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(Worth) Ten Thousand Words, Part IV: International Graphic Novels

February 2010

February brings our annual celebration of the international graphic novel. Dodging bullets in Beirut and facing divorce in Paris, scaling Chinese peaks and prowling the Cairene underworld, these international artist-writers delineate character and plot with all sorts of lines. See how Zeina Abirached, Blutch, Albert Cossery and Golo, Marc Legendre, Galit Seliktar and Gilad Seliktar, and Wei Tsung-Cheng make every picture tell a story. In related pieces, Michael McDonald draws out translator Marina Harss, and Tomas Kołodziejczak considers the intersection of Polish politics and comics.

From “King-Ma Has Come”
By Wei Tsung-cheng
King-Ma Has Come (Ma Huang Jiang Lin) is a product of the hugely popular kuso culture in Asia. Also known as egao in Mandarin Chinese, the genre is known for its campy humor and outrageous parodies of…
Translated from Chinese by Nancy Tsai
From “Farm 54”
By Galit Seliktar & Gilad Seliktar
The graphic novel Farm 54 brings together three semi-autobiographical stories from the childhood, puberty, and early adulthood (military service years) of its female protagonist, growing up in Israel’s…
Translated from Hebrew by Ronen Altman Kaydar
From “A Game for Swallows”
By Zeina Abirached
Translated from French by Edward Gauvin
From “Proud Beggars”
By Albert Cossery & Golo
What does a man need to live? A bit of bread is enough.
Translated from French by Lulu Norman
From “Waiting for an Island”
By Marc Legendre
Translated from Dutch by David Colmer
From “That Was Happiness”
By Blutch
Translated from French by Edward Gauvin
Translating Dino Buzzati: A Conversation with Marina Harss
By Michael McDonald
In addition to her freelance writing for the New Yorker’s Goings On About Town and her frequent forays into dance criticism, Marina Harss is also a versatile and prolific translator from French, Spanish,…
Animal Farm; or, a Short and Somewhat Political History of Comics in Poland
By Tomasz Kołodziejczak
The Communists disliked comics, but recognized they could be used as propaganda.
Translated from Polish by Michael Kandel