So here’s the thing. I’ve wanted for a while to have the facility to do some French books but had no ability in house to do the translation/s. We could have put it out of course but I like to fiddle with translations a lot and I’ve had at least one bad previous experience where getting a translation done felt more like going back to school and being told what to do. So we had been sticking to what we knew we could do well, German books, or where there was a decent chance of getting some assistance with the cost of the translation (Flemish – thanks Els). Then enter this pair – this is Martin and Judith who are the people who bring you the excellent Avoid the Future blog.
After I posted some of my favourite French books for a piece Joe Gordon had done over on the Forbidden Planet blog Martin contacted me to say how much he and Judith also loved the work of Peggy Adam – especially Luchadoras (which at that point I hadn’t seen). We got talking and I said I’d love to do some French stuff but lacked a translator which is when Martin and Judith offered their services. Both are very big comics fans – which you can tell when you read their blog, which not only wanders down tributaries most blogs ignore but brings an overwhelming positiveness and optimism to the material they review and spotlight. In fact that philosophy is very much like my own – why bother spending your time criticising or ladling snide on stuff that isn’t very good when there is so much great stuff to shout about. Into the bargain Judith is French and well versed in translation and Martin is there to help with idiom and getting the English as right as possible. In my previous experience of translation sometimes it’s better to completely change a passages words to get the feeling that was meant in the original language (there was quite a lot of that in our Sleepyheads translation) rather than slavishly hold to the original on a word for word basis. So we talked about it some and we agreed to form a little partnership to do some French books and went and acquired the license for Luchadoras from Swiss publisher Atrabile. It’s a powerful book documenting one girls life in the Mexican town of Ciudad Juarez – where over 600 women have been murdered in the last 17 years. Here’s a page of the untranslated book below.
I’m very excited to have Martin and Judith as partners on this – they will be doing the heavy lifting and I’ll be drinking Margaritas and cracking the whip in the background. I think they will do an immensely good job and I know they are fired up for the project. I hope to make many more books with them in the future before they take the experience and go off and do it all better on their own – which surely with their talent and excellent comics taste will happen one day. For now though let’s just all welcome M&J on board as part of the Blank Slate family. Glad to have you along guys.