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Goscinny & Uderzo: More of their titles to be published in English.

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#1 · Posted: 1 Jan 2015 16:05
I enjoy reading both Tintin and Asterix; frankly it was Hergé and Goscinny & Uderzo who introduced me to the world of European comics.
Having read the entire Asterix series, I have been on the lookout for other works by Goscinny & Uderzo.
Save for Oumpah-Pah which was translated to English in the late Seventies, none of their other works have been available in English.
I wrote to Hachette, requesting to publish Luc Junior and Jehan Pistolet in English.
I received a reply saying that talks are going on with regard to the English translations and new translations of Oumpah-Pah should appear, along with the first-time publication of Luc Junior and Jehan Pistolet.
Hope Moulinsart will follow this news, and agree to the publication of Totor, Mr. Mops and Mr. Bellum in English.
I also hope that Peppy and Virginny in Lapinoland will eventually be released. Touch wood.
#2 · Posted: 13 May 2015 04:09
Another update I got today:
"We are currently discussing with a UK publisher to get an English version of Oumpah Pah and Jehan Pistolet.
We should get a clear picture of the editorial plan in 2016.
With kind regards,

Hmmm... Looks like there is a bright future for classic Franco-Belgian translations.
#3 · Posted: 27 May 2017 14:55
Sad news. just got a message from Hachette- Livre. They have shelved the idea of translating Jehan Pistolet and Luc Junior to English.
deeply disappointed.
#4 · Posted: 29 May 2017 02:10
Aw, that's a shame. I've never heard of Oumpah-pah and the others though, can somebody tell me what it's about?
#5 · Posted: 29 May 2017 10:43
"Oumpah-Pah" is the adventures of a Native American Indian in the early 18th century during the French colonisation of America. He befriends a young French aristocrat, the Marquis de la Pâte Feuilletée (Marquess of Puff Pastry) whom Oumpah-Pah calls "Double-Scalp" due to the fact that he has two layers of hair: his normal hair and a wig.

"Jehan Pistolet" is also set in the 18th century and is about a buccaneer who serves the French King.

"Luc Junior" is set in more modern times (that is the 1950s when it was first published) and are about a young Tintin-like reporter accompanied by a dog (in this case a dalmatian).

I have only read the first two stories of "Oumpah-Pah". It is a bit slow-paced but otherwise has plenty of good humour. What little I have seen of "Jehan Pistolet" and "Luc Junior" also indicate that they are well worth reading.

If marketed as "By the Creators of Asterix" then they might be successful.
#6 · Posted: 31 May 2017 02:34
Oumpah- Pah was translated to English way back in the Seventies by Nicholas Fry. He was rechristened Ompa- Pa. The albums are worth reading and re-reading. We can find the traces of humor, play with words, and play with history in these works- as like in their more famous successor Asterix.
#7 · Posted: 31 May 2017 09:53
Oumpah- Pah was translated to English way back in the Seventies by Nicholas Fry.

Not just Nicholas Fry but Anthea Bell too, the latter an acclaimed translator still working today, and famous for her association with the works of Goscinny and Uderzo through the Asterix series.

The titles translated - or at least the ones I am aware of - were:
Ompa-pa and Brother Two-Scalp
Ompa-pa and the Pirates
Ompa-pa and the Secret Mission
Ompa-pa Saves the Day
Ompa-pa and the Prussians

The issue I can see for relaunching the series now is that the imagery and iconography used is very dated.

It also doesn't fill an empty niche, certainly in the U.K., as The Beano still runs the similarly dodgy Little Plum (although thankfully he is no longer billed as "Your Redskin Chum", and the use of the pidgin "um" for "the" in the dialogue has been stopped) if you desire to read anachronistic insensitive Wild West comic strips.

The Native American peoples in Ompa-pa are depicted as "loveable savages", "injun" braves who wear feathers in their hair and paint their faces at all times, and that is now seen as offensive to them, and a gross parody of their cultures (there are many tribal nations, and each has a different culture). Why perpetuate these distorted colonial stereotypes?

I can't foresee this being a series that will ever get a mainstream re-release in English, and if it is ever taken up it would probably only ever be for a specialist, collector publisher like Last Gasp or Fantagraphic.
#8 · Posted: 2 Jun 2017 13:14
Why perpetuate these distorted colonial stereotypes?

Would a translation to English rake up such issues. As late as 2013 reissues of Jehan Pistolet, Luc Junior and Oumpah Pah have been released in French.
Soviets and Congo too have had their share of controversy- but were we averse to the same being republished post 2000. After being silent for a long time- it was only about 10 years back was Soviets and Congo published to reach a mainstream market. Did it create much of a ruckus?

And thank you for pointing out the fact that Ms. Anthea Bell too was involved in the translation of Oumpah- Pah- that was news to me.
#9 · Posted: 2 Jun 2017 14:59
Would a translation to English rake up such issues.

Yes, easily - and it's not "raking up" - the issues are there front and centre.
The portrayal of Native Americans has long been a topic of concern, and many are found to be highly inappropriate. Two reasons for not publishing it now, are first, the publisher is enlightened enough to decide that the material is dated and to be avoided, or second, they don't actually care, but don't want to bring down trouble on their own heads.
Remember that amongst all the controversy his work has provoked, Hergé's own sincerest regret was the way he portrayed the Native Americans in Tintin in America, and his wish had been that someday he could right the wrong by doing a second book to emphsise their plight as marginalised peoples.

As late as 2013 reissues of Jehan Pistolet, Luc Junior and Oumpah Pah have been released in French.

The French market is something else entirely, and in many cases not to be applauded for their depiction of minorities, ethnicities and gender stereotypes. I thought it was a missed opportunity that the change in the creative team wasn't used as an opportunity to tone down the stereotyping of the crow's nest pirate, for example.

Soviets and Congo too have had their share of controversy- but were we averse to the same being republished post 2000.

Errr... Well leaving Soviets apart, as I am not sure what is thought to be controversial in it, Congo has been a hot topic since it first appeared in English (and indeed was the reason that Methuen did not wish to publish it the entire time they had the series); it's been the subject of court cases, and much debate (not least of which on these forums).
Did it create much of a ruckus?

Yes, Congo caused lots!
#10 · Posted: 26 Jun 2017 17:06
Not just Nicholas Fry but Anthea Bell too

I just re-read my copies of the 5 available English translations of Oumpah- Pah (Ompa-pa and Brother Two-Scalp; Ompa- Pa Saves the Day; Ompa-pa and the Pirates; Ompa-pa and the Secret Mission and Ompa-pa and the Prussians). I only found the name of Nicholas fry listed as the translator. Was there any ore translations; or did Ms. Anthea Bell work on a different translation.

Congo has been a hot topic since it first appeared in English

Hmmm! This is news.
I never knew that the republication of the original Congo created so much of a problem.

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