Donald Duck by Endre Lukacs
'Donald Duck' story from Donald Duck #17, 1955. In this story Donald wants to be called "Uncle Zjuul", after novelist Jules Verne..

Endre Lukács (also referred to as "Ed Lukacs") was a Hungarian-Dutch illustrator, best known for his work for the Dutch Donald Duck weekly from the 1950s through the 1970s. He goes down in history as the first regular Disney artist in the Netherlands, who brought typically Dutch elements into his drawings. Lukács played an important role in the early popularity of the magazine, which resulted in its ongoing success and sentimental value in Dutch cultural history.

Early life and career
Endre Lukács was born in 1906 in the Hungarian capital Budapest. He showed an early talent for drawing, and at age 18, became an apprentice with a Polish painter. Together with thirty other pupils, he learned to draw nudes in a tiny atelier. Like many other Hungarian artists, he left his home country in search of better job opportunies. First, he worked as a commercial illustrator in Vienna, Austria, before moving to the Netherlands in the 1930s. He continued to work as a commercial artist, and for a couple of years he was employed by the Pätz advertising agency, based on the Rokin in Amsterdam. Lukács made illustrations for local publishers like Nederlandsche Keurboekerij N.V. and Johan M. Allis. His work for the latter included illustrations for postcards, and two landscape-format children's books: '2 Grappige Verhalen Over Een ...Mislukte pannekoek en ...Prof. Spikkeljas Ging Eens Op Reis' and 'Wat Er In De Torrenkrant Stond en... De Verjaardag van Opa Kwak' (1937). The texts were written by his wife Doortje under the pseudonym "Havo", and Lukács was credited as "A. Lukács". After an unsuccessful apprenticeship with the printing firms Smeets and Schippers in 1939, he continued his career as a freelance advertising illustrator.

Toon de Taxichauffeur by Endre Lukacs
First strip of 'Toon de Taxichauffeur' (Het Vrije Volk, 24 November 1947).

Newspaper comics
After World War II, Endre Lukács had his own comic strip serial about the heroic crime-solving cab driver 'Toon de taxichauffeur', which ran in the socialist newspaper Het Vrije Volk from 24 November 1947 until 22 March 1948. Remarkably, this realistically drawn "crime noir" was a balloon comic, while at the time most Dutch newspaper strips were text comics, with text underneath the images. Between 4 December 1951 and 19 January 1952, Algemeen Handelsblad ran Lukács' next strip, 'De Wonderlijke Avonturen van Pieter Trippelkuit en Janus Buldermuil'. This effort was drawn in a more child-friendly storybook style, with text in rhyme underneath the images.

De wonderlijke avonturen van Pieter Trippelkuit en Janus Buldermuil (Algemeen Dagblad, 12 January 1952)
'De Wonderlijke Avonturen van Pieter Trippelkuit en Janus Buldermuil' (Algemeen Dagblad, 12 January 1952).

Donald Duck
In 1952 was hired as an illustrator for the magazines of De Geïllustreerde Pers, where he made his mark as the first local artist for the newly launched Donald Duck magazine. The "merry weekly" proved to be an instant hit when its first issue rolled of the presses on 25 October 1952. The blueprint came from the Danish publisher Gutenberghus who, since 1948, had successfully published magazines built around Donald Duck in Scandinavia. During the early years, the Dutch weekly was translated and produced at the offices of the women's weekly Margriet under chief editor Anton Weehuizen (hence the marguerites in the magazine header at the time). The magazine consisted of American material, mostly lead stories with 'Donald Duck' by Carl Barks and back-up stories with the 'Big Bad Wolf', 'Bucky Bug', 'Grandma Duck' or 'Mickey Mouse'. Editors like Tilly van Meerwijk were responsible for the translations and therefore the Dutch names of a great many Disney characters.

Covers for Donald Duck issues 49-1953 and 32-1954..

The first locally produced covers popped up in 1953. The creator of the first one (issue #35) is unknown, after more original covers were made possibly by Lex Overeijnder. The first one credited to Lukács is issue #40 of 1953. Possibly his most iconic drawing appeared nine issues later, on the cover of issue #49 of 1953. For the first time, the originally American characters are situated in a typically Dutch setting, as they are awaiting the arrival of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet (Saint Nicholas and Black Pete) in a street with characteristic Amsterdam step-gables. Lukács continued to provide Donald Duck with regular cover illustrations until 1966. In the 1960s he also made several drawings for the book collection 'Donald Duck en Andere Verhalen', and for a great many Disney postcards, which the editors sent to readers on their birthday. He presumably made the interior artwork for landscape format-shaped booklets with 'Pinocchio', 'Bambi', 'Peter Pan' and 'Snow White', in which readers could paste picture cards. The publisher had given Lukács a set of American premium give-away comic books for Wheaties cereals as a reference for the characters. For the coloring, a time-consuming activity, he got a helping hand from his daughter Chris, who later also worked as a colorist for comic magazine Pep.

'Little Bad Wolf' story from Donald Duck #23, 1957.

Although mainly a cover artist, Lukács was also asked to produce an interior story for Donald Duck, whenever there wasn't sufficient or suitable American source material. His first one starring Donald and his nephews appeared in issue #10 of 1954. He made four more with Donald until 1955, after which he mostly worked on stories with either 'The Little Bad Wolf' or 'Uncle Scrooge' for the rest of the decade. Editor/journalist John Bakkenhoven was among the writers of these stories. Lukács was less prominent in the 1960s, when the Toonder Studios were assigned to provide the weekly back up stories with 'Little Hiawatha' and 'The Big Bad Wolf'.

