Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Oubapo in Translation

I translated three short comics by members of Oubapo and wrote an introduction to the group and its principles for the International Graphic Novels issue of the literary translation magazine Words Without Borders.

original Etienne Lécroart page, photo by me

The comics I translated are a palindrome comic by François Ayroles, an acrostic comic by Killoffer, and a 4-page elegy* by Etienne Lécroart to his sister, structured on a decreasing number of words and lines from one panel to the next. This last comic is on my short list for the most innovative and powerful comics I've read in recent years. I was lucky enough to drop in on Etienne a few years ago and see the original pages right after he had finished drawing it. I wrote about the visit here.

*I had a moment of doubt about whether 'elegy' is the right term here or if it should be 'eulogy'. I think they are both applicable: an elegy is usually a musical or poetic composition in remembrance of someone while a eulogy is usually a prose reminiscence written by a loved one. Though the comic is written in prose and by a loved one, the rigor of the composition and the melancholy tone make me think that 'elegy' is the more proper term to use.

No comments: