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: Arthus Trivium Vol. 2, The Third Magus

November 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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If you’ve ever wanted to see Nostradamus and the King of France fight off hellspawn… you’re welcome! The Renaissance meets the X-Files in this series by Raule, with art by Juan Luis Landa. Three agents trained by renowned sage and scholar Nostradamus travel the land, exposing hoaxes and solving occult crimes.

The Demon Zagan, Lord of All Things, and his undead minions have captured the young Charles IX, King of France, as well as Nostradamus and his family and are holding them hostage—but who let them into Nostradamus’ home? None other than his mentor, Scaliger, long believed dead. Consumed by envy for his former protégé, the scholar now serves Zagan, who seeks an orb created by the earliest magicians to defend the earth from the realm of the dead. It’s up to Nostradamus’ three young disciples, Arthus Trivium, Angelica Obscura, and Angulus Dante, to rescue their master from dire peril!

The Third Magus, volume two in this ongoing series, is now available as a digital exclusive from EuropeComics on a number of platforms (Izneo, Kindle, Kobo, Google Play, and Comixology).

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

November 16th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

9781910593400_s3 Phang cover

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: Tramp Vol. 2, Deadlock!

November 15th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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Up for a dose of classic ligne claire and adventure comics, Euro-style? Well, look no further! Welcome to the world of Tramp: maritime noir with exotic locales, insurance intrigue, shipowner skullduggery, and the titular steamer, a rusty bucket on trade routes of the mid-20th century. Jean-Charles Kraehn’s meticulous research is backed up by Patrick Jusseaume’s art in this loving ‘90s tribute to the long-running serials from the heyday of bande-dessinée.

With his ship newly repaired and his journey underway, first-time captain Yann Calec is plying the tramp routes from South Africa to South America. Still reeling from his lover Esther’s violent death, he is plagued by nightmares and the sneering insubordination of his second-in-command, René Floss. But remembered clues, strange events, and some vital information from a beautiful stowaway—a political refugee—will lead him down a trail revealing the full extent of De Trichère’s sinister plans to scuttle the Belle Hélène. Will Calec manage to escape the shipowner’s global web of co-conspirators?

The ongoing series continues with Deadlock, now available as a digital exclusive from EuropeComics on a number of platforms (Izneo, Kindle, Kobo, Google Play, and Comixology).

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!

OUT NOW: World War Wolves #4

October 25th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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The Walking Dead, but with werewolves: people in a devastated world band together, trying to find reasons to go on… This series in love with all things American hails from Soleil’s new French Comics imprint, with page layouts and panel designs more like American floppies, resulting in pacing that’s less like traditional Francophone bande dessinée. Written by Jean-Luc Istin, with B&W art by Kyko Duarte and grayscale by Ellem. The conclusion to the second arc, Once a Man, Now a Wolf, is now available as a digital exclusive from Soleil at Comixology.

OUT NOW: Arthus Trivium Vol. 1, The Angels of Nostradamus

October 20th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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The Renaissance meets the X-Files in this series by Raule, with art by Juan Luis Landa. Three agents trained by renowned sage and scholar Nostradamus travel the land, exposing hoaxes and solving occult crimes.

France, 1565. Charles IX reigns with an aging Nostradamus as his advisor, but unrest is afoot in the land. The Black Plague, believed to be under control, rears its head anew. Superstition vies with newly born science in the people’s hearts and minds. Through a countryside riven by religious and political rivalries travel Nostradamus’ three young disciples, Arthus Trivium, Angelica Obscura, and Angulus Dante, solving mysteries with wits, weapons, and the erudition their master has imparted. But soon they are drawn into the web of a well-laid plot against Nostradamus’ family, which may threaten the life of the king himself.

The Angels of Nostradamus, the first volume of this ongoing series, is now available as a digital exclusive from EuropeComics on a number of platforms (Izneo, Kindle, Kobo, Google Play, and Comixology).

OUT NOW: Tramp Vol.1, The Trap!

October 19th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

tramp 1

Up for a dose of classic ligne claire and adventure comics, Euro-style? Well, look no further! Welcome to the world of Tramp: maritime noir with exotic locales, insurance intrigue, shipowner skullduggery, and the titular steamer, a rusty bucket on trade routes of the mid-20th century. Jean-Charles Kraehn’s meticulous research is backed up by Patrick Jusseaume’s art in this loving ‘90s tribute to the long-running serials from the heyday of bande-dessinée.

In the chilly gray port town of Rouen, De Trichère, a man who’s made his fortune in shipping, is dying of cancer. He lost his wife to bombing during the war, and his daughter lost the use of her legs. Now the wheelchair-bound girl is all he has left, and he’s willing to go to any lengths to secure her future. Cozying up to a former first mate with a reputation for sadism? Check. Insurance fraud on a massive scale? Check. Sending over fifty sailors to certain doom, sure, but even… murdering his own secretary when she finds out?

The Trap, the kickoff volume to this ongoing series, is now available as a digital exclusive from EuropeComics on a number of platforms (Izneo, Kindle, Kobo, Google Play, and Comixology).