'Arany Lap' (comic strip for a water company).

Sándor Kertész is a Hungarian teacher, journalist-editor, graphic artist, writer and one of the foremost researchers of Hungarian comic history. He has published several studies on the comics medium and its history, and served as editor/publisher of magazines like Menő Manó, Krampusz, Pimpa and Strip10, as well as book series collecting his country's comics patrimony. As an artist he illustrated the 'Mesél a Der, Die, Das' (1987), an instructional book about German grammar.

Early life and work as a journalist
Kertész was born in 1960 in Kisvárda, where he also graduated as an accountant at the György Bessenyei High School. Later, he got his certificate as a drawing teacher from the György Bessenyei Teachers Training College (today the University of Nyíregyháza). During his studies, he wrote his first academic study - 'Graphic Characteristics of Comics' ('A képregények grafikai jellegzetességei'). After college, Kertész continued his studies at the Journalism School of the National Association of Hungarian Journalists, and worked as a journalist for Nyíregyháza, the daily of Eastern Hungary. He was also involved in the launch of the first provincial daily Nyíri Futár.


'Mesél a Der, Die, Das'.

Cartoonist
All the while, Kertész was active as an artist as well. Already in his high school years, he drew caricatures for the daily newspapers Kelet-Magyarország and Hajdu-Bihari Napló. In 1987 he published 'Mesél a Der, Die, Das' ( 'Tales of Der, Die, Das') in cooperation with Dr. Lászlóné Kósa. It was a grammar book in which the German grammatical contexts are made understandable through a fairy tale in comics format. Many German language teachers have used it in their classes. Further comics work by Sándor Kertész includes a series of booklets for a water company, highlighting the importance of water purity and the problem of environmental pollution.

Comics promotor and publisher
Besides his journalistic and work as an author, Kertész has been involved in many new comics-related projects. In 1983, he was the organizer of the first Hungarian Comic Book Conference in Nyíregyháza, and the second in Püspökladány in 1985. In 1992, he organized the first International Comics Festival in Tokaj, and the second in Nyíregyháza in 1994. In 1985, he also established the Experimental Comics Studio (Kísérleti Képregény Stúdiót), and its works have been exhibited in numerous domestic and Italian exhibitions. Four years later, in 1989, he founded the Italian-Hungarian publishing company Linea, and was editor-in-chief of its comic magazines Menő Manó (1989-1990), Krampusz, and Pimpa. One of the main contributors to these publications was József Sváb.

Comic historian
Sándor Kertész is perhaps best known for his work as a historian and scholar in the field of Hungarian comics. He lectures regularly about the history, mechanisms and aesthetics of comics. From 1981 on, he participated in the first comic book research led by Dr. Kálmán Rubovszki at the University of Debrecen. Encouraged by Ernő Zórád, he began to explore the history of Hungarian comic books. Based on his research, he wrote the story of Hungarian comic books under the title 'Szuperhősök Magyarországon' ('Superheroes in Hungary', 1991). He also published 'Képregényiskola' ("Comic School", 1992) by József Sváb, the first guidebook in Hungary dedicated to the art of drawing comics.

Continuing his research work, Kertész compiled the history of Hungarian comics in four volumes. The first volume was published under the title 'Comics szocialista álruhában' ("Comics in Socialist Disguise", 2007). It covers the period between 1938 and 1989. Ten years later, the second volume was published, called 'Pókember-generáció' ("The Spider-Man Generation", 2017), covering the period between 1990 and 2012. He has since then been working on the next installments, one about the cultural history of the comic book, and another about the period between the First and Second World War. In his book 'Jókaitól a Mangáig' ("Since Jókai to Manga", 2019), Kertész summarized the history of Hungarian comic books through pictures.

Later publishing projects
He edited the comic magazine Strip10, and is publisher of several collections related to Hungarian comics, mostly in cooperation with Ferenc Kiss. 'Színes Képregénymúzeum' ("Colorful Comics Museum", since 2010) collects work of classic masters like Livia Rusz, Attila Fazekas, Miklós Galla & Péter Zsoldos, Zoltán Varga & Zsolt Herman Garisa, Ernő Zórád, Jószef Haui, Friedrich Gábor, Tibor Gönczi, István Endrődi and Szőnyi Gyula. In 'Kiss Magyar Képregénytörténet' ("Kiss Comic book History", since 2010), comic writer and collector Ferenc Kiss investigates the forgotten gems from Hungarian comic history.


Sándor Kertész by Misi Vass.

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