DeZuniga at the Comics Odyssey, Robinsons Mall, Ortigas, Philippines
November 8, 1932|
|Died||May 11, 2012
Las Piñas, Philippines
|Adventure Comics (Black Orchid)
Arak, Son of Thunder
Weird Western Tales (Jonah Hex)
Tony DeZuniga (November 8, 1932 – May 11, 2012) was a Filipino comics artist and illustrator best known for his works for DC Comics, who co-created the fictional character, Jonah Hex and Black Orchid with John Albano.
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.
Early life and career
DeZuniga began his comics career at the age of 16, 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.
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
DeZuniga went on to become a regular contributor at DC. With writer John Albano, he co-created the long-running western character Jonah Hex, and with Sheldon Mayer the first Black Orchid. 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. 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.
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. In 1989, he illustrated The DragonLance Saga Book Three, written by Roy Thomas.
Upon retirement, DeZuniga began to do commissioned paintings and to teach art. His work has been the subject of at least one gallery exhibition.
Illness and Death
In April 2012, DeZuniga suffered a life-threatening stroke. 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. 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.
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.
- 1997 Sega Presidents Award for Excellence.
Comics work (interior pencil art) includes:
- Adventure Comics (Supergirl) #419-420, 424; (Black Orchid) #428-430 (1972–73)
- All-Star Squadron #62 (1986)
- All-Star Western #2, 6-8, 10-11 (1970–72)
- Amazing World of DC Comics (Jonah Hex) #13 (never published before) (1976)
- Arak, Son of Thunder #38-44, 46-50 (1984–85)
- Batman (Catwoman) #350 (1982)
- Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (1971)
- Detective Comics Annual 01 (1989)
- Ghosts #1-2, 40, 102 (1971–81)
- Girl's Love Stories #160, 168 (1971–72)
- House of Mystery #191, 193, 200, 216, 253 (1971–77)
- House of Secrets #93-94, 111, 120 (1971–74)
- Jonah Hex #5, 39, 54-57, 83-88 (1977–84)
- Jonah Hex, vol. 2, #5, 9 (2006)
- Jonah Hex: No Way Back, graphic novel (2010)
- Phantom Stranger, vol. 2, (Dr. 13) #12-16, 18-19, 21-22, 31, 34 (1971–75)
- Saga of the Swamp Thing (Phantom Stranger) #4 (1982)
- Secrets of Haunted House #2 (1975)
- Sinister House of Secret Love #2, 4 (1971-72)
- Vigilante #30 (1986)
- Weird Mystery Tales #8, 12 (1973-74)
- Weird War Tales #8, 11-14, 18, 22 (1972-74)
- Weird Western Tales (Jonah Hex) #12-14, 16-23 (1972-74)
- Witching Hour #16, 23 (1971-72)
- Black Knight, miniseries, #1-2 (1990)
- Conan the Barbarian #87 (1978)
- Conan the King #47 (1988)
- Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #26-27, 30 (1976)
- Doc Savage #2, 4-6 (1975-76)
- Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #31 (1991)
- Dracula Lives #8, 10-11, 13 (1974–75)
- Freddy Krueger's a Nightmare on Elm Street, miniseries, #1-2 (1989)
- Iron Man #275 (1991)
- Man-Thing #15 (1975)
- Marvel Fanfare (Shanna, the She-Devil) #59 (1991)
- Marvel Preview #2-3, 9 (1975–76)
- Marvel Super Action (Punisher) #1 (1976)
- Monsters Unleashed (Tigra) #10 (1975)
- Rampaging Hulk (Shanna, the She-Devil) #9 (1978)
- Red Sonja, vol. 2, #1 (1983)
- Savage Sword of Conan #1, 3, 181, 192-195 (1974–92)
- Savage Tales (Shanna, the She-Devil) #9 (1975)
- Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #8 (1988)
- Strange Tales #176-177 (1974)
- Thor #250, 255, 404-406 (1977–89)
- Vampire Tales #8-9 (1974–75)
- X-Men #110 (1978)
- Robert E. Howard's Savage Sword (Kull the Conqueror) #3-4 (Dark Horse, 2012)
- Tuason, Tony (11 May 2012). "Filipino Comics Legend Tony DeZuñiga has Passed Away". FLIPGEEKS. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Uy, Jerald (May 14, 2012). "The secret life of Tony de Zuñiga artists". Rappler.com (Rappler). Retrieved May 14, 2012.
- Ubalde, Joseph Holandes (11 May 2012). "Legendary US comics illustrator 'Mang Tony' de Zuniga, 79". InterAksyon.com. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- 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.
- Johnston, Rich (24 April 2012). "Neal Adams Talks About Tony DeZuniga". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- Ubalde, Mark Joseph (30 October 2007). "Tony de Zuñiga: The 'legend' in Pinoy invasion of US comics". GMA News Online. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- 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."
- 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."
- Duncan, Randy and Smith, Matthew J. "Filipino Artists," The Power of Comics: History, Form & Culture (Continuum, 2009).
- "Marvel Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel Two-in-One #35 (Jan. 1978).
- "Tony DeZuniga :: Pen & Paper RPG Database". Archived from the original on March 11, 2005.
- Clute, edited by John; Westfahl, John Grant; contributing editors, Mike Ashley ... [et al.]; consultant editors, David G. Hartwell, Gary (1999). The encyclopedia of fantasy (1st St. Martin's Griffin ed. ed.). New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0312198698.
- The Komkero Live Video Channel: Tony DeZuniga Art Exhibit Opening (Jan. 27, 2007)
- Mahadeo, Kevin (June 17, 2010). "DeZuniga Rides With Jonah Hex". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 18, 2010.
- "Tony DeZuniga in critical condition and needs your help.". Comic Art Community. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Uy, Jerald (April 2012). "Creators, Retailers join forces to help DeZuñiga on Free Comicbook Day". Flipgeeks.com (Flipgeeks). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- 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.
- 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.
- Nepales, Janet Susan R. "Tony de Zuñiga leads Pinoy invasion of Comic-Con". Philippine News. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- The Philippine Comics Art Museum: Tony DeZuniga
- Komikero Presents: Interview with Comics Illustrator Tony DeZuniga (subtitled)
- SUPERHEROES II - Art of Tony DeZuniga at Crucible Gallery, SM Megamall, Philippines