Comics month at Words Without Borders

February 12th, 2011 § 0 comments

February is comics month at Words Without Borders! This is the fifth edition of what has become an annual tradition: the international graphic fiction special issue. There’s great stuff to choose from this month:

  • Steve Bradbury translates Hong Kong artist Chihoi’s adaptation of a story by Xi Xi. In a neat twist, the original story, in Bradbury’s translation, is also available for comparison. Of particular interest is Bradbury’s introduction to the comic, which outlines the unique and, er… sinister artistic approach Chihoi took to adapting the story. I got a chance to chat with Chihoi at the international comics festival in Angoulême last month. Ongoing coverage of the festival should be running sometime this month in the Dispatches blog section.
  • Italian-raised Eurocomics legend Igort, founded of Coconino Press, looks into his Ukrainian family history with harrowing results: a timely translation by Jamie Richards, especially with the recent Stalin biographies and their revelations about the Holomodor, famine, and cannibalism.
  • Editor Anjali Singh translates a bit from the first book by Nine Antico, Angoulême’s breakout gal, and the only two-time nominee for artist and writer at the festival this year. Expect great things from her, and look for maybe an interview as well, either here or at WWB.
  • There’s War Rabbit by Israeli favorite Rutu Modan, published in North America by the venerable Drawn & Quarterly.
  • At the festival, I also got to sit down for a coffee and a long chat with Christophe Ngalle Edimo, the writer of Malamine: An African in Paris, a hard-hitting graphic novel about the difficulties of integration facing the immigrant, and the embedded assumptions behind racism. Check out my translation and Simon Pierre Mbumbo’s art this month.
  • Another translation of mine running this month is David Prudhomme’s Rébétiko. Prudhomme’s art reaches new heights in the melding of comics and music, and his feel for these footloose, pothead musicians of an outlaw, fado-like populist tradition, burning with life in a precarious political situation, lends this period piece humanity. Among such other prizes as Lire magazine’s best comic of the year, the book won the Prix Regard sur le monde at Angoulême last year, a prize taken home this year by Joe Sacco’s reportage Gaza 1956. The prize is awarded to books, fiction and nonfiction alike, that turn their gazes on the world outside France, with an international focus, though artists and writers do not necessarily have to be foreigners.

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