The Hungarian Literature Copyright Protection Association and Rights management is organizing a two-day conference on the works and heritage of Jenő Rejtő. The event has two roundtables featuring comics artists, and I will be moderating both. What is more, the location of the conference is at a pub, which is the most fitting place to talk about Rejtő’s novels.
Rejtő was a journalist and writer who died in 1943 in a forced labor camp. His novels are witty, funny, really crazy. The status of his works in the Hungarian literary canon is debated by many, especially by those who prefer the strict separation of high literature and lowbrow whatever. I personally do not agree with that, and I admire the syntax and humor of Rejtő’s sentences and his crazy weird plots. I also believe that he could be nicer to women, but I think that is true to most works from his era. 🙂
Rejtő’s novels have been really influential in the history of Hungarian comics. His novels were adapted into the medium of comics by Tibor Cs. Horváth during state socialism. The most successful artist to draw Rejtő-comics was Pál Korcsmáros. Recently, the heirs of Korcsmáros republish digitally reworked versions of the original comics. The artists making these, Zsolt Garisa and Zoltán Varga, will be the guests of the first roundtable, as well as Márton Hegedűs, who proposed to make a comic on Rejtő’s life, though hasn’t received funding yet. (Are there any future patrons among the readers of this post who would support this project?). The final participant of the discussion is Zoltán Ádám Szabó, whose writings on comics I adore. Btw, Rejtő’s novels are adapted into comics even today, the most recent (and hilarous) publication is The Kidnapped Messenger by Ferenc Kiss and Zsolt Garisa.
The second roundtable on Thursday will be on an animation film in the making, the guests will be director Ferenc Varsányi, art director Dávid Cserkuti, and Péter Gelencsér film cirtic.