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Countdown to the Eisners: 2019 Nominees for Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Fanbase Press’ coverage of the 2019 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards continues with the “Countdown to the Eisners” series. From Wednesday, May 29, through Wednesday, July 10, 2019, Fanbase Press will highlight each of the Eisner Awards’ 31 nomination categories, providing comic book industry members and readers alike the opportunity to learn more about the nominees and their work. Stay tuned for Fanbase Press’ continued coverage of the Eisner Awards, including live coverage of the ceremony at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 19.

Established in 1998, the Best U.S. Edition of International Material category honors foreign sequential books that have been translated and published by U.S. publishers for American readers.  This is a significant opportunity to expand one’s exposure to narratives, themes, and issues being explored by creators in other countries.  Prior award winners have included Star Wars: A New Hope – Manga by Hisao Tamaki (Dark Horse, 1999), The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar (Pantheon, 2006), It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics, 2011), and last year, Run for It: Stories of Slaves Who Fought for the Freedom by Marcelo D’Salete, translated by Andrea Rosenberg (Fantagraphics).

Here are the 2019 Eisner Award nominees for the Best U.S. Edition of International Material category:

About Bettys Boob 6a8

About Betty’s Boob by Vero Cazot and Julie Rocheleau, translated by Edward Gauvin (Archaia/BOOM!)

In BOOM! Studios’ first look at About Betty’s Boob, Senior Editor Sierra Hahn said, “Though the story is told through a largely silent sequential narrative, About Betty’s Boob is an affecting look at breast cancer survival and how one woman must struggle, fight, and overcome the obstacles that greet her in her new body and new frame of mind.  Vero Cazot and Julie Rocheleau have created a seminal work that simultaneously inspires and entertains as Betty embarks on a remarkable journey of self-discovery.” (See BOOM! Studios for a general excerpt of pages.) The visuals are feminine and beautiful as Betty’s journey unfolds following a mastectomy. Edward Gauvin translated the book with lettering by Deron Bennett.

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Brazen Rebel Ladies 33c

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu, translated by Montana Kane (First Second)

Honored with inclusion in the New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Books of 2018, French writer/artist Pénélope Bagieu’s Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World collects short, biographical stories of 29 women throughout history.  Bagieu spotlighted women from different nationalities, with both well-known and lesser-known women, such as Josephine Baker, Clementine Delait, Margaret Hamilton, Queen Ana Nzinga, and others.  The biographies were written and published on the French website, Le Monde, as a webcomic titled Les Culottées from January through October, 2016.  The stories were published in two volumes, each containing 15 stories.  Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World has been translated into 11 languages.  Each translation is a bit different due to restrictions on content.  

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Herakles 547

Herakles Book 1 by Edouard Cour, translated by Jeremy Melloul (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

Finding inspiration from antiquity, writer/artist Edouard Cour has revisited Greek mythology’s most famous demi-god, Herakles (Hercules to contemporary readers).  Son of the god Zeus and Alcmene (a human), Herakles was the quintessential hero endowed with supernatural strength and courage.  He eventually ran afoul and, in order to absolve himself of his sins, had to successfully carry out a series of “labors.”  Cour’s Herakles is a lumbering giant haunted by the ghosts of his childhood, weighed down by sadness, yet balanced with a portion of dark humor. Herakles Book 1 is the first in a series of book chronicling Herakles according to Cour.

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Niourk 678

Niourk by Stefan Wul and Olivier Vatine, translated by Brandon Kander and Diana Schutz (Dark Horse)

Niourk is a retelling of Stefan Wul’s 1957 novel by the same name and the second of twelve novels he wrote between 1956 and 1977.  Wul was the pen name for French science fiction writer Pierre Pairault, who was by profession a dental surgeon.  Illustrator Olivier Vatine has brought to life this post-apocalyptic story of a young black child’s journey to Niourk, or New York City, which explores the boy’s compassion in a world cruelty.  The text has been translated by Brandon Kander and Diana Schutz, and both worked together on the translation (along with Laure Dupont for Studio Cutie) of Jean “Moebius” Giraud’s The World of Edena (2016, Dark Horse).  

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A Sea of Love 61d

A Sea of Love by Wilfrid Lupano and Grégory Panaccione (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

Known for his work on the humorous The Old Geezers (art by Paul Cauuet) in his native country of France, writer Wilfrid Lupano spent his informative years buried in comic books. Studying philosophy and English, his life turned firmly to comics as a profession when he met Roland Pignault and Fred Campoy.  Friends and creative partners, in 2001, they churned out Little Big Joe (Delcourt).  Through the intervening years, Lupano has worked on several title, including an adaptation of Valerian.  A Sea of Love follows a wayward fisherman who is presumed lost at sea; however, his wife is convinced her husband is still alive in this heartwarming and humorous exploration of the power of love in this wordless graphic novel.

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Stay tuned to the Fanbase Press website each day as we continue our “Countdown to the Eisners” coverage! Plus, follow Fanbase Press’ Facebook, Twitter (@Fanbase_Press), and Instagram (@fanbasepress) with the hashtag #FPSDCC to stay up to date on our SDCC and Eisner Awards updates, including a live-tweet of the 2019 Eisner Award Ceremony from the Hilton Bayfront Hotel at San Diego Comic-Con on the evening of Friday, July 19th!

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor



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