Comics Lowdown: Asterix translation genius Anthea Bell passes away

PLUS: Dwayne McDuffie Award submissions open, Fiona Staples shows her art process, anime does superheroes better, black and white vs. colour, Amazing Spider-Man #300

Athena Bell by Felix Clay

The translator credited in bringing Asterix to Engish speaking audiences has passed away at the age of 82. Anthea Bell first began translating Asterix in 1969, where she needed to up with jokes and puns that made sense to the readers without the book losing its meaning and charm.  In her version, Obelix’s small dog Idéfix became Dogmatix, and the druid Panoramix became Getafix. The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation describes her work on Asterix as ingenious and superbly recreated, displaying “the art of the translator at its best”.

According to the novelist Will Self, “it’s doubtful that the eminence of WG Sebald would be quite so great in the English reading world were it not for Anthea Bell’s magnificent translations of his works”

Awards: Submissions for the 2019 Dwayne McDuffie Awards for Diversity in Comics is now open. Submissions will be accepted until December 31, 2018. The winner will be announced at a reception to be held on February 15, 2019 in Long Beach, CA during the Long Beach Comic Expo and C3: Comic Creator Conference.

The Biz

Colour vs. Black and White: The Times Colonist recently asked readers if they prefer comics in colour or black and white. The results were 2/3 of the respondents said they would rather have colour comics, however, the 1/3 argued that the black and white comic strips are easier to read and was favoured by the older readers. Publisher Dave Obee cited that even though they will proceed with colour, they will do so cautiously and try to solve the readability issues.


Interview: Fiona Staples gives Vulture Magazine a brief walk-through of her drawing process for the first issue of Saga.


Commentary: Maya Phillips presents arguments on how anime shows My Hero Academia and One-Punch Man does superheroes better and more interestingly than traditional North American publishers and producers.

Commentary: Mark Ginocchio reminisces about the impact Amazing Spider-Man #300, a comic he had originally purchased at a candy store, had on his life.

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