Okko #1 Hits Stores in December

November 28th, 2006 § 1 comment § permalink

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Okko is just one of three series I’m totally stoked to be working on for Archaia Studios Press, the publishers of such innovative gems as David Petersen’s Mouse Guard, Alex Sheikman’s Robotika, and co-founder Mark Smylie’s own Artesia. Release dates, description, and preview pages here.

I turned these pages in back in August, and am currently deep into the second French volume—stuff you’ll be seeing in the April 2007 issue. This is creator Humbert Chambuel’s first series—among other things, Hub was previously a designer on the Besson film The Fifth Element. » Read the rest of this entry «

Alexis Siegel, 師傅 & Maître

January 31st, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s wonderful, as I fly into a new translation for First Second Books, to know I’ll once more have the intrepid and dependable Alexis Siegel on wing, ready to blast any tricky French from the sky before it blindsides me. I call him my mentor, though never to his face; he’d surely decline the title.

The target, this time, is yet another collection from the mind of the ever-zany and hyperprolific Lewis Trondheim. I’ve never seen the Nicktoons import version, though the books are predictably uproarious. Trondheim is one of the great French humorists, right up there with Francis Veber in my book, though my favorite thing he’s done would still be Farniente, a slim book from L’Asso with art by Dominique Hérody: a quiet series of witty, wistful conversations between a husband and wife on vacation, he the pessimist, she, well, une française. » Read the rest of this entry «

Okko.fr Site Excerpts

December 3rd, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

Two pages of background information on the world of Pajan from Hub’s Okko series site for inclusion in the upcoming first issue. The imaginary Empire of Pajan (read: Japan) is Hub’s setting for his series. I’m not sure if these two pages, one on major clans and one on the Empire, will be reproduced in the issue in their entirety or edited, so I’m posting the translations below for all interested parties. » Read the rest of this entry «

Blushing and Gushing

January 4th, 2007 § 2 comments § permalink

The most excellent Dave Baxter of Broken Frontier has this to say about my work on Archaia’s Okko series by Hub, launched last month (Aie! Last year already!):

“It should also be noted that the translation of dialogue and caption box by Edward Gauvin is one of the best European genre fiction has yet received in the American comic market, and the infamously stilted dialogue and prose of past imported series is happily, conspicuously missing.” » Read the rest of this entry «

Qui fut et qui n'est plus

January 9th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Le Hong Kong qui m’a ébloui, dès que je suis descendu de l’avion pour me retrouver dans l’humidité étouffante de 99%, a disparu, cédant sa place à une ville désormais familière, connue de tous ces films que me poussait à voir cette fascination initiale, née de ma visite en été ‘97, lors de sa remise à la Chine. J’ai beau le chercher, il n’existe plus. De temps en temps me viennent des tours de la ville présente, en vision fugitive, les contours de cette autre, alors terriblement exotique, dont l’étrangeté m’avait englouti, et je me rappelle que dans cette ville des gratte-ciels, ne resplendissant que d’argent boursier, se mire quelque chose comme le monde de l’avenir tel que le concevrait un garçon de cinq ans, où se lancent, des grands boulevards, les escaliers évidemment mécaniques dans une course aux passerelles élancées, tapissées de transporteurs, qui sillonnent la métropole des tours étincelants. Une légèreté presque utopienne, comme la bénédiction du soleil, surgirait de cette ville dont les résidents, pour la traverser, n’avait nullement besoin de mettre pied sur terre.

Nouveautés

February 6th, 2007 § 1 comment § permalink

* Two new translations by yours truly up at Words Without Borders, the Online Magazine of International Literature, as their first ever Graphic Issue, long in the offing, becomes a reality this month. O frabjous day! Treats for lovers of la B.D. dit avant-garde, as L’Association founding member Jean-Christophe Menu would have it, or alternative Euro-comics, as they might say in the States. Which means no tights. An excerpt from La Bombe Familiale, by French comics superstar David B., best known in English for his epic Epileptic and his appearances in Fantagraphics’ Mome, thanks to the tireless efforts of the polyglot Kim Thompson. A short first published by L’Asso in their Patte de Mouche collection back in distant ’97, it tells the humane and absurd tale of a city in the shadow of war, and the dangers of befriending missiles. David B.’s bold blacks and whites, as ever, combine unease, imagination, and storybook immediacy.
Favorites of The Comic’s Reporter‘s Bart Beaty since their début, the Belgians Florent Ruppert and Jérôme Mulot, who walked off with this year’s Best Newcomer Award at Angoulême for their Panier de Singe (L’Association, coll. Ciboulette), penned a short, “Les Pharaons d’Égypte“, from the January 2005 issue of Les Réquins Marteaux‘s revue Ferraille Illustré. The duo upend traditional time and space within the panels of this nightmarish social invective; their faceless characters achieve a worrisome menace. I hope I’ve done justice to the almost Beckettian exchange of banalities, the patter populating their pages. » Read the rest of this entry «

En voyage (d'affaires)

February 20th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

A short stateside tour: popping up at, among other places, NY Comic Con. Forgive the absence–too luddite, or is it lazy? to post from the road. Happy Lunar New Year, best wishes to all believers for the pig days ahead. Snow country, here I come.

Go Buy Secret History #2: The Castle of the Djinns

April 22nd, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

A little plugging never hurt a blog. In hectic February I missed the boat when another series I’d been translating for Archaia Studios Press made its debut on the racks the week after NYCC—namely, The Secret History. Here I am, catching up with a few words in time for the release of the second issue.

Archaia’s Secret History 2

I’ve now read and translated my way through four books of The Secret History, taking me in the story’s chronology up through the late Middle Ages, via the Crusades and the Wars of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, and the Renaissance siege of Rome, featuring everybody’s favorite action hero artisan, Benvenuto Cellini, whose classic memoirs I’m now inspired to read. The series has definitely grown on me, and the transition from crazy Igor Kordey’s art in the first two books to the more even, if less impassioned work of Goran Sudzuka in the third hasn’t been jarring. There’s some particularly lovely brushwork in the third volume, when a band of evil monks raid a sacred forest (shades of Broceliande and Fangorn, and also naked killer druid chicks. That phrase alone should draw some Google traffic my way). » Read the rest of this entry «

More Nouveautés

April 22nd, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Just finished the semifinal draft of Okko #6 this week. That’s two issues into The Cycle of Earth, which will follow on The Cycle of Waterwhich I trust you all are reading faithfully—when that concludes this summer. No spoilers, hopefully, in forecasting a satisfying character arc for our young narrator Tikku, and a rare creature for any D&D fans of Oriental Adventures from back in the day. Also, hints of pleasingly troubling moral ambiguity shadow our heroes’ triumph—seeds of greater future uncertainty and even thematic grandeur? We deny monsters, the other, whatever we hate, the capacity to feel what we believe ennobles us—for if they too were so entitled, then what should tell us apart? And how should we justify our mercilessness toward them?

 

I myself haven’t read the second volume of The Cycle of Earth yet. Maybe it’ll even tell what the deal is with Noburo and his mask.

 

Okko # 3 out in stores this very month! Go buy it! Or, er, be square. » Read the rest of this entry «

Sardine in Outer Space

June 8th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert’s rollicking Sardine 4, now at the First Second site with a preview, hits shelves this fall! Or pick up an early copy at SDCC.  I’ll be there.

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