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Asterix and Donald Duck

Hub Comics in Union Square is like a Lost World of comics. Old EC comics collections, non-standard manga I've never heard of (largely Osamu Tezuka titles), Donald Duck collections, giant art books... it's also where I bought Aya, though I didn't see those this time around. What I did buy was the second Asterix collection (3 books for the price of 2) and Carl Barks' Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes, itself a collection of several stories.

Asterix... I catch lots of puns I missed as a child. OTOH, it wasn't all that funny. And there's some pickaninny/golliwog art, though not played for laughs, it's just how the occasional black side characteri s drawn. By a French artist in the 1960s. Considering American comics at the time, maybe it was a plus there were any blacks at all...

I've never read much Duck stories -- have a vague memory of some Scrooge tales -- but this one was pretty good, actually. More engaging than the Asterix puns and cliches. Had one black American, some Africans, and some South Sea islanders. The latter just looked human. The Africans looked cliched, but had been screwed over by Scrooge. There's commentary in the back by several artists, who note Barks's complexity and humanity in such matters. And he was drawing/writing for Disney in the 1940s. I suppose there's a matter of perspective: the natives in the titular story look goofy and have adopted the Southern mannerisms of a past visiting professor, but the commentary says they're neither savages nor noble savages. This may be rosy. OTOH, it's a story about a duck trying to chase down square eggs, so seriousness level meh.

One of the stories had the "sunken ship raised by ping pong balls" invention mentioned in this Cracked article.

At any rate, I feel more likely to buy more Duck stories than Asterix.

I do wonder about the translation effect. Asterix has (or had) *lots* of puns. Names, Gaul and galling, others... it's kind of like the Cyberiad: lacking knowledge of the source language, you can't help wondering how creative and liberty-taking the translator had to be.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/373447.html#comments

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
harimad
Sep. 10th, 2013 01:14 pm (UTC)
I think the Asterix translations are practically brilliant. They translators chose to translate directly when possible, and when that's not possible, use highly appropriate cultural equivalents. Asterix's name is a pun and a direct translation, Getafix's name is a pun that is not a direct translation but is the English-language equivalent of the French name.

Do you or have you read Asterix and Cleopatra? It's the best of the series. If you're "meh" about that one, then Asterix definitely isn't for you.
mindstalk
Sep. 10th, 2013 01:19 pm (UTC)
I think I did years and years ago, no real memory. I'll look around or check the library.
(Deleted comment)
mindstalk
Sep. 10th, 2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
That'd be cool, thanks! Uh, guess I'll PM an email and phone.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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