One of the nicest people I have ever met at a convention is George Perez. He is one of the special few who, despite the arduous days and lengthy lines of endless signature requests, takes each one with a smile and makes each fan feel special.
So I was taken aback when I first learned that George was rushed in an ambulance to a hospital as soon as he disembarked in Secaucus, New Jersey. Instead of heading to the 2017 East Coast Comic Con he headed to the emergency room. From what I heard that day, he was having pains in his chest and many feared blood clots. Blood clots are one of those deadly little things that can turn from a blockage to a pulmonary embolism very quickly.
It turns out that he did indeed have blockage but not from clotting. Perez has already undergone one surgery to place a stent near the site of blockage. He will be undergoing another procedure for the left side as well.
What that means is – most importantly – that he will be OK. It also means that he will have some rather lengthy recovery time and there many be some appearances and convention scheduling that needs to be moved around or even cancelled.
That is ok with me. Take all the time you need to get back to 100% George! Us – your fans – will be here for you when you’re ready.
A Statement from George Perez:
“I am so genuinely flattered, humbled, and grateful for all the emails, texts, phone calls and messages that I’ve received regarding my latest medical situation. To clarify the facts to everyone: Yes, I did have a heart attack. I was on a plane leaving from Los Angeles, CA, heading to Secaucus, NJ for a comic convention when I started to feel some discomfort in my chest. It was mild and sporadic at first, but became more intense after I checked into my hotel in New Jersey.
I called the front desk and they called for an ambulance. I also phoned my longtime friend and art agent Spencer Beck, who contacted my wife Carol, who was visiting friends in England. He figured correctly that news of my affliction and possible speculations could fill the social networks, and didn’t want Carol to find out that way. At first it was speculated that I may have had blood clots that may have reached my heart or lungs, but a second EKG determined that I had indeed suffered a heart attack with some rather severe blockage in some of the vessels.
As of this writing, I have already undergone one operation to place a stent to clear the blockage on the right side of my heart and am scheduled to have the left side taken care of today. So far, recovery has been going well and life should be relatively normal after that, although I may have to pull back on the non-stop sketching-marathons that people have come to expect from me at conventions. There may even be a few cancelations, depending on medical advice.
I apologize in advance to those I may disappoint. With this new medical wrinkle added to my past issues regarding my eyesight, there are likely a good number of you feeling a bit sorry for me. Please, don’t be. I’ve had a great run and have been blessed not only with a great career, but also, thanks to all of you nice people buying video games, t-shirts, action figures, collected editions, and watching all those movies and TV shows, my royalty income allows me financial security for life. There are so many of my peers who do not have that luxury. Unfair, but true. So, if these bits of misfortune do need to happen to someone, let it be me. Granted, my output may be curtailed, but I will still be drawing, and loving it as much as ever. Thank you all for caring.
See you in the funny papers.”