the time I was heavily into using Prismacolor pencils and I colored some of the drawings in the book, which are mostly black-and-white pencil reproductions. I wish now I hadn’t done that. It’s one of those things you do when you’re very young and not thinking about what you’re doing.

George is one of the last great “classical” comic book artists, the guys who came directly off the influence of the pioneers like Jack Kirby, et al. He names the long-running Superman artist Curt Swan, as well as Kirby, among his major influences. George is also one of the last Marvel artists to have a nickname. In the first generation of Marvel Comics, one of the ways that the company formed bonds and camaraderie with fans was by dubbing its creative talent with nicknames: Stan “The Man” Lee, Jack “King” Kirby, Rascally Roy Thomas, Jazzy John Romita, etc. George was very fittingly dubbed “The Pacesetter” and did his first major work on The Avengers, his favorite Marvel book, with writer Stainless Steve Englehart. (The name “Pacesetter” survives today as the title of the official magazine devoted to George’s work. The only other comic book artist with a regular magazine specifically about him is Jack Kirby himself. A couple of Pacesetter issues contain articles that I wrote about George’s incredible work on the 1979 X-Men Annual and his career breakthrough on the Marvel adaptation of the film Logan’s Run.)

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