Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Retro Foreign: Hungarian Star Wars

There are a few countries throughout the world that produced an unlicensed original adaptation of Star Wars including: Argentina, China, Hungary, Indonesia, and Russia.  Perhaps the nicest original adaptation came from Hungary.

Attila Fazekas is a Hungarian képregény (comic) artist who got his start in the 1970s.  In 1982, he published an unlicensed two-part adaptation of Star Wars with scripts by Tibor Cs. Horváth.  Remarkably, over 300,000 copies each were sold in this country of 10.71 million people and by some accounts, this "was the most popular comic book of all times ever published and sold" in Hungary.[1]  Titled Csillagok Háborúja Képregény - Keresztrejtvények or Star Wars Comics-Crossword Puzzles, each issue is 36 pages, with 28 pages for the black and white Star Wars comic, 7 pages for crossword puzzles, and the front cover.  These comics are smaller than a standard U.S. comic, measuring 5 3/4" x 8 1/4".

Csillagok Háborúja Képregény - Keresztrejtvények #1a - Tibor Cs. Horváth and Attila Fazekas, Hungary (1982)
Csillagok Háborúja Képregény - Keresztrejtvények #1a - Tibor Cs. Horváth and Attila Fazekas, Hungary (1982)
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The art inside these issues is really nice, perhaps nicer than the Marvel adaptation.[2]  It is clear the artist had access to photos or the movie, which is not the case for many of the other unlicensed adaptations from other countries.  This comic could have used additional pages to allow some of the scenes to work better.  For example, Marvel devoted an entire issue to the battle against the Death Star, whereas 3 pages are used to depict the climax of the movie in the Hungarian version.

Csillagok Háborúja Képregény - Keresztrejtvények #2a - Tibor Cs. Horváth and Attila Fazekas, Hungary (1982)
Csillagok Háborúja Képregény - Keresztrejtvények #2a - Tibor Cs. Horváth and Attila Fazekas, Hungary (1982)
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When acquiring these comics for your collection, you need to be aware that many of the copies have the crossword puzzles partially or completely filled in.  The copies in my collection are free from extraneous writing, as can be seen on the back covers which contain crossword puzzles.

References:

  1. Classic Hungarian Comics: Fazekas's Star Wars - Episode VI: The New Hope Part 1
  2. Hungarian Star Wars comic book adaptation

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