April 18, 2021

20 Artists Pay Respect to the Late Gene Deitch, the Illustrator of Tom & Jerry and Popeye

We all grew up watching Popeye eating spinach and Tom chasing Jerry, and some of us had their kids watching it all the time.

An American illustrator, animator, comics artist, and movie director, was Eugene Merril Deitch known as Gene Deitch. Also, he was known for creating the animated cartoons Munro, Tom Terrific, and Nudnik. He spent most of his life in Prague, where he relocated back in 1959 when Rembrandt Films promised to fund Munro. Deitch lived there his whole life and sadly passed unexpectedly on April 16, 2020, at the ripe age of 95.

If you’re not familiar with Gene Deitch’s name, you are certainly familiar with his work. It’s probably safe to say there are few people who don’t know Tom & Jerry or Popeye and Deitch was a flagship designer to both of them.

Before being a major figure in American animation, Deitch was a draftsman for North American Aviation before being recruited by the American army to become a pilot during World War II. When the war was over, he returned to drawing and was spotted by Disney and was asked to become the artistic director of United Productions of America.

Since hearing about his passing, artists from all over the world have flooded the Internet with touching artwork as a tribute to the late illustrator.

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