October 19th, 2016 § § permalink
To the shame of the Anglophone comics world, French alt-BD giant Edmond Baudoin, a father figure to the current generation of indie cartoonists, has never been translated into English… until now! Baudoin’s sumptuous bio of Salvador Dalí dropped from SelfMadeHero earlier this month, just beating to the presses Taschen’s imminent and much ballyhooed holiday reissue of that cult-classic-cum-cookbook, Dalí’s Les Dîners de Gala. A master of one medium meets a master of the twentieth century in this special commission from the Centre Pompidou, in concert with their 2012 retrospective on the artist. Jennie Bailey at Starburst Magazine says:
The magic of the surrealist artist is lovingly captured by award winning French artist and writer Edmond Baudoin and translated by Edward Gauvin. Baudoin’s approach to Dalí is in itself Dalíesque: self-referential asides and surreal art and ink accompany Dalí’s biography… This English translation is a fantastic addition to the Arts Masters series and will sit happily with current publications on Munch, Pablo Picasso, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt. It will be great to see what SelfMadeHero publish next, they are definitely a publisher to keep your beady eye on.
October 18th, 2016 § § permalink
In the sidebar, I’ve updated the Forthcoming projects page to reflect titles for 2017 and beyond. 2016 saw the release of three books of prose fiction: in January, Melville House released Serge Brussolo’s dreamlike science fiction noir The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome, in July, Wakefield Press published Belgian fabulist Paul Willems’ somber and wistful story collection The Cathedral of Mist, and in September, Dalkey Archive came out with Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s novel Naked, the last of his “Marie” tetralogy.
Plus, there were countless comics coming and going every month, digital and print, which I’ll be better about keeping up with and blogging about here. In order to do so, I’m starting a series called Comics Monday. First thing every Monday, I’ll post about a graphic novel I’ve translated, starting with ones from within the last year; I’ve quite a backlog. What better way to kick off the week than with news of good comics?
I’ve also added a new page dedicated to the monthly Eurocomics podcast I now co-host with Dr. Professor Derek Royal at The Comics Alternative. I will post links and cover thumbnails for all our monthly podcast reviews of comics old and new, starting with July 2016′s inaugural episode.
October 17th, 2016 § § permalink
NBM recently published Cyril Pedrosa‘s Equinoxes, which Scott McCloud called “an impressive feast of a book.” The former Disney animator debuted in the US back in 2008 from First Second with the fantastical saga of fatherly love, Three Shadows, which has been well-reviewed and widely read over the years. I was lucky enough to translate that and a more recent digital-only release of another older work from Pedrosa, Hearts at Sea. This EuropeComics release follows on their earlier release of his equally lovely and emotionally attentive, somewhat autobiographical Portugal. EuropeComics books are available on Amazon, Google Play, and Kobo.
If you were lucky enough to catch him, Pedrosa just wrapped a US tour last month. Here’s an interview by Chris Oatley in English with Pedrosa.
October 16th, 2016 § § permalink
I’ve yet to do a proper introduction (for shame!), but this is the fourth month I’ve been co-hosting a podcast on comics in translation from Europe (and elsewhere: to wit, Latin America) with the estimable Dr. Professor Derek Royal of The Comics Alternative. In October’s episode, we cover two graphic novels by the writer Fabien Nury, whose four-part historical adventure Of Blood and Gold from Glénat I translated last year (available on Amazon and iTunes).
The first I Am Legion, is a collaboration with star artist John Cassaday, well-known to American readers for his work on Planetary, Star Wars, and Joss Whedon’s X-Men run. A WWII alternate history involving vampires, it reminds me in its historical specificity of the work of Tim Powers. Published by Humanoids in France and the U.S., it’s widely available, including at a 30% off from our kind podcast sponsor Discount Comic Book Service.
The other, a personal favorite from the past few years, features art by the awesome Brüno, with his uniquely chunky and expressive style. A contemporary noir called Tyler Cross, it’s kind of like if Hammett’s Continental Op went to Jim Thompson’s West Texas. One of my favorite scenes is a few pages of narration during a prison break from the POV of a caged rattlesnake, with the violent action is reflected in its eye. It sounds over the top, but it works. First serialized in B&W in the digital comics revue Professeur Cyclope, Book 1: Black Rock went on to launch a series of which Book 2, Angola, is out now. Brüno’s art definitely deserves more American exposure. The official colorized version is widely available, digital only, on iBooks, Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, and Comixology, where both volumes are a steal at under a dollar.
October 15th, 2016 § § permalink
In continuing coverage of things you might have missed this summer (when this blog lay sadly dormant while I was too busy to update), July saw the release of Belgian fabulist Paul Willems’ darkly lovely and delicate late-life story collection, The Cathedral of Mist, from Wakefield Press.
Illus. by Marc Lowenthal
Paul Willems (1912-1997) belongs to the final generation of great Francophone Belgian fabulists of Flemish descent. Four novels and two story collections bracket his career as a playwright, for which he was best known in his lifetime.
