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Leslie Téjlor

On the occasion of an interview - given in April 2022 - the Hungarian comic artist, cartoonist, author and illustrator Leslie Téjlor gave informative insights into his artistic career, his drawing techniques and his versatile projects.

> What can you reveal about yourself personally? Is Leslie Téjlor a pseudonym?

Hello to the readers and thank you for the questions. I was born in 1973 in Hungary, in a small village (it's a city today) called Tiszalök and according to the local traditions, I was named after my father, Szabó László. In Hungary, family names preceed first names. My family name translated to English is Taylor, and László is Leslie. I have been drawing since I was a kid, however, when I started to write crime stories, my publisher asked for a pseudonym under which they would publish the stories, because at that time, foreign authors sold better (around 1992). This is how I started to use the English version of my Hungarian name. Later, as I started drawing caricatures, I needed a good name (since Szabó László is a very common name in our country) so I started to use a somewhat funny/phonetic version Téjlor that also sounds a little French, and that version just stuck with the comics as well, since it is easier for people from other nationalities to pronounce it.

> The international breakthrough of your comic career took place in the early 2000s. Can you tell us a little bit about your beginnings?

It was around that time I started to develop interest about the internet, which was becoming more and more popular. One day I noticed that the Virtualgirl site was looking for illustrators for short stories. I sent some of my material to them and they liked both my drawings and stories. After that I started to draw for some other pages. In 2004, I found the page of the series Zwarte Reeks from the popular publisher Sombrero, for which a lot of internationally well-known illustrators (Götha, Manara, Royo, Duvet, Crepax) have worked at that time. Har van Fulpen (the publisher) very cordially accepted my drawings. Later not only have we worked together on the albums published by him, but many other projects as well until the cessation of the publishing company. He has visited me a couple of times in Hungary during his trips and we have become good friends.

> What could you tell us about your time as an illustrator at Kedvenc Rejtvénylap or Kismalac Magazine (for someone who does not know the publishers and magazines)?

I’m not disloyal to those either, and the payment for a caricature is way less than for a comic commission. I do not forget that I started publishing with them in Hungary. I would also mention Móricka, Pistike, Hahota too, which are old humour magazines, I still work for them as well to this day. For Kedvenc magazine I do not only make caricatures but illustrations and to my great delight, children’s puzzles too. Sometimes I accept book cover and book illustrations. What I have stopped doing are portrait caricatures – even though I have had many appearances on city events and gatherings.

> Of course, I'm particularly interested in your erotic comic work. Tell me a bit about your collaboration with Sombrero. A lot of titles were produced in a short period of time in the mid-2000s. Where did the material come from? Were they older works of yours or were these albums created during that period?

Yes, my albums were published from 2006 (Harem of the Pharaoh was the first which also got published in Italian, English and Hungarian) with them. We started writing the scripts and creating sketches in 2004. I exclusively worked for Har van Fulpen (Drukwerk) at that time until 2012.

It might be interesting that my younger brother Celestin started to publish with him as well, who’s erotic comics became fairly popular too. He has worked with Sombrero, then Dofantasy and nowadays he publishes with the French company Murano.

> Where did the themes for your stories come from? Inspired by an interest in history and literature (like in "Vlad" and "Harem of Pharaoh")? While the comics were peppered with sex scenes, they were also filled with little bits of historical information. Even "Kim Holland" or "Sunny Leone" is basically a drawn wiki entry, similar to the American Carnal Comics - that produced drawn resumes about American porn stars (Ginger Lynn, Marilyn Chambers, Veronica Hart,…) - or the Italian Selen comics.

I adore historic comics, my role model and master’s, Attila Fazekas’ works are the standard for me. He creates beautiful historical comics to this day. I would also mention Manara’s Borgia creations here too.
I combined two of my favorite topics erotics and history; that’s how I wrote the "Harem of the Pharaoh", the" Vlad" and "Bathory" comics. Where it was needed, Har (van Fulpen) asked for more erotics and listening to his advice, I have redrawn them.

Yes, I do know the comics of Carnal comics and the Italian Selen (which is one of my favorites). Sunny Leone in Moscow was similar, though it being completely fictional, not having any real storylines or sources. The album was created with Sunny’s permission and photos. Then, since the readers liked that, the story of Kim Holland was published (fictional as well). I did like to draw them, but it can be seen ont he drawings that there were short deadlines. With one of my favorite online publishers, Lustomic, I even have a year for 20 pages, so the drawings are more detailed and I cannot feel the rush.

> How much of your own stories or fantasies go into your work?

Sometimes I work with writers, but usually I create my own stories, I have a lot of creativity and ideas regarding topics as sci-fi, humour and history. I am pretty sure I will never have the time to create all of them.

> What are the ingredients for a good erotic comic album in your opinion?

