1st Edition

Reframing Western Comics in Translation Intermediality, Multimodality and Censorship

By Nicolas Martinez Copyright 2024
    172 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book adopts an intermedial, translational, and transnational approach to the study of the Western genre in European Francophone comics and their English and Spanish translations, offering an innovative form of analysis with potential applications in future research on the translation of comics.

    Martinez takes the application of Bourdieu’s work on the sociology of culture to translation studies to explore the role of diverse social agents in shaping the products, processes, and reception of translations of Western comics. The book focuses on Jean-Michel Charlier and Jean Giraud’s iconic Blueberry Western comic book series as a lens through which to examine agency and sociocultural norms that influence translations and the degrees to which cartoonists, editors, translators, and censors frame the genre on a global scale. The volume both extends the borders of translation studies research beyond interlingual translation and showcases the study of comics and graphic narratives as an area of inquiry in its own right within the field.

    This book will be of interest to scholars in translation studies, comics studies, visual culture, and cultural studies.

    Introduction: Comics in translation

    Part I Western comics as translation

    1 The field of Franco-Belgian Western comics after the Second World War

    2 Intermediality as translation and the Western canon

    Part II Reframing comics—Case study: The Blueberry Western series

    3 The Blueberry series in French

    4 Blueberry in the Anglosphere: Translation, agency, and the “moving line”

    5 Blueberry in Spain: Francoism and multimodal censorship

    Conclusion: The international circulation of comics as cultural goods


    Nicolas Martinez is Honorary Research Associate in Translation Studies in the School of Modern Languages at Cardiff University, UK. He is a member of the EU COST Action iCOn-MICS (Investigation on Comics and Graphic Novels from the Iberian Cultural Area).

    "Reframing Western Comics in Translation is both an engrossing exploration of one of the classic comics in the Western genre, Charlier and Giraud’s Blueberry series, and an innovative, illuminating analysis of how translation shapes the circulation of graphic narratives across languages, cultures and media."

    Loredana Polezzi, Stony Brook University

    "Martinez's innovative monograph tackles a series of questions that are central to the translation and transnational circulation of the Western Bandes dessinées genre. The book's exemplary interdisciplinary framework brings together concerns regarding the transmedial nature of the comics genre and a view of translation as a social practice. This dual focus offers an original and innovative reading of the complex forms of rewriting and agency that shape the circulation of comics across national and transnational contexts and time periods. Such interdisciplinarity also reminds us of the value of breaking down barriers and reinvigorating our subjects of study through the encounter of different intellectual starting points."

    Cristina Marinetti, Cardiff University, UK

    "An immensely readable account of the Wild West in comic strip form, and how this crosses linguistic borders. Sharp shooting per se, but also an analytic model for the theories and practices of Translation Studies."

    Laurence Grove, University of Glasgow, Professor of French and Text/Image Studies, Director, Stirling Maxwell Centre