Printed on 26 March 1966, Lukács also drew the conclusion of the 'Br'er Rabbit' serial on the back page of the women's weekly Margriet. Titled 'Het Grootste Avontuur van Broer Konijn' ("The Greatest Adventure of Br'er Rabbit'"), Br'er Rabbit actually marries his longtime girlfriend Molly. This was quite an unusual plot development, since most classic comic stars - especially within the Disney universe - don't tend to marry, as settling down would mean the end of their adventures. Indeed, in all later 'Br'er Rabbit' storylines, his marriage with Molly was written out of canon and never referenced again. One 1968 'Donald Duck' story by Lukács was made directly for the Walt Disney Studios' U.S. production of comics for international licensees. 

Covers for 'Donald Duck en Andere Verhalen' #11 and Donald Duck weekly #5, 1964.

Lukács returned to Donald Duck's interior pages with several new stories starring 'Donald Duck', 'Uncle Scrooge', 'Grandma Duck' and 'Chip 'n' Dale' between 1970 and 1978. By then, the official local production of Disney comics was launched and Lukács was one of many contributing artists, alongside Carol Voges, Daan Jippes, Ed van Schuijlenburg, Robert van der Kroft, Wilbert Plijnaar and Frits Godhelp. Lukács final comic story was published in Donald Duck #2 in 1978. Editor Thom Roep asked him back in the early 1980s for a couple of full-color spreads and covers.

Donald Duck, by Endre Lukacs
'Uncle Scrooge' story from Donald Duck #32, 1974.

Although at times a bit clumsy and naïve, Lukács' drawings have provided generations of children with vivid images of the Disney characters. Since a great many covers of the 1950s were Lukács originals, he has added a flair of Dutch cosiness to the otherwise American atmosphere of the Disney universe. At one point Endre Lukács even received a personal letter from Walt Disney, who complimented him with his artwork. But not everyone was full of praise. In his autobiography, Dutch journalist John Bakkenhoven described how the modest Lukács was mistreated by mister Sonntag, the dominant and peevish chief of the art department. The poor artist often had to wait in the hallway for several hours before Sonntag would receive him.

Donald's Pinguin (Donald Duck #14, 1980)
'Donald's Pinguin' (Donald Duck #14, 1980).

Algemeen Handelsblad
Apart from Disney characters, Endre Lukács worked on other productions. During the 1960s, he was an illustrator for newspaper Algemeen Handelsblad, making the drawings for Jaap Balk's column about Amsterdam, 'Onder De Keizerskroon'. On 5 May 1962, Lukács participated in a large group illustration by all the paper's illustrators. These included Bouwk Denijs (the section 'Voor U, Mevrouw'), Fritz Behrendt, Rupert van der Linden (artist of 'D. van Kwikschoten'), Raymond Bär & Jan van Reek (the authors of 'Wipperoen'), H. Focke ('Eigen Wijs'), H. Scholten, J. Mulder and Niek Hiemstra.

Newspaper comics in the 1960s
Through the Real Presse agency, Lukács also returned to creating newspaper comics. In 1962-1963, the newspaper De Tijd/Maasbode ran at least five comic strips by Lukács: 'Een avontuur van Drip, Drap en Drop - List tegen Schurkenstreken' (with R. Tasquin, 31 July until 18 August 1962), 'Het Toverpotlood' (20 August until 2 October 1962), 'De Gouden Waterbloem' (3 October until 17 November 1962), 'Een Goede Koop' (19 until 27 November 1962) and 'Houdt U van Wagner?' (28 November 1962 until 11 January 1963).

'Een Goede Koop' (De Tijd-Maasbode, 19 November 1962).

There are probably other publications by Lukács, because more stories exist. These have all appeared in Ohee!, a weekly comic magazine published by the Flemish newspaper Het Volk between 1963 and 1966: 'Een Goede Koop' (#12, 1963), 'Visvangst Aan De Noordpool' (#12, 1963), 'Het Toverpotlood' (#15, 1963), 'De Gouden Waterbloem' (#15, 1963), 'Goede Jagers Moeten Kunnen Jagen' (#16, 1963), 'De Dreiging Uit De Eifeltoren' (#16, 1963), 'Drip, Drap en Drop' (#17, 1963), 'Houdt u van Wagner?' (#27, 1963) and 'Roc-coco speelt en wint' (#174, 1966). The scripts are generally credited to Gaston Vandergucht; only 'Een Geschenk Voor Een Model Leerling' (#35, 1963) and 'Sparrie het kleine kerstboompje' (#39, 1964) were created in cooperation with Martin Illik. For these Ohee! issues, Lukács also provided cover drawings.

Houdt u van Wagner, by Endre Lukacs (Ohee, 1963)
''Houdt u van Wagner?' (Ohee, 1963).

Hanna Barbera comics
In the late 1960s, Lukács additionally contributed stories with Hanna-Barbera's 'The Flintstones' and 'Top Cat' to the monthly comic book De Flintstones by De Geïllustreerde Pers.

Final years and death
A naturalized Dutch citizen since 1966, Endre Lukács lived in Amsterdam for most of his life, but spent his final years in Nieuw-Buinen in the province of Drenthe. For years, he remained under the radar, but on 22 September 2000 newspaper Het Parool brought him into the spotlights with an extensive interview by Hans Hoekstra. Thom Roep, Donald Duck's editor-in-chief from 1984 until 2013, called him "the most jigsawed artist of the Netherlands". During the 1950s, there were many "jigsaw clubs" in the Netherlands, and the members often used his Donald Duck cover drawings as an example. Lukács remained in good health until well into his nineties. Late in life, he even painted Donald Duck coat hooks for a local elementary school. He passed away at the age of 95 in July 2001.

Endre Lukács and his daughter in 2000 (Photo: Reyer Boxem).

Inducks entry

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