For one day only, readers can get their hand on 54-creator graphic novel Nelson for £13.30; Peggy Adam’s harrowing tale of life in Cuidad Juarez, Luchadoras, for £9.00; and Madéleine Flores’s all-ages story celebrating creativity and literature, The Girl and the Gorilla for £5.60.
In 2012 and beyond, we’ll be releasing more titles by female creators than ever before, with titles from Donya Todd, Isabel Kreitz and Line Hoven on the way very soon. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter accounts for more news about upcoming releases!
A match made in heaven: one of our favourite comic shops talks about one of our favourite books. The ever-excellent Orbital Comics‘ deliver a really thoughtful conversation on Luchadorason the latest edition of their Orbiting Pod podcast. A really accurate reflection of the reasons that we chose to translate the book, the Orbital team talk about the subtlety with which Peggy Adam handles characterization, the symbolism within the narrative, and how the book is “not about preaching, but showing” the situation in Juarez.
As of today Martin Steenton will be heading up our publicity and marketing department. Many of you may already know Martin from his regular posting on the excellent site Avoid the Future, which he owns and runs with Judith Taboy. I worked with them on the translation of Luchadoras – actually they did pretty much the whole thing – and I know Martin will bring a deep love of comics to the job along with his marketing experience and a great eye for detail. Given he is also a huge fan (and has Judith backing him up with her ideas) expect him to be more involved in Blank Slate than just being our all-important publicity guy. These guys love French comics so expect more from them on our list.
For the last 4 months Kayla Marie Hillier has been filling this role and we want to thank Kayla for her many efforts as our point girl over this period. In November our very ambitious Nelson book will be released and it wouldn’t be happening without the focus that Kayla has brought to the project, co-ordinating everything behind the scenes and helping editors Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix. Kayla, good luck with whatever you do next!
As tomorrow most of you will be eating cucumber sandwiches and drinking tea from Will & Kate cups at this hour – you get your Blank Slate news a day early.
As you probably know we’ll be at TCAF next weekend.
What you may not know is that we’ll be participating in the Comics, Manga & Co. – The New German Comics Culture presentation and exhibit on Thursday May 5th at the Toronto Reference Library.
You can get full details here- we will be making a quick presentation discussing the German comics that we have published, the ones debuting at TCAF as well as the ones that will be released later this year- talking a bit about the company in general and also making an announcement for a book that we’ve been working on since late last year. So if you’re in the area please join us! It should be a fantastic evening! We’re also really excited that Mawil will be present for this event and the weekend – as well as Joe Decie who will be attending for the release of The Accidental Salad.
Luchadoras has received it’s first review from Paul Gravett.
“Though much shorter at 97 ages, Luchadoras is a concise, focussed gem that deserves to sit up there alongside epics like Los Bros Hernandez’ Love & Rockets and Jessica Abel’s La Perdida as another empathic, perceptive portrayal of troubling aspects of contemporary Mexican society.”
You can read the entire review in his May Previews.
Just a quick post directing you to some things that happened this week.
First up- Martin and Judith over at Avoid the Future! have posted a lovely interview with Peggy Adam discussing the soon to be released Luchadoras. They have an interesting relationship with this book as they translated the work- you can read the full article here.
As you may know Blank Slate are going to be attending the Toronto Comic Arts Festival May 7-8th- an official announcement has been released on their website (and mailing list) about all the British comics guests. Take a look at that here.
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.