Dear Mr Perez,
I have not had the pleasure of meeting you in person, something I admit I regret, but I also feel like you have shared so much of yourself with us, to ask more would be almost criminal.
With a career spanning five decades and some of the most important books in comics history, no one born this side of 1950 has earned the label “legend” more.
Many of your fans and admirers will speak of how brilliantly you rejuvenated Wonder Woman for a new world by anchoring her (perfectly, I might add) into the legends of the past. Or an iconic image of Kal-El wielding Mjolnir AND Captain America’s shield. Or Kal-El holding Kara. Or any one of thousands of books and iconic images you have created for us.
However, I have to thank you for what is your most perfect book. Your work with Mr Wolfman on New Teen Titans debuted at the most perfect time for me. Titans became far more than its original premise of just a few kid sidekicks coming together to form their own team.
For me, and I am sure for many more of your fans, the Titans represented the chance to grow and emerge from the shadow and expectations of one’s parents, family history, and past. It took a little longer for Wally and Donna, but in the pages of Titans, we got to watch Dick Grayson’s Robin step out of the 40-year shadow of Batman and become Nightwing.
Comics were and are aspirational. They are escapist adventure that represents the best of what we hope to be. We want to be our best selves in that moment when fate calls upon us. But when a story, or even better an entire series, can tell those stories while also identifying with the simple yet difficult stage of life that is adolescence, it transcends mere fiction to become something far more special. Far more personal.
The fact that it was told through stunning artwork featuring beautifully rendered facial expressions and realistic body posing was a bonus we hadn’t expected.
Your skill elevated Wolfman’s great stories into nigh-perfection. Your partnership generated stories of legend, legends we will forever be thankful for.
Mr Perez, it was work like yours that led me to become a creator myself. I can’t measure the impact of your work on my life, and honestly, the only way I can adequately repay you is to try and have a similar impact on the lives of children who read my work.
And to say, with every fiber of my being, Thank you.