February 2011
image: Rutu Modan, From War Rabbit by Rutu Modan and Igal Sarna

International Graphic Novels, Volume V
Like The Graphic World, Part V: (Worth) Ten Thousand Words on Facebook 

February brings our annual celebration of the international graphic novel. From bomb shelters in Gaza to prisons in Greece, surviving famine in Ukraine and negotiating high school in Paris, these international artist-writers delineate character and plot with their singular styles. See how Nine Antico, Chihoi, Christophe-Ngalle Edimo and Simon-Pierre Mbumbo, Eom Jeong-He and Ko Im-Hong, Igort, Rutu Modan and Igal Sarna, and David Prudhomme make every picture tell a story. (Chihoi's tale is a translation within a translation, a graphic version of a story by Xi Xi, also appearing this month.) Elsewhere, in a trio of anti-valentines, Kjell Askildsen's resentful married couple seethe in silence, Guillermo Martinez's pick-up artist blunders through a dance hall, and Teresa Solana's elderly women dispatch an abusive son-in-law.

This month we also launch a new series, Our Man in Madrid, in which Jonathan Blitzer presents new work in Spanish by international writers coming through that literary hub. In the first installment, Venezuelan Juan Carlos Chirinos tracks the operatic last act of a despot.

by Rutu Modan and Igal Sarna
Translated by G.H. Freedman
We've taught bunnies to live above ground, and we've driven human beings underground.more>>>

from “Rébétiko (la mauvaise herbe)”
by David Prudhomme
Translated by Edward Gauvin
Today at noon among the vines / I kissed somebody else's wife more>>>

from “A Taste of Paradise”

by Nine Antico
Translated by Anjali Singh
Be at the basketball courts at six. We'll kill you.more>>>

The Story of Serafima Andreyevna
by Igort
Translated by Jamie Richards
Cannibalism became commonplace. more>>>

The Secret of Frequency A: An Incredible Disaster
by Eom Jeong-Hui and Ko Im-Hong
Translated by Heinz Insu Fenkl and Jungbin Yoon
I suspect that there is a sinister conspiracy secretly at work here in the proximity of the nature preserve. more>>>

from “Malamine”
by Christophe Ngalle Edimo and Simon-Pierre Mbumbo
Translated by Edward Gauvin
You'll have to pay an air tax. On the air you're breathing, idiot! more>>>

The Cat’s Coming (in a Left-Handed Version)
by Chihoi
Translated by Steve Bradbury
Knock-out drugs! Rape! Murder! Dismemberment! more>>>

Davin Chan Moves Out
by Xi Xi
Translated by Steve Bradbury 
Then, with the aid of a scalpel, he would dismember the body for disposal but save the woman’s breasts and pudenda. more>>>

Three Anti-Valentines

A Stitch in Time
by Teresa Solana
Translated by Peter Bush
As we were intending to cut him into small chunks, we thought it would be less stressful if he were bandaged. more>>>

Dance at the Marcone
by Guillermo Martínez
Translated by Andrea G. Labinger
The other one gave me that slutty smile older chicks use when they’re trying to pass for teenagers. more>>>

The Dogs in Thessaloniki
by Kjell Askildsen
Translated by Agnes Scott Langeland
Do you remember the dogs in Thessaloniki which were stuck together after they h
ad mated, she said. more>>>

Our Man in Madrid

A New Series from Words without Borders
By Jonathan Blitzer
Madrid es un pueblo,” people here are fond of saying, their tone of paternalism matched only by pride.  It’s small, but it’s ours, is more or less the idea. more>>>

Ride of the Valkyries
by Juan Carlos Chirinos
Translated by Jonathan Blitzer
Now the president is gulping down a pair of tranquilizers with his whiskey. more>>>

Beyond the Realms of Fiction: An Interview with Juan Carlos Chirinos

by Jonathan Blitzer
Translated by Jonathan Blitzer
What began in 1997 as an academic “excursion” became a kind of immigration experience and now seems to have turned into an indisguisable exile. more>>>

Book Reviews
Nathacha Appanah’s “The Last Brother”

Reviewed by Anderson Tepper

The Last Brother, by young French-Mauritian author Nathacha Appanah, is a quiet, lyrical coming-of-age novel set against one of the least-known chapters of World War II. more>>>

Recent Dispatches

A Rumbling Octopus: Egyptians Take to the Streets in Protest
by Chip Rossetti

So it’s finally happened.

The mass uprising by Egyptians against Hosni Mubarak’s thirty-year rule has finally come to pass.  In recent years, there have been sporadic protests and demonstrations against the stagnant political order and against incidents of police brutality and rigged elections, but none have had the sustained and growing impetus that the current wave of demonstrations have had.  No matter what transpires in the next days and weeks (and with the situation so volatile, this blog post may be out of date as soon as it’s posted), it seems clear that Mubarak’s era is over, even if he somehow manages to cling to his presidency until the September 2011 elections. more>>>

From Angoulême: European Comics in Anglophone Markets
By Edward Gauvin

Thursday, I attended a session in the “rights balloon” (let’s hope it’s not a “rights bubble”) entitled “Franco-Belgian BD business in the USA Today.” The panel, moderated by noted English comics blogger Paul Gravett, consisted of four American editors, a Canadian, and an Englishman (full disclosure: I’ve worked with three of the four Americans). Editors were asked to summarize the challenges of doing Euro-comics in Anglophone countries.more>>>

Book Reviews: Who Should Write about Literature in Translation?
By David Varno
Translation was a central subject with a panel of book review editors this week, at the Center for Fiction in New York. The event, “Book Reviews, Revamped,” was put on in partnership with the National Book Critics Circle, and moderated by the organization’s president, Jane Ciabattari. She addressed four editors of long-established review venues with questions on the shifting space for book criticism, from print to online, and from established, “authoritative” sources to new blogs and web zines, and asked them to talk about how their publications have adapted and what they have planned for the future. more>>>

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