Unlicensed Hungarian Comic Books
Hungary is one of those Eastern European countries (Turkey, Russia, Greece and Poland being among the others) to have seen the release of a wide variety of unlicensed Star Wars merchandise. Although most of these items are of a very low quality, some are actually pretty nice, or they at least have some nice things about them. These comic books, for instance, have some pretty interesting cover artwork, which, although they are unlicensed, is evidently entirely original. Apparently, the artist who made them is a fairly well-known comic book artist in Hungary. The interiors are all in black and white, but here too the renderings are pretty sophisticated. Interestingly, some scenes not featured in the final film are depicted here, including the infamous meeting between Luke and Biggs on Tatooine.

Here's the second issue (the entire story of the first film is told in two issues). The cover is significantly bluer in tone than the rather reddish cover of issue 1. I find it interesting that, in both of these covers, Leia is depicted as sort of the main "good guy" character--it's her on which you focus first and she conveys the lion's share of the emotion, appearing as she does to be overpowered by galatic struggle. Marvel, on the other hand, placed Luke in the center right from the start, and even exaggerated his role in the story until he was something of a super-hero, ready to take on the forces of evil with his lightsaber. It's an interesting contrast.

I also get a kick out of color and dynamism of the graphics. Eastern Europe has a long tradition of gaudily-colored and stylized, almost hallucinatory, imagery. I think you can see its persistence in some of these bootleg Star Wars products.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Ron Salvatore
From the collection of: Ron Salvatore
Film:A New Hope
Category:Comics / Comic Books


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