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International Graphic Novels: Volume X

February 2016

Image: Zeina Abirached, from Le Piano Oriental

Image: Zeina Abirached, from Le Piano Oriental

This month we’re celebrating our tenth annual graphic novel issue by presenting new work by a few of our favorite contributors. You’ll find both familiar names and recurring themes, as artists pair words and images to explore immigration, personal identity, and the notion of home. In New York, Japan’s Akino Kondoh wrestles with the English language and American customs. Zeina Abirached takes her grandfather’s lessons to heart when leaving Beirut for Paris. Mana Neyestani’s application for asylum nearly drives him mad, and Mazen Kerbaj sees the music of nature drowned out by man. Galit Seliktar hears a sound in the night and finds the divine; Jérôme Ruillier follows a desperate refugee as he searches for food, shelter, and acceptance. And as the graphics world continues to reverberate with the scandal of the all-male list of nominees for the Grand Prix at the Angoulême Comics Festival, accomplished French graphic artist Julie Maroh indicts the engrained sexism of the profession. Do join us as we salute this vibrant sector of the international literary community.

Graphic Novels at WWB: The First Ten Years
By Susan Harris
The narrative threads that weave through the last ten years tell a tale in themselves.
On Angoulême and Control
By Julie Maroh
What I’m pointing out here is a typical media phenomenon born of social conditioning.
Translated from French by Matt Madden
from Le Piano Oriental
By Zeina Abirached
Fifteen years later, I was the one who left.
Translated by Edward Gauvin
Noodling in New York
By Akino Kondoh
No Japanese person would call a cat Thomas Jefferson.
Translated by Jocelyne Allen
from A Short Guide to Being the Perfect Political Refugee
By Mana Neyestani
This number is your identity.
Translated by Ghazal Mosadeq
The Fall
By Galit Seliktar & Gilad Seliktar
It parachuted down.
Translated by On Barak
The Strange
By Jérôme Ruillier
Lots of stranges aren’t here legally.
Translated by Edward Gauvin
Flapflap Blues
By Mazen Kerbaj
In the sky, never much. In the streets, always too much.
Translated by Mercedes Claire Gilliom
The Sea Girl & the Prince
By Chae Kyeong-weon & Bae In-yeong
What! Who could this strange man be?
Translated by Bella Dalton-Fenkl
Our Graphic Archive: Issues 2007–20
By the Editors of Words Without Borders
Every issue from the last ten years of graphic novels in translation.