Lívia Rusz is a Hungarian comic book and graphic artist and painter born on 28 September 1930 in Cluj, Romania. She attended the Painting Course of the Andrescu Art School between 1949 and 1955. After graduation she worked there as a teaching assistant until 1958.
From 1958 she would become a steady contributor to Napsugár, a Transylvanian children's magazine, for which she drew front pages, art graphics and comics for over thirty years. Her first comic, titled 'A két nagyokos', was also published in this magazine. In 1963, Pionír magazine presented the realist style 'Tüz Bábolna hegyén', which is a far cry from her later works. She was strongly influenced by the French artist Cézard. Around this time she signed her work as Tenkeiné Rusz Lívia.
Wizard of Oz
She and Sándor Fodor created the character of 'Csipike' the dwarf in 1964. Cipi would undergo several transformations until the repainted illustrated book version was issued in 2000. The five stories revolving around the character were published numerous times and translated to various languages from the first appearance in 1965 up to present days. They have also been adapted to a theater play and a puppet show.
Lívia Rusz broke into the Romanian comics scene with 'Fluierasul si ulciorul' (1966), published in Arici Pogonici, and 'The Wizard of Oz' in Cravata Rosie. Children were entertained in Luminita with the stories of 'Kio', the monkey, scripted by Ovidia Zotta (1967). 'Dan Buzdugan', a realistic knighthood comic story debuted and ran both in Cutezatorii and Luminita at the same time.
Her works appeared in the Hungarian magazines Napsugár and Hazánk Sólymai, as well as their Romanian counterparts, Luminita and Soimii Patriei, where the artist's various comics stories were published. The characters of Mac and Cocofifi were invented by Lívia Rusz with the contribution of writer Lucia Olteanu and appeared numerous times in Arici Pogonici between 1967 and 1976. Their collected stories would be later published as four separate albums. These books were translated to English, German, Spanish and Russian.
Iuliu Ratiu's character of 'Avi', the little pink aeroplane appeared in Arici Pogonici between 1976 and 1979 and later on in Soimii Patriei. Rusz got a national award in 1980 for her contributions to the Hungarian children's magazines Napsugár and Hazánk sólymai. She illustrated several dozen of books as well, such as 'Peter Pan' by J.M. Barry, Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' and 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin' by Robert Browning.
In January 1987, she moved to Hungary. Her first Hungarian comic book was the 40-page and coloured story 'Nem mind arany ami fénylik'. It was followed by 'Miskati közbelép' a year later. In 1990, Zengö ABC, an illustrated book accompanied by the audio cassette of ZiZi Labor was published selling over 100.000 copies in a few weeks.
Collector and scriptwriter of comics Ferenc Kiss, approached the artist in 1998 hoping to work together. Their collaboration resulted in two 'Szekfü Sanya' stories and the tale of 'Prométheusz, a rosszmájú jótevö' for Kis Füles magazine. Parallel to this, a seven-part comic revolving around the story of Kalamajka the space gnome was launched in Dörmögö Dömötör, scripted by the magazine's editor-in-chief Gábor Cser.
After illustrating numerous books, the artist retired in 2000. A study of her work by Dodo Nita and Ferenc Kiss was published in 2009.