|First Look: The Cabbie Vol. 1 by Martí|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Marti, Jim Blanchard, Coming Attractions||12 May 2011 10:20 AM|
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Category >> Coming Attractions
Jason shares another uncolored page from his forthcoming book Athos in America, this time from the title story, at his blog. The French dialogue will be translated for our edition, of course. Basically, Athos is confused and overwhelmed by the noise, hustle and bustle, and strange food ("hot dog?") of New York City — the last line is "I feel old in New York."
In a brave new world where practically every cartoonist by now scans his or her original art and sends us discs or drops files on our server, Gilbert Hernandez remains staunchly stuck in the 20th century, whence he FedExes us fat packages of art every time we have a new book of his to release. And thus today we were blessed with a FedEx carton containing his 50 count 'em 50 pages for the next issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories, premiering in San Diego in July.
Here's one of 'em. (Click for a bigger version.) You'll get to see the other 49 later this summer.
Working my way through the Joost Swarte book, I stumbled across this panel (I'm showing the French version because the Dutch one I have only in black and white, and it needs to be shown in color for the full effect), in which a woman Joost's hero Jopo is trying to pick up leaves him a kiss-off message written in lipstick on a mirror. And I thought, uh-oh.
This Swarte book is being printed in a "co-production," which means that two or more publishers simultaneously go to press on the same book in different languages. In order to achieve this, the publishers have to make sure that any alterations for translation purposes appear only in the BLACK layer (the covers are excepted from this) — so any text has to either be in a common language, or distractingly translated via a footnote. A red lipstick scrawl telling someone to fuck off (or in the case of the French version that he's a "testicle," which is kind of like calling someone a dick) in a foreign language is a definite reader-annoyance.
Which is why when I recently got Joost's final files for the book and checked out this panel, I actually laughed out loud. Can you guess how he handled it? Try. Then click here to see his megabrilliant solution.
Here's your first look at the final cover design for Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954, the first comprehensive collection of the great graphic storyteller's work from the era. Editor Greg Sadowski is wrapping up his meticulous restoration of the pages and we're looking at a July/August release for this 416-page full-color tome.
(Everything's coming up Toth today: at TCJ.com, Dan Nadel posted his interview with Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell about their mammoth upcoming Toth monograph Genius, Isolated.)
Between my own (ahem) vast accumulated knowledge and the marvels of the internet, it's rare that I find myself genuinely stumped by a line in a book I'm translating, but when I came across this particular panel in the Joost Swarte book Is That All There Is? that will (yes, it will!) be coming out later this year, I was mystified:
Jopo de Pojo is trying to slip out of a movie theatre midshow, and while the latter two patrons' comments are are self-evident enough (an irate "hush!" and a complaint about Jopo's trademark quiff, mistaken for a hat), the first one baffled me, as it seemed to say "would you let out the goat?" or perhaps "are you going to let out the goat?"
As it happens, there exists an English language version of this story created by the Dutch publisher, which Joost himself once referred to as a "hippie translation" (meaning somewhat erratic). And yes, the hippie translator in question had rendered the line with strict literalness: "Are you going to walk your goat?" Which was of no help whatsoever.
Now, I did suspect it might be some Dutch expression I didn't know (Dutch is not my strongest language by a long shot), but a Google search yielded nothing but a series of (admittedly very cute) photos of goats.
As I was flailing around, I started wondering if this was an insulting reference to Jopo's trademark foot-tall quiff (earlier in the book someone else had referred to him as "that idiot with the shark-fin on his head")... but fortunately, like Woody Allen pulling out Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall, I had access to the unimpeachable prime source and so I cut to the chase and just emailed Joost and asked him.
Turns out "letting out the goat" is Dutch slang for going to take a pee. Aha! (And Duh!)
I always loved that phrase. One big satisfaction of working as a translator is being able to drop in some of your pet expressions.
I went back and checked the French version of this story, and it turns out that translator also literally translated it as "letting out the goat," which I'm pretty sure is not a French expression for urination, or anything else. So I was apparently neither the first nor the second to fall into that particular trap; I was just the first to confess my bafflement to the author. Sometimes confessing one's ignorance is the wisest thing one can do.
...Unless Joost is just fucking with me. (Or, as the English would say, taking the piss out of me.)
PS: Talk about burying the lede: Yes, four years after we announced it, Joost Swarte has finally delivered the files for this book, and all I can say is that given how wonderful this book is and how utterly meticulous his (and his assistants') work on reconstructing the pages (from a rat's nest of originals, negatives, photostats, etc.) has been, that now seems like an entirely reasonable wait. You will not be disappointed.
The final cover art for our forthcoming second (or third, depending on how you count the initial 2-volume box set) volume of Bill Mauldin's Willie & Joe, fresh from Art Director Jacob Covey. It'll be a clothbound, unjacketed hardcover to match the hardcover edition of the previous collection Willie & Joe: The WWII Years, which is being reissued in a new single-volume softcover edition simultaneous with this new volume this July.