George Perez on Teen Titans at Coliseum of Comics
I recently caught up with the legendary artist George Perez at the Coliseum of Comics in Sanford Florida for the store’s fourth anniversary mini convention and celebration. In attendance were many Super Heroes from Costumers with a Cause, the 501st Imperial Garrison, star trek costumers, artists Shawn Surface, myself Tye Bourdony, Nathan Szerdy and the wonderfully talented Laura Taylor contestant and finalist of the Syfy series Faceoff. But perhaps the most iconic and legendary guest artist in attendance was the amazingly talented comic book artist George Perez.
George was kind enough to sign a copy of the amazing graphic novel he recently created with his longtime collaborator Marv Wolfman, Teen Titans Games. The graphic novel was a revisiting of George’s classic creations form the 80’s DC era when he re-created the New Teen Titans, along with some of the characters such as Cyborg, Raven, Terra and the new costumed identity for Dick Grayson, Nightwing. Mr. Perez was kind enough to talk to me for Sci Fi Pulse while he drew a commissioned piece of artwork for my World War II Zombie Tales stories of the hero, Major Brent Taylor. Thank you sir, the piece is simply beautiful and I already had my fun and colored it.
Being as nostalgic as I was about the fairly new Teen Titans graphic Novel, I asked George what it was like to revisit the team he helped make as successful and popular as it is after so long. The most poignant thing he had to say was, “It was like coming home for me! It was amazing how easy it was to slip back into the characters again.” As a fan of both Mr. Perez’s work as well as the Teen Titans, I innately understood what he meant and appreciated it as both the creator and his creations are inspirational to me.
“Whereas when I created the Avengers versus the Justice League, I kind of had to start from scratch. But not with the Titans, it was like putting on an old glove. It was great to be able to give the Titans the proper farewell that they deserve.” Mr. Perez is referring to the new direction DC is taking with the New 52, which really would not allow for that kind of old Titans story to still take place.
“I do wish I would have been able to draw Donna Troy as Wonder Girl rather than her then current character of Troia, but the timeline being what it was it wasn’t possible. But at least I was able to draw Starfire the way she was meant to be drawn, or at least the way I like her to be drawn.” While I loved talking to George about comics and his legendary creation, the New Teen Titans, I also found out that he is also an actor and got the chance to ask him how he fits in acting with his busy drawing career.
“Well I am lucky that the Teen Titans have been successful enough to have afforded me the ability to take the time I need to participate in the acting company I work with up in Claremont Florida.” Mr. Perez went on to talk about his luck with the success of the Titans with respect to the royalties he receives whenever the characters he created appear on TV or in merchandise. “Between my royalties from the Titans and my convention appearances alone, this year has been my best year ever.” Mr. Perez went on to talk about being able to not only act, but also help the theater with set-design and artwork for the programs along with anything else he could throw his creative talents behind when it comes to his love of acting.
The day at the Sanford Town Center’s Coliseum of Comics was an absolute blast and was all the more special with an appearance by the store’s favorite son; the fabulously talented and generous George Perez. So whenever you are in Sanford, Florida and find yourself in the mall you must go visit the Coliseum of Comics because as Mr. Perez is a local, you may just bump into him buying his weekly quota of comic books. Not only are the folks at the Coliseum very nice, but George himself is gracious, kind, warm and quite down to Earth. It was a pleasure speaking with you sir and thank you!
Tye Bourdony is a Sci Fi cartoonist and creator of ‘The Lighter Side of Sci-Fi’, a mediator and science fiction reporter. He is also a graduate of the Barry University School of Law, SUNY Purchase and H.S. of Music & Art. Tye currently works in Florida’s 9th Circuit as the staff Divorce Mediator and has a regular self-published column in Sci Fi Magazine. You can visit tye on facebook and www.thelightersideofscifi.com.