OUT NOW: Natty, Part 1

June 23rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink


This well-meaning and, on the whole, fairly innocent kids’ entertainment inspired by the City Palace in Udaipur nevertheless bungles its treatment of social themes (from the caste system to drug legalization) and fails to avoid, in its lightly fantasized setting, some icky issues of cultural appropriation. Prolific and bestselling scripter Eric Corbeyran collaborates with Melvil, who draws a cute cow, to bring us a colorful and briskly paced two-parter with mythological overtones, based loosely on the short life of Princess Krishna Kumari, who at the tender age of 16 martyred herself to secure her people peace.

Spirited, independent-minded Princess Natty of Orchidhali is a member of the floral caste and lives in a luxurious, sunshine-filled palace. But once she refuses her arranged marriage, she is forced to flee thelife she knows, ending up in the dark realm of the Untouchables, the very lowest caste of society, where a strange form of leprosy reigns as a result of the lack of sunlight. Natty meets an Untouchable named Sami, who is just as rebellious as she is, and together they make a plan to leave the shadows of the underworld and return to the light. But just as they are about to make their escape, a battalion of soldiers arrives, and Sami ends up in prison.

Eighty pages of story are now yours for the taking as a digital exclusive from EuropeComics on a number of platforms (Izneo, Kindle, Kobo, Google Play, and Comixology).


OUT NOW: Once Upon A Time in Africa

June 22nd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink


I only got to translate the first volume of the African trilogy, but it was a beauty, Zidrou’s soulful script rich in human fellow-feeling, and Raphaël Beuchot sensitive line lending a fitting air of folktale to the story: Once Upon A Time in Africa. I’d known Zidrou primarily as a humor writer for his bestselling series about schoolboy Ducoboo, king of the dunches (available from Cinebook), but I’ve been impressed with several books of his recently, especially his collaboration with Édith, Emma G. Wildford.

No one thought he’d ever dare return. In this African country where dictatorship has banned all forms of cultural expression, the storyteller named Once-Upon-A-Time has already had a brush with death. For refusing to stop performing his puppet shows, he lost both his hands, severed at the wrist with the slash of a machete. Now he’s back, ready to begin performing again, and ready to take on the powers that be…

This graphic novel is now available as a digital exclusive from EuropeComics on a number of platforms (Izneo, Kindle, Kobo, Google Play, and Comixology).

OUT NOW: Morea Vol. 3, The Fire of Time

June 21st, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

morea 3

The pitch for this series could not have been simpler: Highlander, with a hot babe. It’s written by Christophe “License to Print Money” Arleston, superstar of French epic fantasy comics with his Lanfeust universe, and drawn by Thierry Labrosse. Fair warning: kids and progressives, keep a wide berth. The third volume of the ongoing series Morea, The Fire of Time, is now available as a digital exclusive from Soleil at Comixology. This one has a space station in it.

Morea, held prisoner by the Angels, in an ancient satellite orbiting the Earth, must see to her own escape from their cruel experiments. Meanwhile, back at the DWC, the directors of her company maneuver to claim power in her absence… While Morea’s mentor, the Knight Terkio, seeks a means to rescue her.

OUT NOW: Triggerman, Vol. 1 by Walter Hill, Matz, and Jef

June 6th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink


Titan Comics partnered up with Hard Case Crime to start releasing crime comics, and one of their launch titles was Triggerman, released in floppy issue form starting last fall. Now the first arc is available in an edition collecting issues #1-5, with preview pages at Comics Alliance. Here’s a description:

An operatic prohibition era crime caper! Locked up for a life of murder, Roy Nash never thought he’d walk the mean streets of Chicago again… let alone rescue his beloved, Lena. But when the city’s Mafia elite spring the notorious gun-for-hire to handle one last assignment, Roy once again finds himself thrown headfirst into a life of bloodshed and bullets as he sprints a breathless race to save the girl he left behind. From legendary screenwriter and director Walter Hill (The Warriors, Red Heat, Last Man Standing) and French comics writer Matz (The Killer), comes this hardboiled crime thriller set in the bullet-ridden streets of 1930s Chicago.

Working on this book was a unique experience, as I got to speak with Walter Hill on the phone a few times. I’d translated Matz’s The Killer for Archaia, but it turns out he got his hands on an old unproduced screenplay of Hill’s, and turned it into a graphic novel in France, where Jef’s art lent a juicy, overripe, almost feminine menace to this squalid, hardboiled gangland saga. Walter Hill was kind enough to send me his original screenplay, and give me notes on the sort of middle ground I navigated between it and my translation of the French book, tweaking the dialogue for period authenticity.

Moving the Palace in the NYT

June 2nd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink


In the New York Times, Suzanne Joinson writes:

At a time when the tensions that will produce World War I are simmering but have not yet exploded, Samuel, a Lebanese man who “speaks Arabic but looks like an Englishman,” is asked by an eccentric British colonial administrator to intervene in various tribal battles in the North African desert. During these escapades, he becomes embroiled in a scheme to transplant an entire palace, brick by brick, from Tripoli into the Sahara, in hopes of selling it (or pieces of it) to the region’s rich princes. Thus begins a Middle Eastern heart-of-darkness tale that flows like a dream, occasionally turning nightmarish, but is always rendered with a hypnotic quality beautifully captured in Edward Gauvin’s elegant translation.

Serge Brussolo nominated for the Northern California Book Awards!

June 2nd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink


Serge Brussolo’s The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome from Melville House has been nominated in the translation category for the 36th annual Northern California Book Awards! Winners will be announced at the ceremony on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin, at Grove, at 5:30 p.m. Immediately following the awards, a brief public reception with book sales and signing for all of the nominated books will begin in the Library.

The Northern California Book Awards ceremony is free and open to the public. We look forward to celebrating all of the nominated books and authors, and publicize the nominee list as a guide for recommended reading.
The Northern California Book Awards were established by the Northern California Book Reviewers (formerly BABRA) in 1981 to honor the work of writers and recognize exceptional service in the field of literature in northern California.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BOOK REVIEWERS (NCBR), a volunteer group of book reviewers, book review editors, and book media hosts who read passionately and write about reading, have met regularly since 1981 to recommend and celebrate books by presenting the awards, which recognize excellence in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translation, and Children’s Literature. In addition to the book awards, the Fred Cody Award is presented annually for lifetime achievement. This year, poet, activist, and cultural theorist Judy Grahn will be honored.The awards ceremony and reception are presented by the Northern California Book Reviewers and Poetry Flash, co-sponsored by PEN West, Mechanics’ Institute Library and Chess Room (www.milibrary.org), Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter (wnba-sfchapter.org), San Francisco Public Library, and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library (www.friendssfpl.org).

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