Foreign Comic Collector - Page 13

publishing methods were the complete opposite of Kabanas’s. He printed on the finest paper, ordered the genuine films (veloxes), had an entire stuff to deal with the foreign material and even hired one of the most famous Greek writers of that time, Kostas Tachtsis, to translate the first issue. But, after the French editors read that issue they got really mad. They thought the comic book was perfect in everything except for one of their characters’ name! Obelix’s dog, Idefix, was translated as Κατρουλίξ (Katroolix, the one that gets wet, roughly) that doesn’t mean anything bad in Greek, just that the dog is too small like a baby that gets wet. But the French guys thought that the name was too humiliating for Idefix so they sent a letter to Psaropoulos where they threatened to cancel their contract if the name wasn’t changed which it eventually did. Imagine now these guys representing Marvel and take a look at one of the common Kabanas Marvel books. I’m sure they’d instantly put Kabanas to a painful death. The Marvel guys, on the other hand, never showed any interest in the way their comics were represented. If they were lucky enough to have a publisher who respected their stuff and his own audience they never indicated it. They didn’t give a shit as long as the money rolled in. I’m not talking, of course, about the creators, but about the corporate stooges that can’t tell Lobo from the Hulk.) Here in Greece the comic creators and publishers are so few that we know each other by each others first names. Even if I tried to avoid one of them it wouldn’t be possible. The whole comic industry was always present in the next comics’ event. There’s no standard medium, printed or otherwise, that hosts regular stories or any of the history of the Greek comics scene, especially that of the old days, except maybe some story or article from members of greekcomics or comicdom sites. And, now, technically speaking, this is the way the job was done: Step 1: We ordered the material. Step 2: Marvel informed us whether or not they had the veloxes (photographic paper) available Page 13 of each issue we ordered. If they didn’t, we proceeded with the next issue available. Marvel also informed us of the availability of each original issue. If they didn’t have it, they tried to acquire it from a comic book dealer and they tell us about the price we would have to pay for it. If the price was too high that was okay, we could live without it. Step 3: The veloxes and the issue, hopefully, showed up. The girls cut the large paper (8 pages each) to page-size parts and they fit the four different color shades for each page of the comic. Step 4: They scaned the film with the black lines and they electronically erase the English text. Step 5: They put the Greek text into the balloons. Step 6: They print the page with the greek text and cut off the balloons with it. Step 7: They glue the greek text balloons on the pages and they put together the letters pages and other articles. Step 8: I came in to review the work. Any mistakes that I spotted were corrected. Step 9: The book, veloxes and all, went to the printer. Step 10: The book went to the press agency that did the distribution. Step 11: From there the book went to the newsstands! D999. The Kabanas publisher sure knew how to do the least possible to get those books out for sure. How ironic that with that lack of concern for quality it created, at least to American eyes, such a novel and wonderful little hodge podge of books. I can tell you honestly that of all the books in my foreign collection, the Marvel Kabanas books hold a special place in my heart. So Idefix got to keep his name intact! A little wet dog is the perfect metaphor for how the American publishers treated their characters abroad in the early days from my research. It’s unbelievable the stuff the licensing departments were doing, or not doing. Like a dog left out in the rain the intellectual properties were left to fend for themselves it seems. But, like I stated above, many of the older foreigns were special because of this lack of oversight. These older “wet