Comics Alternative Interviews: Erica Mena

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In Other Words

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:28 – Setup of interview
  • 00:05:05 – Interview with Erica Mena
  • 00:53:01 – Wrap up
  • 00:54:14 – Contact us

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On this episode of the interview series, Edward and Derek have as their guest Erica Mena. She is the translator of two recent Spanish-language works from Fantagraphics, Paco Roca’s Wrinkles and the anthology Spanish Fever. The guys actually discussed the latter on this month’s Euro Comics episode, and since Edward knew its translator, they thought it’d be revealing to get Erica on the podcast to talk about her work on the anthology. They spend a good ericamenadeal of time discussing the Spanish Fever project, and they also talk extensively about Wrinkles (something Edward and Derek didn’t have time for on the Euro Comics show). But the guys also ask Erica about her efforts on The Eternaut, Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano López’s classic sci-fi narrative that was finally translated into English and published last year. During her conversation with the guys, Erica shares some of her philosophy of translation, compares professional notes with Edward, and discusses how her own poetry has helped determine the kind of translator that she’s become.

Visit Erica’s website and discover her love of animated cats!

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Comics AlternativeEuro Comics: Reviews of Spanish Fever, The Longest Day of the Future, and Growing Up in Public

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Spanish Voices

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:28 – Introduction
  • 00:02:45 – Setup of reviews
  • 00:04:37 – Spanish Fever
  • 00:46:27 – The Longest Day of the Future
  • 01:00:45 – Growing Up in Public
  • 01:28:04 – Wrap up
  • 01:29:12 – Contact us

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This month on the Euro Comics series, Edward and Derek discuss three works translated from Spanish, and all published by Fantagraphics. They begin with the anthology Spanish Fever: Stories by the New Spanish Cartoonists, edited by Santiago García. This is a collection of contemporary comics coming out of Spain, bringing together works by over thirty creators including Paco Roca, Max, Miguel Gallardo, David Rubín and Miguel Ángel Martín, as well as newcomers such as José Domingo, Anna Galvañ, Álvaro Ortiz and Sergi Puyol. As the guys point out, the styles, genres, and themes are diverse, making this not only a valuable introduction to new Spanish artists, but a well-rounded comics collection by any standard.

Next, the Two Guys turn to two creators from Argentina. The first is Lucas Varela and his The Longest Day of the Future. This is a mostly wordless narrative satirizing hegemonic corporate culture. There’s an almost cinematic quality to Varela’s storytelling, and Derek and Edward liken it to a Pixar film infused with a darker Cohen brothers’ sensibility.

Finally, the two wrap up with Ezequiel Garcia’s Growing Up in Public. His is a memoir, but one that wanders loosely without any discernible endpoint…and with a curious injection of Moby-Dick thrown in, to boot. Indeed, both Edward and Derek appreciate Garcia’s different take on graphic autobiography, and they look forward to more from this Argentine artist.

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