Tony DeZuniga

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Tony DeZuniga
Tony DeZuniga 2011.jpg
DeZuniga on June 19, 2011 at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo.
Born (1932-11-08)November 8, 1932[1][2][3]
Manila, Philippines
Died May 11, 2012(2012-05-11) (aged 79)
Las Piñas, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Area(s) Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Adventure Comics (Black Orchid)
Arak, Son of Thunder
Jonah Hex
Weird Western Tales (Jonah Hex)

Tony DeZuniga (November 8, 1932 – May 11, 2012)[1] was a Filipino comics artist and illustrator best known for his works for DC Comics. He co-created the fictional characters Jonah Hex and Black Orchid.

DeZuniga was the first Filipino comic book artist whose work was accepted by American publishers, paving the way for many other Filipino artists to break into the international comic book industry.[4][5][6]

Biography[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

DeZuniga began his comics career at the age of 16,[4] as a letterer for Liwayway, a Filipino weekly magazine whose contributors included comic book artists Alfredo Alcala and Nestor Redondo, who would later become his mentors.

He eventually received a Bachelor of Science degree in commercial art from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. In 1962, he came to the United States to study graphic design in New York City. He returned to his native country to work in advertising and to freelance for Filipino comics.[4]

When he returned to New York City in the late 1960s, DeZuniga broke into the American comic books market under the editor, Joe Orlando, at DC Comics, inking pencil art by Ric Estrada on a romance comics tale for Girl's Love Stories #153. DeZuniga's American-comics debut as a penciler came with a self-inked horror story for House of Mystery #188 (Sept./Oct. 1970).

DC and Marvel Comics[edit]

DeZuniga went on to become a regular contributor at DC. With writer John Albano, he co-created the long-running western character Jonah Hex,[7] and with Sheldon Mayer the first Black Orchid.[8] DeZuniga also served as an introduction to what would be a 1970s influx of Filipino artists to American comics, prompting Orlando and DC publisher Carmine Infantino to visit the Philippines in 1971 to scout talent.[9] Among the artists found there who would soon become mainstays of both DC and Marvel Comics were Alfredo Alcala, Alex Niño, Nestor Redondo, and Gerry Talaoc.[9]

DeZuniga relocated back to New York from the Philippines in 1977.[10] He worked for industry leaders Marvel and DC for 18 years, drawing such prominent Marvel characters as the X-Men and Spider-Man.

Later career[edit]

DeZuniga later became a videogame conceptual designer, spending a decade with the U.S. and Japan divisions of Sega. He had also done freelance work for McGraw Hill and the Scholastic Corporation, and for TSR's Dungeons & Dragons game on books such as In Search of Dragons.[11] In 1989, he illustrated The DragonLance Saga Book Three, written by Roy Thomas.[12]

Upon retirement, DeZuniga began to do commissioned paintings and to teach art. His work has been the subject of at least one gallery exhibition.[13]

He also returned to Jonah Hex with Jonah Hex: No Way Back a graphic novel released to coincide with the Jonah Hex film.[14]

Illness and Death[edit]

In April 2012, DeZuniga suffered a life-threatening stroke.[15] Doctors were able to save him, but numerous complications quickly arose. Both the Philippine and international comics community made an effort to raise funds for his treatment.[5] During Free Comic Book Day on May 5, 2012, Filipino comic book artists banded together and launched a sketch drive, t-shirt sale and auction to help raise funds.[16][17]

On May 11, 2012, at 1:25 a.m., DeZuniga died from the stroke having led to his subsequent brain damage and heart failure.[1] The doctors attempted to resuscitate him but could not.[1][18]

Legacy[edit]

Accolades for DeZuniga started pouring in after his stroke, even before he died. Fellow comic book creators, Neal Adams and Neil Gaiman, were all praises for him as they encouraged comic book aficionados all over the world to help out with DeZuniga's hospital expenses.

Awards[edit]

  • 1997 Sega Presidents Award for Excellence.[19]

Bibliography[edit]

Comics work (interior pencil art) includes:

DC[edit]

DeZuniga's cover for Weird Western Tales #14 (DC, Oct.-Nov 1972).

Marvel[edit]

Other publishers[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Tuason, Tony (11 May 2012). "Filipino Comics Legend Tony DeZuñiga has Passed Away". FLIPGEEKS. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Uy, Jerald (May 14, 2012). "The secret life of Tony de Zuñiga artists". Rappler.com (Rappler). Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ Ubalde, Joseph Holandes (11 May 2012). "Legendary US comics illustrator 'Mang Tony' de Zuniga, 79". InterAksyon.com. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Valmero, Anna (July 2, 2010). "‘Jonah Hex’ creator is a hero for Filipino comic book artists". loqal.ph (Filquest Media Concepts, Inc.). Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Johnston, Rich (24 April 2012). "Neal Adams Talks About Tony DeZuniga". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Ubalde, Mark Joseph (30 October 2007). "Tony de Zuñiga: The 'legend' in Pinoy invasion of US comics". GMA News Online. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  7. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "The Western comic had all but ridden off into the sunset, until the arrival of Jonah Hex gave the genre a new face...A tale by John Albano and drawn by Tony DeZuniga immediately presented the bounty hunter as a cold-blooded killer." 
  8. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 156: "Very little was known about the Black Orchid, even after writer Sheldon Mayer and artist Tony DeZuniga presented her so-called "origin issue" in Adventure Comics."
  9. ^ a b Duncan, Randy and Smith, Matthew J. "Filipino Artists," The Power of Comics: History, Form & Culture (Continuum, 2009).
  10. ^ "Marvel Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel Two-in-One #35 (Jan. 1978).
  11. ^ "Tony DeZuniga :: Pen & Paper RPG Database". Archived from the original on March 11, 2005. 
  12. ^ Clute, edited by John; Westfahl, John Grant; contributing editors, Mike Ashley ... [et al.]; consultant editors, David G. Hartwell, Gary et al. (1999). The encyclopedia of fantasy (1st St. Martin's Griffin ed.). New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0312198698. 
  13. ^ The Komkero Live Video Channel: Tony DeZuniga Art Exhibit Opening (Jan. 27, 2007)
  14. ^ Mahadeo, Kevin (June 17, 2010). "DeZuniga Rides With Jonah Hex". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Tony DeZuniga in critical condition and needs your help.". Comic Art Community. Retrieved 11 May 2012.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  16. ^ Uy, Jerald (April 2012). "Creators, Retailers join forces to help DeZuñiga on Free Comicbook Day". Flipgeeks.com (Flipgeeks). Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  17. ^ Papa, Micaela (reporter) (May 5, 2012). Balitanghali: Comic Book fans, nagsama-sama sa fund raising activity pra kay Tony Dezuñiga [Lunchtime News: Comic Book Fans Come Together in a Fund Raising Activity for Tony Dezuñiga] (news program segment). Comics Odyssey Robinson's Galleria, Ortigas, Pasig: GMA Network, Inc. 
  18. ^ Agustin, Jon Lindley (May 11, 2012). "Comics artist Tony de Zuñiga dies at age 79.". GMA News Online (Quezon City: GMA Network,Inc.). Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  19. ^ Nepales, Janet Susan R. "Tony de Zuñiga leads Pinoy invasion of Comic-Con". Philippine News. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]