* 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.
L’Association was kind enough to provide the lettering for this atypical presentation of their work. It’s a real thrill seeing my renderings fontified into boxes and balloons.
UPDATE: Courtesy of Professor Bart Beaty and His Generosity, “Les Pharaons d’Égypte” makes the February 7, 2007 front page of The Comics Reporter!! (runs down street, waving hands in air) Thanks to the authors, Messrs. Ruppert et Mulot, the Professor of Eurocomics, and the esteemed Tom Spurgeon, editor. Permalink for those late to the party.
* Congratulations to my erstwhile employer Archaia Studios Press for being named runner-up to DC and Marvel, no less, as Best Publisher of 2006 at IGN.com and Comics Should Be Good. Courtesy their series Okko, Edward Gauvin makes it into Wikipedia. Ah, digital immortality!
* Dusting off the blogroll to unveil a few nifty buttons’n'badges also reveals new names: Kathryn Moroney, Associate Director of Education at Rochester’s Geva Theatre and Significant Other; Words Without Borders, a few hardworking people engaged in an essential enterprise; Broken Frontier, your quality portal for coverage all things comics-related; The Comics Reporter, that venerable rag and institution; and Michael Turton, Taichung professor, to whose blog I now turn for news of all things Taiwan.