Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Tony DeZuniga

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Jonah Hex

Tony DeZuniga

No Way Back

Comics artist

Tony DeZuniga Tony DeZuniga 19412012 Inkwell Awards Home

November 8, 1932Manila, Philippines (

Notable works
Adventure Comics (Black Orchid)Arak, Son of ThunderJonah HexWeird Western Tales (Jonah Hex)

May 11, 2012, Las Pinas, Philippines

Similar People
John Albano, Michael Fleisher, Roy Thomas, Archie Goodwin, Bernie Wrightson

Tony dezuniga art exhibit opening

Tony DeZuniga (November 8, 1932 – May 11, 2012) 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 enter the international comic book industry.

Tony DeZuniga Tony DeZuniga First of the Filipino Comics Wave November

Superheroes ii the art of tony dezuniga

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.

Tony DeZuniga RIP Tony DeZuniga The Beat

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.

Tony DeZuniga jhtonydezungiaprint02gif

When he returned to New York City in the late 1960s, DeZuniga entered the American comic book market under 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 U.S. debut as a penciler came with a self-inked horror story for House of Mystery #188 (Sept./Oct. 1970).

DC and Marvel Comics

DeZuniga became 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 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 inked John Buscema's penciled artwork for MGM's Marvelous Wizard of Oz (1975). This comics adaptation of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film was the first joint publishing venture between Marvel and DC Comics.

DeZuniga relocated back to New York from the Philippines in 1977. He worked for industry leaders Marvel and DC for 18 years.

Later career

DeZuniga later became a videogame conceptual designer, spending a decade with the United States and Japan divisions of Sega. He did freelance work for McGraw Hill and the Scholastic Corporation, and illustrated for TSR's Dungeons & Dragons game in 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.

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

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./>

On May 11, 2012, at 1:25 a.m., DeZuniga died from the stroke having led to his subsequent brain damage and heart failure. The doctors attempted to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful.


Accolades for DeZuniga started pouring in after his stroke, even before he died. Fellow comic book creators such as Neal Adams praised him as they encouraged comic book aficionados over the world to help with DeZuniga's hospital expenses. After DeZuniga's death, Marvel Comics issued a statement in his memory stating "Tony DeZuniga stands as a historic figure in comics, a singular voice of his own making. His legacy will be seen and felt in the multitude of fans he leaves behind and the incredible body of work of which he remained justifiably proud to his final days."


  • 1997 Sega Presidents Award for Excellence.
  • 2011 Inkpot Award
  • References

    Tony DeZuniga Wikipedia

    Similar Topics