Comic strip

27 Août

As much as I enjoy translating White Papers, press releases and ad campaigns, it’s been a breath of fresh air working on one of my most recent project: the adaptation of a comic book, the first volume of Dan Hipp’s Gyakushu! It (comics) is a first for me and I had not translated fiction in a long time, so I was a bit anxious to get it right and convey the author’s universe to French readers.

You might know Dan Hipp as the illustrator of The Amazing Joy Buzzards, which tells the adventures of superstar rock’n roll band members/CIA agents/superheroes who fight evil all over the world. His trilogy, Gyakushu!, is a somewhat darker story of revenge. With its nameless hero and great fight scenes, it’s reminiscent of spaghetti westerns, kung fu flicks and Tarantino’s movies. I actually re-watched Kill Bill 1 & 2 while in the last phases of editing and proofing in order to get in the atmosphere.

Having no prior experience with translating comics, I found myself thinking as a subtitler about the relationship between text and image, about how to write down spoken language and of course about the necessity to keep it short. There were also comic-specific challenges such as the translation of onomatopoeia. I find that a lot of these are descriptive in English (think Splash!, Riiip!, etc.) whereas the French ones are more of the Wham! Bam! persuasion.

Finally the biggest challenge was to stay true to the author’s style. I love how Dan Hipp is extremely referential but still manages to put his own twist on things. I love how action-packed the book is and how fast you end up reading it. To be honest, the visual art does most of the job, but the storytelling is also quite original, with a narrator guiding us through the flashbacks and giving clues about what is going to happen.

Anyway, the job is now finished and the editor was quite pleased with it. All three volumes of Gyakushu are already available in English and you can check Dan Hipp’s work on his blog:


2 Réponses to “Comic strip”

  1. intralingo 31 août 2011 à 10:35 #

    How fascinating to work on a graphic novel! Can you tell us how this came about? I can imagine it would be a lot of fun to do, being guided by the art, keeping the narrative short and engaging. Any chance you’d like to guest post on this topic for Intralingo – a culture of language and thought? My readers and I would find it fascinating… 😉

    • tongueincheck 1 septembre 2011 à 5:54 #

      Hi Lisa. Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to write a guest post.

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