OUT NOW: The Little Book of Knowledge: Heavy Metal

November 28th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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IDW’s Little Book of Knowledge series continues with Heavy Metal by Jacques de Pierpont and Hervé Bourhis. I’ve worked on the Bordeaux-based Bourhis before, jumping on BOOM! Studios’ Space Warped, a goofy Star Wars parody, with Issue 3.

I’ve got to be honest: never have I learned so fascinatingly much about something I never cared to know anything about. I even tried listening to metal while translating the book, a few songs here and there mentioned in the text… but soon abandoned that. Maybe you have to start young? I’d love to hear what American metalheads have to say about this book, which seems like a pretty fair international overview.

OUT NOW: Elenora Mandragora

November 27th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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Now that your turkey days are done, maybe you’re thinking about Christmas gifts for the little ones in your life? Well, look no further! May I recommend Elenora Mandragora: Daughter of Merlin, the first book in a whimsical, vibrant spin on the Merlin mythology by Séverine Gauthier and Thomas Labourot. I had a lot of fun translating this book, which reminded me a bit of the Disney classic Sword in the Stone.

Zeina Abirached’s I Remember Beirut USBBY Outstanding Pick!

November 19th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY)–”Building Bridges Through Children´s and Young Adult Books”–serves as the U.S. national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), which was founded to promote international understanding and good will through books for children and adolescents.

They’ve named Zeina Abirached’s graphic memoir I Remember Beirut, the US follow up to her Batchelder Honor book A Game for Swallows, as an Outstanding Pick!

Zeina Abirached, author of the award-winning graphic novel A Game for Swallows, returns with a powerful collection of wartime memories. Abirached was born in Lebanon in 1981. She grew up in Beirut as fighting between Christians and Muslims divided the city streets. Follow her past cars riddled with bullet holes, into taxi cabs that travel where buses refuse to go, and on outings to collect shrapnel from the sidewalk. With striking black-and-white artwork, Abirached recalls the details of ordinary life inside a war zone.

Congratulations, Zeina!

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OUT NOW: The Smell of Starving Boys by Loo Hui Phang and Frederik Peeters

November 16th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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SelfMadeHero is pleased to announce the publication of THE SMELL OF STARVING BOYS by Loo Hui Phang and Frederik Peeters. Laos-born writer Loo Hui Phang pens an intense Western where old and new worlds collide, illustrated by award-winning Frederick Peeters (Blue Pills trans. Anjali Singh;  Pachyderme and the 4-book Aama series, trans. yours truly).

Texas 1872. The Civil War is over, and the entrepreneurial geologist Stingley sets out with disgraced photographer Forrest and mysterious young assistant Milton to document uncharted territories. Entering the hostile region of the native Comanches, they must face the constant threat of attack, but with social conventions disappearing, more intimate relationships develop between Forrest and Milton.

This is the sixth book of Peeters’ I’ve had the pleasure of translating–not counting the 4 as-yet unreleased volumes of Lupus, still forthcoming from Top Shelf–and his second in English from something other than his own script (the first was Sandcastle with Pierre Oscar-Levy, translated by Nora Mahony). Here, Peeters solicited a script from noted Laos-born comics writer Loo Hui Phang. I’m proud to be a continuing part of bringing this star Swiss creator into English.

OUT NOW: The Little Book of Knowledge: Tattoos

November 8th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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IDW has launched a new line of nonfiction French comics, The Little Book of Knowledge, and this first entry, Tattoos, just hit stores, with informative words by Jerôme Pierrat, editor-in-chief of Tatouage magazine, and lovely, free-flowing art by the largely self-taught Alfred, a very deserving Angouleme Grand Prize winner for Come Prima, which we covered (among other titles) in August 2016 at The Comics Alternative’s Eurocomics podcast.

I think this is a salutary addition to the Eurocomics scene in the U.S., broadening our idea of what’s available from France, what comics can do and are doing abroad. Till now, the scene’s been dominated by the indie cartooning legacy of Persepolis, with some branching into more commercial series. But non-memoir, topical nonfiction comics are gaining ground in France as an effective way to deliver information, as is long-form comics reportage, in fascinating, lushly produced magazines like XXI and La revue dessinee. So it’s terrific to see awareness of that brought stateside.

Check out some preview pages at 13th Dimension. At Rogues Portal, Anelise Farris reviews The Little Book of Knowledge: Tattoos, concluding:

This is not by any means a light read. However, although the writing is dense at times, the clean art and abundant use of white space helps to alleviate some of the heaviness [...] Verdict: Check it out. The Little Book of Knowledge: Tattoos is… a history of tattooing as an art form. Consequently, this comic will most likely appeal to art historians, cultural studies scholars, and tattoo enthusiasts who don’t mind dry, though nicely illustrated, nonfiction. I also think that this book would be useful in a classroom setting—like a specialized anthropology or art course.

OUT NOW: Magritte: This Is Not a Biography

November 7th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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SelfMadeHero is pleased to announce the publication of MAGRITTE: THIS IS NOT A BIOGRAPHY, a hallucinatory journey through fact, fiction, and the imagination of the landmark Surrealist from the creative team of Belgian writer Vincent Zabus and Italian artist Thomas Campi.

When Charles Singular anticipates promotion by buying a bowler hat, one that was once owned by surrealist Rene Magritte, he find himself transported into the artist’s eccentric world. This is the latest in SelfMadeHero’s acclaimed Art Masters that includes Pablo, Baudoin’s Dalí, Gauguin: The Other World (all translated by yours truly), Munch, and Vincent.

I’ve done a number of biographies for SelfMadeHero now, and the unorthodox approach here made it one of my personal favorites. As  Joe Gordon notes at the Forbidden Planet blog,

This is an approach that wouldn’t really work in a prose biography, but the comics medium can do beautifully; the Ninth Art exploring the world of the fine arts visually, as Charles literally finds himself in the artist’s work. Yes, perhaps cinema could do this visually too, but in comics form we can pause, a still image, just like the paintings, lingering over some panels, allowing ideas and notions to spark against one another in our head as we take it in. This is the sort of work which the comics medium can do better than any other, and here Zabus and Campi clearly understand that, and use it to wonderful effect to explore Magritte’s ouevre.

Lots of lovely preview pages there. Do give it a look!

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