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Jojo Gabinete: Cabinet Files

A sketch for Tony De Zuniga

Filed under: Features — CabsM0d at 12:40 pm on Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ang pagkamatay ng veteran comic book artist na si Tony De Zuniga ang headline ng ng mga television news program at ng mga diyaryo nitong mga nakaraan na araw.

Nanonood kami noong May 14, 2012, ng isang TV news program, at hindi sana namin papansinin ang balita pero narinig namin ang sinabi ng newscaster na si De Zuniga ang first Filipino comic book artist na nagtrabaho sa DC Comics at co-creator ng mga fictional character nina Jonah Hex at Black Orchid, biglang naalala namin ang matandang lalake na aming nakilala sa Anaheim, California noong November 2009.

PHOTOS courtesy of Alan Guilan of The Philippine Comics Art Museum

Nagpunta kami sa U.S. para panoorin ang laban nina Manny Pacquiao at Miguel Cotto sa MGM Grand Las Vegas noong November 14, 2009.

Kasama namin sa U.S. trip ang mga kaibigan na sina Lhar Santiago at Joe Barrameda.

Mula sa Pilipinas at bago kami pumunta sa Las Vegas, nag-check in kami sa Anaheim Luxury Suites na pag-aari ng kapatid ng aming kaibigan na si Rey Lim.

Si Rey ang nagkuwento sa amin na isang popular Filipino comic book artist at ang asawa nito ang nakatira sa kuwarto na katabi ng aming hotel room.

Nakilala namin ang mag-asawa na nakakasabay pa namin sa breakfast. Nasisilip din namin sa kanyang hotel room ang matandang lalake na walang ginawa kundi ang mag-drawing.

Three days ang itinagal ng pamamalagi namin sa Las Vegas para sa laban ni Pacquiao, na hindi pa congressman noon, at ni Miguel Cotto.

Mula sa Las Vegas, bumalik kami sa Anaheim Luxury Suites at dito ibinigay sa amin ng asawa ng matandang lalake ang sketch ng dalawang nude women.

Na-appreciate namin nang husto ang kabutihan na ipinakita sa amin ng matandang lalake. Kahit hindi niya kami gaanong kakilala, nagbigay siya sa amin ng sample ng kanyang likha.

Nang bumalik kami sa Pilipinas, ipina-frame namin agad sa isang gallery shop ang sketch.

*******

Nalimutan na namin ang kuwento ng nude sketch hanggang mapanood namin sa TV ang news tungkol sa pagpanaw noong May 11 ng isang Tony De Zuniga.

Nang sabihin ng newscaster na popular na popular si Tony sa comics lovers at siya ang unang Pilipino na nagtrabaho sa DC Comics, naalala namin bigla ang matandang lalake na nagbigay sa amin ng nude sketch.

Tiningnan namin ang framed sketch na nasa aming pag-iingat at nang makita namin ang initials na ADZ ( for Antonio DeZuniga ) saka namin na-realize na iisang tao ang matandang lalake at si Tony DeZuniga.

Para makatiyak, itinanong namin kay Joe Barrameda ang pangalan ng matandang lalake na nakilala namin sa Anaheim, California, at dahil hindi rin niya matandaan, nagtanong siya sa isang kaibigan na sumagot ng “Tony De Zuniga. ”

Out of curiosity, nag-research kami sa Internet at dito namin napatunayan na isang legendary comics artist si Mang Tony. Nalaman namin na iginagalang siya sa kanilang mundo at propesyon.

Headline din ng mga TV news program at mga diyaryo ang kanyang pagpanaw.

Napakasuwerte namin dahil nagkaroon kami ng art work ni Mang Tony na maituturing na collectors item at siya pa mismo ang personal na nagbigay sa amin.

Ito ang mga impormasyon tungkol kay Mang Tony mula sa website ni Alan Guilan (www.alanguilan.com) ng Philippine Comics Art Museum.

“Tony De Zuniga was born in the Philippines in 1941. An avid comics reader as a child, Tony’s favorites included Jack Kirby and Alex Toth, and he loved Alex Raymond’s Rip Kirby and Flash Gordon.

“His love for comics inspired him to do comics on his own. He began his career as a letterer when he was 16 for a weekly magazine where he met Alfredo Alcala and Nestor Redondo, artists who he counts as those who have inspired and encouraged him, and became his friends.

“Tony moved to the US in 1962 to study an advanced course in Graphic Design and went back home to the Philippines to work in the advertising industry while at the same time drawing for comics like Hiwaga Komiks, Caravana Klasiks, and Romansa Komiks.

“At the end of the ’60s, Tony moved back to New York and met with DC Editor Joe Orlando and immediately he was given an assignment inking Ric Estrada on a romance story for Girl’s Love Stories #153.

“His first story he penciled and inked on his own was most likely a Dr. Thirteen story for Phantom Stranger, published in April, 1971, and work soon followed regularly.

“He was soon given the chance to co-create a new character with writer John Albano, which eventually became Jonah Hex, one of the more enduring modern day characters in the DC Universe.

“Tony then paved the way for other Filipino comics artists to enter the US industry when he convinced DC Editor in Chief Carmine Infantino and Joe Orlando to visit the Philippines in 1971.

“Artists like Alex NiƱo, Alfredo Alcala, Nestor Redondo, Fred Carrillo, Vicatan, Gerry Talaoc and so many more found a lot of work on DC’s stable of Mystery and War titles as a result.

“Tony went on to draw Black Orchid, X-Men, Punisher, etc. Retired, Tony spends his time painting in oil, watercolor, acrylic, charcoal and entering competitions.

“He also does many portrait commissions and teaches portrait, drawing and a how to draw superheroes class at the Lodi Arts Commission.”

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