UPDATE: GEORGE PÉREZ Cancels 2017 Con Appearances to Focus on Health

"Focus on George Perez" cover
Credit: George Perez (Fantagraphics)
Credit: George Perez

Updated May 12, 2017: George Pérez has issued a new update on his health and recovery from a recent heart attack. According to the veteran creator, his prognosis is positive, but will require the cancellation of his remaining planned convention appearances for 2017.

Here is Pérez's statement in full:

Hello again.
 
First of all I want to once again thank all the wonderful people who have sent me good wishes, positive thoughts and prayers regarding my recent heart attack. Although I feel much better now after the two operations, I have been warned by my cardiologist about the pitfalls of being too complacent or overconfident. 

I have been reminded that my heart has been injured and weakened and that it will take time and patience to fully heal. My doctors (and my understandably frightened wife) were especially and specifically adamant about my need to avoid flying and participating in the marathon sketching and signing sessions I have done for so many years. It’s just more than my body can take, at least for the next several months. I am being set up for some cardio-rehab sessions and have hooked up with a new endocrinologist to help manage my diabetes. I'm also still undergoing treatments for my eyes as well, so it is going to be a pretty extensive overhaul for me, with the hopes of coming out a much improved version of my current self.
 
This harsh slap of reality is very stinging, but it is unavoidable. I'm a man of limitations right now and those limitations mean that I will now have to disappoint a lot of fans and cause major inconvenience to a lot of convention organizers who relied on me to help bolster attendance at their functions.
 
I hate this, I really do. I feel so much better than when I had the attack, but I'm not as healed as I felt I was. My engine is damaged and needs time to be repaired.
 
So, as should come as no surprise to anyone reading this now, I am forced, under doctor’s orders to cancel all convention appearances for at least the rest of the year. I've already contacted all the organizers, who were extremely kind and understanding, and they will be making announcements of their own once this update is made public. 
 
I have also had to cancel other more personal travels, like a vacation with my wife in New York (including seeing Glenn Close in SUNSET BOULEVARD) and a wedding of a young couple closer than family to me. To put it mildly, this sucks. But, it’s what needs to be done right now if I'm ever to return to the convention circuit again (albeit at a slower pace).
 
One exception is an appearance at a charity event supporting the LOVE IS LOVE project to be held during MegaCon on Friday, May 26th between 6:30 & 7:30 (creators only) and 7:30 to 10 PM for paid attendees (limit of 150 tickets). I will only be signing & chatting only ( no sketches, sorry ), but it’s for a good cause and I hope I get to see a good number of fans there. 
 
I have had a good life, and still do, and this is just a bump in the road. With proper maintenance the ruts in the road will be smoothed out. But until then, there is work I must do, and with the support and love of my wife, family, friends and fans, I will see you all again real soon!
 

Original story: George Pérez has given an update to fans following a heart attack that led him to cancel his appearance at this past weekend's East Coast Comic Con in Secaucus, New Jersey.

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.

George Pérez

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