Pinoy cartoonist behind 'Jonah Hex'

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jun 26 2010 08:52 PM | Updated as of Jun 29 2010 09:02 PM

LOS ANGELES - Tony DeZuniga has over 40 years of experience drawing comics and creating characters and villains. The 75-year old, University of Santo Thomas graduate is considered a comic book legend. One of the creations he’s best known for is now a major motion picture.

“Jonah Hex” opened in movie theaters on June 18th. Oscar nominee Josh Brolin plays the title character.

“In a way, I think I’m very lucky. There’s hundreds and hundreds of superhero characters, and he (Jonah Hex) was picked,” said DeZuniga.

"Jonah Hex" follows the story of an anti-hero cowboy. When DeZuniga first created him in 1971, he did not know how to create the trademark disfigured face. DeZuniga recalls he was inspired during a visit to the doctor.

“When I went to my doctor, I saw this big chart, this beautiful chart of the human anatomy, and you know how it is when you go to the doctor, and I saw the anatomy of the figure was split in half, straight from head to toe, half. Half his skeleton was there, half his nerves and muscles. That’s where I got the idea it won’t be too bad if his distortion would be half,” explained DeZuniga.

Despite DC comics’ recent movie successes with “The Dark Knight” and “Watchmen,” “Jonah Hex” managed to make only five million dollars on its opening week.

The creator believes, the movie should have stuck closer to the original plot.

“I’m still wishing them a lot of luck, the movie wasn’t bad, the way it was played it was OK, a lot of action in it, but like I said, if they stuck to a real western story it would’ve been a lot better,” said DeZuniga.

To coincide with the movie, DC Comics also published “Jonah Hex; No Way Out”. DeZuniga helped publish the 130 page graphic novel.

No matter how dismal the sales have been, DeZuniga is proud to have his character immortalized on film. Balitang America