This is the first installment of a series of posts about comics and manga in Europe (mainly focusing on time spent in Germany earlier this month). This post is light on thoughts and impressions, and heavy on photographs, focusing on U.S. comics (both indie and mainstream) and Japanese manga in translation!
Being my first time in Europe, the thing that struck me most was that comics were mostly invisible in Dublin, while manga and comics seemed to really pervade German book stores, train stations and corner shops. I did a bit of searching, but I only managed to track down one shop carrying comics in Dublin (Downtown, I spotted the Irish incarnation of the corporate, collector and toy-centric Forbidden Planet -- yuck).
This was simply not the case in Berlin and Frankfurt, and MAN! it really seemed (to my fresh American eyes) that Germany has a scene quite comparable to that of the States. In other words:
I hope to write more about this in the next few posts, but even within a few minutes of checking the manga section at a small Berlin bookstore I saw, "HOLY SHIT-- they've already published NANA up to volume 10? And both MAIL and DRAGON HEAD have already been released in full over here??"
Please conside the following photographic evidence:
This was one of a number of this kind of German magazine, focusing on J-Rock, Visual Kei (it's still around?!) and Gothic Lolita trends, along with street fashion pics a la Fruits.
So recursive! Japanese manga Adolf and Barefoot Gen, regarding the events of WWII... translated into German!!
A Yoshihiro Tatsumi story translated and published in the awesome comics magazine, Strapazin
This was the TokyoPop booth at Frankfurt Book Fair; And look! You can just barely see the German edition of Death Note 1, in the lower right hand corner!
On the indie comics scene, it appears that a few German publishers (mostly dominated by the incredible Reprodukt) are handling the majority of translations and publication of the entire breadth of the Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly, Slave Labor Graphics, Pantheon and First Second catalogues.
Caricature by Daniel Clowes, Get A Life by Dupuy & Berberian, etc!
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (just look at that binding and gold inlay!)
More releases on the German indie comics front, but where is Johnny Ryan's stuff?
What an awesome surprise! Our buddy Derek's Same Difference in translation
A tale of Asian-American youth... but, something seems off here!
Our man Derek Kirk Kim, internationally-published playboy extraordinaire!
Not comics, but I was supremely geeked to find Philip K. Dick's Martian Time-Slip...
...and one of my all-time favories Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (In Germany, Dick gets his own shelf!)
Last but not least, the mainstream comics get translated too. All-Star Batman asks, "What was that, JOCKO?"
Why does this look MORE like a pedophilic nightmare scene in German?
Kindly eyes of the Übermensch, All-Star Superman
LOIS, NEIN!!!!!! (best panel ever?)
Part two of Trans-Euopre Express coming this weekend!