I don’t just want English versions of comics from Japan, you know. And since I seem to be casting my eyes towards France today, I’ll make it a theme and request… beg, even… that someone takes a crack at Fabrice Neaud’s Journal.
In fairness, there is a Japanese connection here. I first became aware of Neaud’s work in Fanfare/Ponent Mon’s wonderful Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators. (Neaud was one of the 17.) Here’s my reaction to his contribution, “The City of Trees”:
“I’m particularly desperate to see more work from Neaud after reading ‘The City of Trees.’ As Neaud explores Sendai, seeing its sights and eavesdropping on its people, he peppers his narrative with flashes of his inner life. Experiences can unexpectedly call to mind bits of his own pain or heighten his sense of isolation. But they can also please and soothe him. It’s three-quarter travelogue, one-quarter confessional, all rendered with a wonderful eye for detail.”
A few years later, I’m still particularly desperate. Over at Prism Comics, François Peneaud included Journal among the “Top Ten Comics for LGBT Readers”:
“Fabrice Neaud is a unique author in French comics (or bandes dessinées, as we call them). He’s a member of the Ego Comme X group (‘ego as x’, pronounced ‘ego comix’), and the only gay artist there… His Journal (‘diary’) is among the best comics coming from France, for its strong point of view and its constant inventiveness. I think it would suit quite well either Drawn & Quarterly or Fantagraphics.”
Ego Comme X has published four volumes of Journal so far, about 800 pages total. Two of those volumes have been published in Spanish as Diario by La Cúpula. And I must repeat myself when I note that none of those volumes have been published in English by anyone. Someone should fix that.