Carl Lund clund at
Sun Feb 15 16:17:32 CET 2009

> Subject:
> Re: Globality
> From:
> Francesco Spreafico <francesco.spreafico at>
>> I miss the highly literate translations of European stories in
>> Gladstone Series I (as well as the erudite commentary often provided), but
>> it takes a very special translation to capture the spirit of the original
>> while capturing the imagination of its new audience.
> "Highly literate"? No, no, no, what stories did you read? Our best
> stories are just as "literate" as yours, not any more, not any less.
> Don't anyone think "Mickey's Inferno" is a typical Italian story. It's
> one of a kind (luckily, let me add, with all due respect to the story
> and it's authors!)
Yes, highly literate.  Which stories?  All of them from Gladstone's 
first series.  Perhaps, though, I was unclear.  The translations were 
highly literate.  They added literary and cultural allusions.  Not 
having read the original stories in their original languages, I cannot 
and do not speak of the literary qualities present or absent in the 
original.  As I recall, with non-English stories at the time, Gladstone 
was provided with a basic English translation.  That was melded into 
something better than the original translation--just as translations of, 
say, Dante or Goethe into English vary in quality, so do translations of 
comics.  But I still hold to my thesis.  Part of the magic of Barks, 
especially, was his grounding in the American culture of his day.  I 
firmly believe that is what is needed, and equally believe that it 
probably won't be found.

To reply to Mr. Klein, I don't disagree with your statements except 
perhaps as to their degree.  In any event, as has always been the case, 
distribution is key.  I can find dozens of comics at my local Borders 
bookstore chainstore; I can find about a half a dozen at the local 
supermarket.  But I can find Gemstone only at the local comic book 
store.  Clearly, there's some money still to be made in comics, but they 
also have to be able to find their audience.  I recognize this is a 
chicken-and-egg problem--readership sparks distribution which sparks 
readership, etc. 

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