License request day: Journal

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JL_2_-20I 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.”

JL_1_-p-005A 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.

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8 Responses to License request day: Journal

  1. Connie says:

    I would read this in a second. I found out about him the same way you did, and was very disappointed that “Journal” was not available in English. It was one of the few times I found myself wanting to learn more about a random person’s everyday life.

  2. davidpwelsh says:

    It’s so strange to me that nobody’s picked this one up yet. It seems so in synch with the kinds of things lots of publishers favor. When, D&Q, WHEN?!

  3. Travis McGee says:

    David – I couldn’t agree with you more – in fact, after reading the piece in “Japan as Viewed…” I was so enraptured with his work that I brushed up again on my French to read him in the original (mind you, I still have to keep the dictionary in hand as I read). Ego Comme X, the french publishing house that puts out his work, recently updated their website, and you can read 20-odd page long previews of all his work (select his name in the drop down menu up top, then click on one of the titles to the left). There’s also a comic he provided the art for that you can download a .pdf of: http://www.exaequo.be/media/d_EXAbdalexLD_84346.pdf . It’s actually an educational comic about HIV, though the text isn’t too bad given its didactic purpose. But it’s nice to look at the art, in any case.

    I’ve actually been tempted in the past to do a scanlation of his work, or at least provide a text translation, though admittedly I’m fairly slapdash with my translation…

  4. davidpwelsh says:

    It’s times like this that I wish I’d actually applied myself in French class as opposed to just trying to pass to fulfill my foreign language credit.

  5. Travis McGee says:

    Actually, this has given me a little more motivation to do some Neaud proselytizing – I’ve been kicking around the idea that I should start a blog to air my critical opinions and enthusiasms on the world, and if I get around to it, I will attempt a text translation of the segments of the first volume viewable on Ego Comme X’s website – that way I can provide a taste of his work to others while assuring myself that I’m not doing anything particularly morally reprehensible … if I do get around to this, I’ll dropp you the link.

  6. We are happy to see you interested in Fabrice Neaud’s books in such an active way !
    We just added a video of a conference he gave in an art school at the beginning of the year – of course it’s in french but maybe some of you can understand.
    http://www.ego-comme-x.com/spip.php?article482

  7. ego comme x says:

    To Travise McGee : i am the webmaster of ego comme x publishing house, and i am interested in this translation you’re talking about on other blogs. Could you please let me know when it is over or contact me at maintenance.ego.comme.x@gmail.com ? Maybe we can imagine a way to make a clean English speaking version of this story online.

  8. […] Release Thursday for a license request update! You may remember me carping for someone to publish an English translation of Fabrice Neaud’s Journal. In the comments, Travis McGee pointed to a script translation he had done of Neaud’s work, which […]

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