I learned last week that Tony DeZuniga, co-creator of the DC Comics character, Jonah Hex, passed away last week. Mr. DeZuniga penciled many books for DC and Marvel from the 1970s on, including Batman, Detective Comics, Phantom Stranger, Vigilante, Iron Man, X-Men, Thor and countless others. His most famous work, however was on Jonah Hex.
I became familiar with DeXuniga’s work when DC release the Jonah Hex showcase back in the mid-2000s. This black and white book collected issues of Weird Western Tales starring Jonah Hex. I loved the stories and spent most of the next year picking up the original backissues. The stories were excellent, and the artwork was a notch above much of the art of the period.
Most recently, DeZuniga drew a hardcover Jonah Hex story, written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. This was released in 2010 in anticipation of the unfortunate Jonah Hex feature film. The graphic novel, however, was excellent. I’m sorry to see another talented creator leave this world, but thankful for the body of work he left behind. He created some of the best western images in the history of comics, and will be remembered by fans for years to come.
DeZuniga suffered a stroke, heart failure and brain damage last week and passed away on Friday at 1:25 am. He was surrounded by his wife Tina and daughter, Sheryl.