Tibor Szendrei is a Hungarian comic artist and illustrator for sci-fi and fantasy books and role-playing cards. He was the first to draw fantasy comics in his home country, including his series 'Találkozás' (1989-1990) and 'Swords' (2011).

Early life and influences
He was born in 1963 in the Hungarian city Debrecen. As a kid, he read the French comic magazine Pif Gadget, and was especially captivated by André Chéret's caveman 'Rahan'. Later, fantasy illustrators also stimulated his imagination, most notably the work of Boris Vallejo, Frank Frazetta, Michael Whelan and Keith Parkinson. After high school, he worked as a locksmith, newsboy, decorator and zoo caretaker. His first artistic job was painting posters for the local cinema, before becoming a graphic artist. Fully self-taught, Szendrei has continued to train himself new skills throughout his career. Starting with traditional painting techniques, he switched to the airbrush in the 1990s and now works with digital technology.


Early comics and illustrations
In 1988 he made his first comics for the Vega Sci-fi Association. His book 'Emberek és Robotok' ("Humans and Robots") contained the stories 'Emberek és Robotok', 'Finálé' and 'Tojás'; the first two written by Hugo Preyer, the third one by Szendrei himself. The work caught the attention of the writer Atilla Hajja, who had just started his publishing house Phoenix. Szendrei turned freelance, and has illustrated almost every fantasy book published by Phoenix and Hajja's subsequent imprint Cherubion Kiadó.

Work in the 1990s
In 1989 Phoenix launched its fantasy comic magazine Találkozás (1989-1990). At that point, the genre was completely foreign in Hungary. The regular sci-fi magazines never turned to fantasy, deeming it "nostalgia for feudalism" and "not scientific". Tibor Szendrei was one of the core artists, illustrating almost every cover and drawing the title comic from scripts by publisher Hajja. Other artists for the magazine were Tibor Donáczi, Lajos Jámbor and Éva Halasi. However, Találkozás lasted only seven issues because of distribution problems. Szendrei left comics and concentrated on his illustration work. The German publisher Heyne also used some of his cover art. Besides books, his drawings also began to appear on trading cards, and in a picture Bible.


Return to comics
In the 2000s he gradually returned to comics. In 2000 he designed a cover for the 'Marsyas képregénytár' comic book series, published by the Marsyas National Sci-Fi Association. He also began an association with the children's magazine Turdorka, writing and drawing a one-page comics feature. In 2005 Galaktika magazine ran his short comic story 'Mint a madár'. In 2011 he launced his new fantasy series 'Swords' with writer Attila Nemeskéri, about a mysterious plague that sweeps through the kingdom of Londeron. The series however came to a sudden halt after only four issues. In 2019 he took part in 'Seuso mozaik', a collective album about the ancient Seuso Treasure. It was written and supervised by Ferenc Kiss, with Endre Sarlós, Tibor Szendrei, József Sváb, Brazil and Roland Pilcz took care of the art and coloring.


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