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Tony Di Preta, 1921-2010
posted June 10, 2010


The writer and comics industry historian Mark Evanier notes the passing of Tony Di Preta on June 2. The cause of death was respiratory and cardiac arrest. He was 88 years old.

Di Preta was born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1921. He was broadly educated, counting Columbia University, University of Connecticut the Stamford Guild art school and the Tudor City studio owned by Lou Fine. Targeting comics as a way to become rich during the final years of the Great Recession, Di Preta began in comic books and comic strips at roughly the same time, performing coloring tasks on various books at Quality while lettering for Tim Tyler's Luck. Mark Evanier suggest his first solo comics work was published in 1941. His credits seeped like spilled ink across the page, touching a variety of that era's publisher such as Timely and Ace. He had a substantial run at Hillman mid-decade, and went through a period of working for the Lev Gleason's comics in the late 1940s.

It was around the time of the Gleason comics gigs that Di Preta worked in syndicated comic strips, assisting on Mickey Finn for a decade and then assuming art duties on Joe Palooka in 1955. He was the strip's artist when the feature was put to rest in 1984. He moved over to Rex Morgan, MD in 1984 and did that strip until 2000.

He continued to keep in a hand with comic books, contributing to various mystery titles at Timely during their Atlas period, putting time in on the Beetle Bailey comic for neighbor Mort Walker and Dell in the late 1950s and working on various Charlton comic books in the mid-1970s.

A longtime resident of Greenwich known for contributing caricatures to various charitable causes, Di Preta was preceded in death by a wife of 41 years, who passed away less than a year ago. He is survived by two sons, a daughter and two brothers.