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de Assis, Érico Gonçalves. "The Letterer as a Translator in Comics Translation." Comics – Übersetzungen und Adaptionen. Ed. Nathalie Mälzer. TRANSÜD. Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2015. 251–68. 
Added by: joachim (6/22/15, 4:36 PM)   
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: GonalvesdeAssis2015
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Categories: General
Keywords: Production, Translation, Writing
Creators: de Assis, Mälzer
Publisher: Frank & Timme (Berlin)
Collection: Comics – Übersetzungen und Adaptionen
Views: 32/894
Attachments   URLs   https://www.academ ... Comics_Translation
Comic book lettering is a step of comic book making that consists mainly in adding words to the comic page (Pellitteri, 2012), whether disposed in containers (balloons, captions), onomatopoeias, or directly integrated into the depicted setting (inscriptions). It is considered a “production” step of the process, instead of a “creative” or “artistic” one, constantly and understandably undervalued when compared to writing and drawing. The letterers themselves (Klein and Chiarello, 2004; Starkings and Roshell, 2003) and some comics artists/teachers (McCloud, 2006; Eisner, 1996; Abel and Madden, 2008 and 2012) talk about lettering, though, as an art in itself, accentuating its role in conveying emotion, emphasis, character individuality and the overlooked aspect of aesthetic integration with the artwork: typographic or calligraphic choices in comics should be determined in accordance with the art style, so as to not deviate from the graphic options, but to synergistically enhance the meaning conveyed by the drawn artwork. When dealing with comic book translation, and specifically the lettering of translated comic books, it should be argued that the letterer has a translation role or should even be called a translator. Even though coordinated font selection, typography or calligraphy choices are largely irrelevant to most other translated matter, it is largely relevant to translated comics due to its aesthetic balance with the artwork (which will be reproduced largely unscathed). Lettering is (1) a feature in critics’ commentaries on translated comics, usually when it “disrespects” the source comics text; (2) showcased in publisher’s catalogs distributed to potential publishing houses in foreign markets, in which each comic is tagged with information like “FONT AVAILABLE” or “ARTIST WILL RELETTER”; (3) a highly-specialized skill that demands technical, aesthetic and media-specific knowledge to be dutifully performed, and commands higher wages than those of text-only-based comics translators; (4) a category in comic industry awards. When lettering a translated comic, one is prone to equivalences, deviations and deformations as well as when dealing with words only in their verbal context. Therefore, this paper argues that comic book lettering, as regards comics translation, should be considered translation – and that it is an aspect of translation perhaps unique to comics translation, without any similar role in other translation contexts.
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