He published his first novel, Everything Here is Real, in 1941.
Donald Friedman’s translation of his late novella The Drowned Land was nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award and published with Suzanne Burgoyne’s translation of his play La Vita Brève in an edition from Peter Lang in 1994.
Some stories from this collection may be previewed in these fine publications:
- “The Horse’s Eye” in Tin House #50: Beauty (2011)
- “The Colors of the World” in Scheherezade’s Bequest #15 (2012)
- “Cherepish” in Subtropics #13 (2012)
- “The Cathedral of Mist” in Tin House #58: Winter Reading (2013)
- “Requiem for Bread” at The Open Bar, Tin House’s blog
Willems’ delicate original fairytale “The Colors of the World” (not in the forthcoming collection) was published in in Scheherezade’s Bequest #15 (2012) and podcast in 2013 at Podcastle, read aloud by Marguerite Croft.
October 14th, 2016 § § permalink
For those of you who might have missed it over the summer, the science fiction podcast StarShipSofa ran a Translations Special Month in July, Week 2 of which featured my translation of Laurent Queyssi’s “Sense of Wonder 2.0,” first published in Issue #2 of The New Accelerator.
In an interview at Rachel Cordasco’s site Speculative Fiction in Translation, Fiction Editor Jeremy Szal says that “Queyssi’s trangressive A Clockwork Orange-esque tale about a dystopian future of product-placement and violence hooked into my gut and wouldn’t let go until the very end. It was an easy acceptance.”
The story is narrated by, Rock Manor a featured voice performer on such podcasts as The NoSleep Podcast, Pseudopod and Tales To Terrify. He is the producer of Manor House hosted by The Phantom Collector, the horror audio-anthology series featured on both iTunes and YouTube. Visit his website at ManorHouseShow.com.
October 13th, 2016 § § permalink
The science fiction issue of Bard College’s venerable literary mainstay Conjunctions, guest-edited by Elizabeth Hand, features my translation of “Cartoon” by Belgian fabulist Jean Muno, lately featured at The Missing Slate and in Year’s Best Weird Fiction Vol. 2 from Undertow Books, edited by Kathe Koja and Michael Kelly.
This issue boasts an all-star lineup: stories by Leena Krohn (translated by Eva Buchwald), Jeffrey Ford, Lavie Tidhar, Paul Park, Peter Straub, Joyce Carol Oates, James Morrow, plus Brian Evenson interviewing Samuel Delany, Elizabeth Hand interviewing Kelly Link, John Clute in conversation with John Crowley, and exclusive web content from Charlie Jane Anders.
Go pre-order your copy today! Or better yet, subscribe to Conjunctions, one of America’s finest literary magazines.
October 12th, 2016 § § permalink
The witching season is upon us, Halloween is around the corner, time to order Nightscript, scrivener and editor C.M. Muller’s annual anthology of “strange and darksome” tales! Last year’s first volume won the 2015 Dark Muse award for “Best Multi-Author Collection.” This year’s harvest of twenty “haunting stories certain to enhance your autumnal dreams” features the original fiction work of one H.V. Chao no doubt familiar to readers of this site. Both volume of Nightscript are now available to purchase via PayPal for $14 (plus s&h), or you may obtain copies (in both print and e-editions) through Amazon, and Gwendolyn Kiste insightfully interviews C.M. Muller here.
October 11th, 2016 § § permalink
Over the summer, Serge Brussolo’s novel The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome was excerpted in the latest issue of PEN America, No. 19: Hauntings.
It also received a nice new review at Fright.com:
The travelling-into-dreams trope has long been a prominent, and problematic, staple of horror and science fiction. This French novel, originally published in 1992, is a stellar example of the format–and, I feel, an overall standout in the field of imaginative fiction. Kudos to Melville House, and translator Edward Gauvin, for putting out this better-late-than-never English language version…
… [V]arious strands are neatly intertwined in a haunting yet satisfying conclusion, in which we’re introduced to yet another facet of the novel’s bizarre reality, which comes to encompass not only dreams and reality but also life, death and beyond.
October 10th, 2016 § § permalink
Blutch’s dreamlike toga epic Peplum, which came out this spring from New York Review Comics, makes the Onion A.V .Club’s Best Comics of 2016 So Far list, earning a nice writeup from Shea Hennum:
… lilting along through scenes of great violence and great sensuality, each set piece crashing into one another… a work both visually and emotionally arresting. Here, in poetic and aesthetic glory, Blutch explores the attraction of death and the psychotic longing to encounter the sublime. He inks his pages with heavy cross-hatching and smeared, sticky brush strokes, carving out images of white space untouched by the abyssal blackness.
I’d see Shea’s reviews before, but I first became aware of his critical work in an excellent essay he devoted to letterer John Workman in the back pages of Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Duca’s Image series Shutter. Big thanks to Shea and the A.V. Club!