From our continental correspondent – Flemish Comics For The World

Published On April 20, 2010 | By Wim | Comics, Continental Correspondent

Several quite good pieces of news popped up recently about comics from my neck of the woods that are now making it around the wider world (well, the English-speaking part of the world, at least).

Our editor Joe pointed out to me that the English edition of Judith Vanistendael’s De maagd en de neger has now been officially announced for October of this year.  The book will be published by SelfMadeHero (who also did the translation of Reinhard Kleist’s intriguing Johnny Cash biography in 2009), as Dance By The Light Of The Moon. I’m not sure why they didn’t go for a more literal translation of the Dutch title – perhaps the English equivalent of “neger” is considered to be more derogatory than its Dutch counterpart (I don’t speak Flemish but I think I can make an informed guess on that one – yes! Joe).  In this book, Vanistendael has adapted a short story by her father, writer Geert Van Istendael about her own relationship with an African refugee.


(cover to Dance by the Light of the Moon by Judith Vanistendael, to be published by  SelfMadeHero this autumn)

Meanwhile on his Twitter page, Blank Slate’s Kenny Penman commented that he loved the cover to the English translation of Randall C’s Slaapkoppen (which I was briefly involved in, and which is still one of my favourites of the past few years).  Kenny has announced the English language edition of the book will be printed in May by Blank Slate (stay tuned for more on that, no doubt – Joe).  Slaapkoppen is quite unique in that it tries to represent the quite idiosyncratic logic of dreams in a more or less coherent narrative.  Randall likes to weave stories within stories, and connect seemingly unrelated narratives via themes and patterns.

(cover to the english language edition of Flemish creator Willy Linthout’s remarkable, moving comics response to the suicide of his only son, Years of the Elephant, published Fanfare/Ponent Mon, one of Joe’s Best of the Year picks)

And finally, as was mentioned before, the English edition of The Years of the Elephant by Willy Linthout (published by Fanfare/Ponent Mon), got nominated recently for the Eisner awards for Best US edition of foreign material and for Best Writer/Artist Non-Fiction.  Other Eurocomics nominees for this year’s Eisners include The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, and Frédéric Lemerier (First Second) and the fantastic My Mommy is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill, by Jean Regnaud and Émile Bravo (also Fanfare/Ponent Mon).  It’s about time that Bravo gets the international attention he deserves.  

Wim Lockefeer lives in Belgium, a make-believe country created by comics writers and with inhabitants drawn by comics artists; you can read more of his comics musings on The Ephemerist blog

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