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20 illustrations tribute to Gene Deitch: Tom & Jerry and Popeye Designer

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Gene Deitch name probably doesn't mean anything to you, but his pencil stroke undoubtedly rocked your childhood. Disappeared at the age of 95 on April 16, the artist is one of the leading designers of "Tom and Jerry" and "Popeye".

Major figure in the golden age of American animation, Eugene Merril Deitch (alias Gene) began his career drawing planes of Airplanes before being recruited by the American army to become a pilot during the second war-world. It was only after the war that he returned to his first love for drawing by making magazine covers before being spotted by Disney alumni who asked him to become artistic director of the company United Productions of America.

After moving to the Czech Republic, Gene Deitch began directing the animated short film "Munro", with which he won the Oscar for the best animated short film in 1961. It was after this dedication that he will be brought to realize several episodes of Popeye then Tom and Jerry with the MGM studio. He then produced 13 episodes, widely criticized at the time by cartoon fans, but which made Tom and Jerry the most profitable series of the time before the Looney Tunes.

A full-fledged artist who participated in the success of characters we still love and who deserves his tributes. This is why we share with you today some twenty illustrations by professional or amateur artists that we have detected on social networks. And if you love Tom and Jerry, we strongly recommend that you (re) discover the unusual art of Taku Inoue, who turns Tom's misadventures into sculptures.

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