Hungarian Comics

Hungarian comics are comics made in Hungary and by the Hungarian diaspora of the surrounding countries. When dealing with Hungarian comics, one cannot separate comics made by Hungarians from translated foreign matter, since in some eras most of the publications come from the latter group and influence comics fandom and the general picture about comics in the country.

The roots of Hungarian comics reach back to the mid 19th century. Until the late 1930s the development of the genre were parallel to current European trends. Comic strips were generally found in newspapers and magazines, featuring works from both Hungarian and foreign artists. Since comics were so closely bound to the printed media, their creators were mostly caricature artists as well. The years preceding World War II proved to be unfavorable for comics as the mainly Jewish owned yellow press basically disappeared together with comic strips (a great exception were children’s comics).

After the few years of the transitional phase following World War II, Hungarian cultural politics were influenced by the Soviet Union, as a consequence comics were regarded as “western cultural trash” and were basically forbidden for years. By the mid 1950s comics were tolerated, but with strict compromises. Under these years adaptational comics were made in great numbers. This period lasting until the late 1970s is regarded by some comics historians as the Golden Age of Hungarian comics; the most respected artists, Ernő Zórád, Imre Sebők and Pál Korcsmáros lived and were active during this period lasting until the mid 1970s.

In the 1980s, under a warmer political climate, translations of foreign comics were published in growing numbers. After the fall of the iron curtain a large variety of translated European and American comics were published in the country. Although most companies were full of enthusiasm, only few were strong enough in capital to live through the radically altering circumstances of the 1990s.

This course eventually resulted in the American (superhero) comics dominance by the middle of the decade. These years also witnessed the appearance of a new generation of Hungarian comics creators.

The few years preceding and following the new millennium seemed to be least successful for comics, many magazines folded during these years leaving several fans without comics. This and some other factors caused fans, artists, publishers, merchants to connect on the Internet and set up new foundations for a wholly revised comics scene. The period lasting since 2004-2005 is commonly referred to as the new wave of Hungarian comics, since comics scene participants show a degree of activity never seen before.

Read more about Hungarian Comics:  Vocabulary, History, Well Known or Important Comic Book Artists, Publishers, Editors With Hungarian Roots