George Pérez was a comic book artist and writer known for his work on The Avengers and the game-changing Crisis on Infinite Earths, among many others titles. His contributions to comics and his impact on the medium are now being honored in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution.

In January 2022, Pérez visited the new DC Comics office in Burbank, California, meeting with publisher Jim Lee, retired editor Mike Carlin, and Wolfman. He was given a private tour of the Warner Bros. Studio Museum, which was documented by DC’s Director of Design Steve Cook.

The Cartoon Art Museum and the DC Comics’ archives department contacted the National Portrait Gallery to nominate Cook’s photos of Pérez for inclusion in the National Archives. It also included comments about his contributions to pop culture, his status within the comics community, and his work with charities like the Hero Initiative.

The National Portrait Gallery reviewed his work and formally made the decision to add him to the gallery in December 2023. He is the first comic book artist who has been honored at the National Portrait Gallery.

Pérez’s career took off in the mid-‘70s when he started penciling The Avengers and Fantastic Four. As his skills improved on faces, details, and layouts, Pérez became more and more in demand. In 1980 while he was still on The Avengers, he became the artist on DC’s The New Teen Titans with Marv Wolfman writing.

In ’85 the dynamic creative duo of Pérez and Wolfman collaborated on Crisis on Infinite Earths for DC’s 50th anniversary. The revolutionary limited series crossover restructured DC continuity, and for his part, Pérez packed every panel with detail and many, if not all, of the characters in DC’s catalog.

Two years later he made his mark on Wonder Woman, both as an artist and writer. He drew the JLA/Avengers DC/Marvel crossover that saw the biggest names from each company. In 2006, Pérez created a Wonder Woman cover for The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #36. He continued working on The Brave and the Bold, Superman, Green Arrow, Sirens, and more.

At one time or another during his illustrious career, Pérez drew every major character from both the DC and Marvel Universes. A luminary in the comics industry, Pérez was arguably one of the greatest comic book artists to ever hold a pencil. Pérez died in May 2022 after a three-year battle with cancer.