The month is almost over, but you can still catch 4 pages from French cartoonist Luz’s memoir Catharsis, which traces his journey through artist’s block in the months after last January’s Charlie Hebdo attacks. It’s in the September issue of Harper’s, now on newsstands.
In an earlier post, I flashed the cover of the French edition, but here’s The Curse of the Wendigo, with art by Charlie Adlard (best known for his work on The Walking Dead) from a script by Mathieu Missoffe. Think the movie Ravenous, but with a Native American protagonist in the trenches of World War I France…
The good folks at Melville House have come up with a moody Ludlumesque cover and a preview of what I call “Inception directed by David Cronenberg,” Serge Brussolo’s SFnal novel The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome, which they’ll be releasing this coming January.
. . . the long, black, oily car clung to the sidewalk. Like a giant wet rubbery leech fastened to the foot of the building, siphoning blood from the façade, slowly gorging on the vital fluid flushing the pink marble . . . Would the structure shrivel up, wither away? Instinctively, David reached out for the car door to make sure the metal wasn’t going soft. He checked himself just in time. Rule number one: keep fleeting impressions from blossoming into full-blown fantasies. A moment’s inattention and images seized the chance to sink roots, proliferating at incredible speed—like tropical plants that, no sooner slashed, sprouted back, stalks dripping sap, amputees already reanimating . . .
And another from the summer, a contemporary comedy of changing manners originally entitled Contemporary Western Male, by journalist François Bégaudeau and seasoned artist Clément Oubrerie:
As has been reported all over—Paste Magazine, Bleeding Cool, Comic Book Resources, Comics and Cola, Comics Reporter, Newsarama, Comic Book, French Culture—publisher Delcourt-Soleil has spearheaded the French invasion of the US digital comic book market, releasing direct on Comixology, and yours truly has been dutifully busy cranking out the words for them. The full range of titles available so far is right here.
Here’s a series I did over the summer that’s been likened to Lost: Christophe Bec’s Prométhée.
A SERIES OF UNEXPLAINED EVENTS ARE AFFLICTING THE WORLD, DAY AFTER DAY, AT 13:13 PM EXACTLY.
But what is the origin of these planetary wide anomalies?
As the threat of Apocalypse hangs over the whole planet, it would seem that the future of Humanity has been plunged into chaos and obscurity… Heralding the worst for civilization.
Well, since they’ve talked about it, I guess I can. A recent Publishers Weekly piece by Calvin Reid announces the Delcourt-Soleil juggernaut’s direct-to-digital invasion of the US market, part of a larger coordinated French assault that will see Mediatoon (Dargaud-Dupuis-Le Lombard) and Glenat getting in on the action by New York Comic Con this coming fall. I’m really excited to the part of this initiative allowing more than the trickle of BDs over than American readers have been able to see in the past. Belgian-French BD has a wealth of genres and stories. Hopefully, the flexibility and lower costs of digital platforms will result in more experimenting with subject matter, as till now most Americans have only seen one or two colors from the full spectrum of kinds of comics France has to offer. I’ve been doing books for all three of these major French publishers, and Reid’s piece mentions a recent project of mine that will be part of Delcourt’s launch: paranormal war comic The Curse of the Wendigo by Mathieu Missoffe and Charlie Adlard. French cover below:
At Words Without Borders, Jeffrey Zuckerman, formerly of Dalkey Archive and now Digital Editor at Music & Literature Magazine, has these kind words for my translation of Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s recent essay collection Urgency and Patience:
Edward Gauvin seems to have devoted the same patience to translating Toussaint as I once did proofreading him; Gauvin’s facility with both the original, crisp French and a correspondingly transparent English are in full evidence here. A reader intimately acquainted with Toussaint’s novels might well wonder if his mind occasionally becomes as flattened, as empty, and as analytical as those of his overlapping narrators. The delightful revelation offered by Urgency and Patience is that such a prospect is nigh well impossible.
Kamel Daoud by Claude Truong-Ngoc, February 2015
Kamel Daoud, whose debut The Meursault Investigation won the Prix Goncourt for First Novels and was excerpted in The New Yorker, weighs in on his native Algeria in the context of the Arab Spring in The New York Times with “The Algerian Exception,” translated by yours truly.
A book I had a lovely time translating over the holidays last year is now available: Jean-Michel Billioud’s Paris au fil du temps, or Paris Through the Ages. This is the first pop-up book I’ve ever done, and working from pdfs as I did, I only later saw how it was meant to be fit together. It’s a pleasure to hold the finished product in my hands, made with such care and charm. Each two-page spread features the City of Lights at some point in its evolution, touching on such major eras as the Roman Lutetia, medieval Paris, Haussmann’s renovations, and the modern day. Flaps open out and wheels turn to provide captioned cutaways. Interactive, educational, and elegant, it’s a must-read before any family vacation in France. Both French and English versions are published by Gallimard (who offered me the standard royalty guaranteed translators in France. America has a lot to learn).
Now available from PM Press: Sisters of the Revolution, a Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, which includes my translation of Belgian fabulist Anne Richter’s “The Sleep of Plants.” I’m delighted to have her appear in the context of such authors as L. Timmel Duchamp, Nalo Hopkinson, James Tiptree Jr., Catherynne Valente, Joanna Russ, Tanith Lee, Angela Carter, Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Nnedi Okorafor, Karin Tidbeck,
Kirkus Review‘s starred review says: “There is probably no better time for this anthology to emerge, as the SF/F world is rocked by a clash over the value of diverse voices. While the original dates of publication of these stories range from the 1970s to the current decade, and include both stalwarts of their respective genres and relative newcomers, they all feel fresh as ever. Touching on issues from surveillance, misogyny, and marriage to queerness, family dynamics, and gender fluidity… these stories, coming from a variety of genres, subgenres, and nonrealist traditions, are timeless and breathtaking in scope and power.”
At Tor.com, Mahvesh Murad says these stories do “exactly what you’d want them to—they tear apart cliches, they question gender and it’s implications, they look at identity using satire and humour and darkness with a sharp intellectual examination of stigma and society’s rules.”
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