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CSBG Archive

George Perez’s Back Pages

Welcome to the new second bit for March (A Month of LGBT Comics is the other bit)! I had this idea for a bit awhile back, but Travis Pelkie reminded me I should actually, you know, DO it via an e-mail suggestion a month or so ago. So thanks, Travis!

In any event, the idea for the bit is that I’ll share with you the first (or if not the first, very close to the first) American professional work by a notable comic book creator. It’ll be a barrell of laughs! The first honoree is the legendary George Perez! (here is an archive of the creators who have been featured so far)


George Perez broke into comics as an assistant for Rich Buckler in 1973. He worked for him for awhile before getting his first professional work, a short two-page story in the back of August 1974’s Astonishing Tales #25, which featured the debut of Buckler’s brand-new creation, Deathlok. The young Perez (who would be roughly 20 years old at the time) drew the “behind the scenes” story of how Buckler and Doug Moench invented Deathlok.

Two months later, in Monsters Unleashed #8, Perez was given his first major assignment, a Gullivar Jones story, inked by Duffy Vohland and Buckler. Here are the first four pages of the fourteen page tale…

Check back every day this month to see which notable comic book creator we’ll be featuring that day!


Love this theme! Can’t wait for more!

Travis Pelkie

March 2, 2011 at 7:49 am

Wow, I saw my name, and had completely forgotten suggesting this. Duh, oh yeah! Good idea…yeah, since I helped.

Interesting stuff from Perez. I refrained from a snarky comment about Buckler…

[…] series that examines the first US pro comic work by notable creators! His inaugural post is a look at one of my all-time favorite comic book artists, the legendary George Perez. Go enjoy the nascent artwork of this prolific […]

I’m trying to think who Perez seems to be channeling in that early Gullivar Jones work. Seems to be heavily influenced by Starlin and Steranko maybe? It’s always so interesting to see artists’ early influences before they evolve into developing their own style.

I think it’s Buckler, mostly.

Do you mean you think it’s Buckler providing most of the influence or Buckler doing most of the actual artwork? Or both?

Sorry, I phrased that wrong: Do you mean you think it’s Buckler providing most of the influence of Buckler overpowering the actual artwork to look like his own through his inks? Or both?

I never thought about it before, but there definitely is something Buckleresque about Perez’s early stuff. It would make sense.

I think it’s Buckler as his major influence at the time.

Wow, Perez’s art on that Deathlok strip is so much more fluid and animated than his style came to be. Why’d he have to go and stiffen up?

Deathlok– the first ’90s comic. Buckler and Moench were visionaries, weren’t they?

Perez’s first story was from 1974? So he was only working a year or so before he got signed to do the Avengers? Wow. He really must’ve made an impression.


Oddly, I don’t remember that Deathlok strip, but I DO remember that panel of him climbing out of the trash. Was that image ever used in another house ad or something?

wow, I just picked up Astonishing Tales #25 3 days ago and just read that story yesterday.

Pete Woodhouse

March 3, 2011 at 10:20 am

Mary – yeah, Perez must’ve risen very quickly.

I’ve got a Creatures On the Loose #37 (’75-ish – it’s on ebay, folks!) with ManWolf that Perez surely drew just a few months after this Deathlok story, teaming up with Fred Kida on art.
Still looked different to his early Avengers art – or was that early Avengers style down to Vinnie Coletta’s inks?

Deathlok– the first ’90s comic. Buckler and Moench were visionaries, weren’t they?

Well, Deathlok’s stories did take place in the future, after all. It’s just that future turned out to be the 1990s.

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm

It’s always interesting to see an artist’s beginning, and of course, we all know how that particular artist evolved to this day (and age).

Looking upon this page, you’d be hard pressed to recognize Perez’s drawings compared to recent art these days. You can see some traces if one gazes closely. ;-)

If he was aping Buckler, then he was aping Kirby by proxy.
I see a lot of Kirby in those pages, but strangely some Neal Adams as well. Weird.

I remember that Gullivar Jones story got slated for the art at the time, because it suffered badly in comparison to the previous instalment by Dave Cockrum.

Around the same time as this, Perez took over from Giordano on Sons of the Tiger and again there were complaints about his art. But he stayed with that strip and it was remarkable to watch his progress over the next two years as he introduced Jack of Hearts and the original White Tiger.

Sir Manley Johnson

March 20, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Darell D is correct.

“Well, Deathlok’s stories did take place in the future, after all. It’s just that future turned out to be the 1990s.”

I dimly recall that future WAS supposed to be the 90s!

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