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Comic Creator

Tibor Cs. Horváth

(18 September 1925 - 12 July 1993, Hungary)  Hungary

Tibor Cs.  Horváth

The Message of the Starship, artwork by Ernö Zórád
The Message of the Starship, artwork by Ernö Zórád

Tibor Cs. Horváth was the most productive Hungarian comic book scriptwriter and the godfather of comic book adaptations. He learned typography in his youth. Around 1955, when he worked at the Educational Department of the Ministry of Culture, Sándor Gugi, a Hungarian illustrator contacted him to produce comics similar to the American Classics Illustrated series.

Sándor Rózsa, artwork by Pal Korcsmáros
Sándor Rózsa, artwork by Pal Korcsmáros

Horváth managed to convince the socialist heads of board that the comics will be different from their decadent western counterparts (that had already been banned from the pages of Hungarian papers by that time): these books were regarded as adverts of such "harmless" books that had not been blacklisted by the party until then and were supposed to encourage working people to read literary works. Thus were born the emblematic pieces of the medium in the pages of Új Világ, Szabadságharcos and Po Sztránye Szovetov.

Ballad of the poet, artwork by Imre Sebök
Ballad of the poet, artwork by Imre Sebök

The team-up of Horváth and Gugi outlined the direction of Hungarian comics for the next 40 years to come. After 1956, to avoid being identified with another person of the same name, he adopted the abbreviation "Cs." (that stands for Csepreghy, referring to his inherited title of nobility).

The enchanted planet, artwork by Attila Fazekas
The enchanted planet, artwork by Attila Fazekas

Cs. Horváth was one of the founding members of Füles (a weekly publication launched in 1957, mainly focusing on crossword-puzzles). As a leading figure of the editorial staff, he adapted and scripted several hundred comics stories until the 1980s. Besides Füles, he worked for a whole lot of other publications (e.g. Magyar Ifjúság, Népszava, Lobogó, Pajtás, Képes nyelvmester) as well.

Rise of the Robotors, artwork by Imre Sebök
Rise of the Robotors, artwork by Imre Sebök

Cs. Horváth built a whole industry around the comic book and his creative team was made up of such prominent artists like Sandor Gugi, Pál Korcsmáros, Imre Sebök, Attila Fazekas, Mihály Vass, Marcell Jankovics, Attila Dargay, Endre Sarlós and Jenö Németh. Due to his organizing genius many of his stories were published in comic book format in the countries of the socialist block. His comics were translated to Esperanto as well.

Der Recke von Capua (The beast of Capua), from German magazine Frösi
Der Recke von Capua (The beast of Capua), from German magazine Frösi
Artwork by Ernö Zórád

His most popular comic series 'Roberto és Julika kalandjai' was about the adventures of Italian journalist Roberto and Hungarian handball player Julika across the globe. This seven part series was illustrated by Ernö Zórád, and published between 1970 and 1973.

Roberto and Julika by Erno Zorad en Tibor Cs HorvathRoberto and Julika by Erno Zorad en Tibor Cs Horvath
Cover illustrations for Roberto and Julika #1 and #4, artwork by Ernö Zórád

Other notable works scripted by Horváth were 'Spartacus' (1961), 'A capuai fenevad' ('The beast of Capua', 1963), 'Sándor Rózsa' (1964), 'Ballada a poétáról' ('Ballad of the poet', 1965), 'Robotorok lázadása' ('Rise of the robotors', 1966), 'A csillaghajó üzenete' ('The message of the starship', 1972), 'Titkok bolygója' ('The enchanted planet', 1982).

Spartacus, artwork by Pal Korcsmáros
Spartacus, artwork by Pal Korcsmáros

Over the years he has been charged many times of writing overnarrated scripts. In fact, it was the result of editorial directives, as the number of pages devoted to comics were strictly set in every magazine.

Oliver Twist by Zorad and Horvath
Oliver Twist, artwork by Ernö Zorad

In 1993, the company changed owners and would lay no claim to his services at Füles any more, where had spent 36 years. He couldn't bear being neglected, as comics was his life: the king of comic book scriptwriting died on 12 July, 1993. His death meant the end of the golden age of Hungarian comics.

Tibor Cs. Horvath

Hungarian comics in Frösi

Biography provided by Ferenc Kiss & Szabolcs Kiss
Last updated: 2013-04-03

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