It’s a hard question, because there are a lot of ingredients and it also depends on the topic as well as the fetish in focus. It depends on the reader and the interest whether it is going to be one-page, short or long, writing or illustration dominant.
I myself like longer stories with a little humour and with a good storyline. Many people like longer BDSM and femdom topics and short, funny, sexy stories, like Rooie Oortjes.

> Your way of working is/was quite traditional with brush, ink, pencil,... But in a fast-moving world the digital way of working pushes itself more and more into the foreground? Where do you see the advantages, where the disadvantages in the digital techniques - especially for your drawing style?

Yes, I indeed started with traditional techniques, but yes, the Harem of the Pharaoh was already digitally made and since I mostly draw digital, around 80 percent of my works. Unfortunately, because I really like to draw traditionally, I would prefer this percentage to be around 60 percent.
It is much quicker to work digitally and thanks to the different sets of brushes we can recreate the traditional effect. But there is no original work, even if we print it. It’s not the same.

> Did your cartoons for Rooie Oortjes only appear in the various magazines (Rooie Oortjes Magazine,...)? Was there no offer for a whole album (in "Deel" or "Cartoonalbum")?

Yes, these were only published in magazines and anthologies with Gürsel, DiSano in a nice album.
The publishing manager Rob Harren and I had a good relationship. He has helped me a lot, since my Hungarian caricature style is much different to the popular franco-belgian style. He has helped and corrected me for four years, instructed and taught what to look for until it gets to the printing (it was of course not perfect back then, now I think it is). Then the company changed and for some reason he stopped responding to my emails. However, despite not having too much time to do so, I create for them similar artworks with great pleasure.

> Linked to the Alfabéta interview of 2016; have plans mentioned there already been implemented? Or are there new future plans for you and your art?

You’re very well informed. I can see that you have done some research. Thank you! Unfortunately, from those plans nothing came to life due to time management (Aesopus is a big dream, I have the story and the characters as well) and Betyár Bandi is also one resting in the drawer. These are some kind of love-projects, own dreams that are always being pushed to the side by my commissions.

> I guess the comics scene or commission opportunities were rather modest in Hungary in the 2000s, and as a cartoonist/comic artist you had to accept what you were offered. I suspect, the most interesting jobs came from other European countries. Was the Internet the key gateway to make contacts?

Yes, comics were not really popular in Hungary. Caricatures on the other hand were much more popular than elsewhere. Because of this a strange status arose, that in my country I am mostly known for my caricatures and do not know about my foreign comics, while internationally those works are the flagships.

It is exactly as you say: for me, the Internet is most important, since I do not like travelling. I am afraid of flying too and I regret the time that I do not spend with drawing. However I am invited to a lot of places. Last time the French publisher Tabou invited me to Illzach, to the Bédéciné festival and to Angouleme to sign my "Un destin de soubrette" album, to which I would have very much like to go, but Covid made it impossible. Maybe next time, if there’s a chance.

> If you had not discovered drawing for yourself, which vocation/passion/hobby would have become a good second profession for you?

It may be a strange answer, but for a long time I wanted to become a priest, but God had made womankind too beautiful for me to do so.
I also really like animals and at the time that I was working as a journalist, I’ve had correspondence with Gerald Durrell, and it started to look like that I will be able to travel to his zoo as a helper on the island of Jersey. I really wanted to go but during preparation, unfortunately he had passed away and this plan was not carried our. I have worked in a pastry kitchen too, which was one of my favorite jobs from all. But if I weren’t drawing, I would write novels. I have a lot of ideas in the folders of my computers.

Thank you very much for the questions. I have felt like that you were indeed interested in my answers and I can see that you understood comics too!

> Thank you very much for the interview and good luck for your future projects (Gaijinjoe)

erotic Publications (Selection):

- Harem van de farao (2006, Sombrero#143, Dutch / L´Harem del Faraone, 2009, EF edizioni, Italy)
- Donau Girls (2007, Sombrero#147 / Danube Girls - Le ragazze del Danubio, 2010, EF edizioni, Italy)
- Rome, tweede Punische oorlog 2 (2008, Sombrero#151)
- Graaf Vlad (2008, Sombrero#153)
- Graaf Vlad 2 (2008, Sombrero#154)
- Sunny Leone in Moskou (2009, Sombrero#158)
- De bloedgravin (2010, Sombrero#165)
- Kim Holland - Eerste lesbische ervaring (2010, Sombrero#168)
- Hot Marijke (2010, Sombrero#169)
- Villa SM (2011, Sombrero#176)
- Rooie Oortjes Sammelband (2011 und 2012)
- Un Destin de Soubrette (2022, Tabou, France / The Sissy Stories 1+2, 2021, EF edizioni, Italy)

- Homepage
Lastdodo Bibliografie
Legends Parallel
- EF editioni -Italy

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