Foreign Comic Collector - Page 4

Editors note: It was roughly a year and a half ago that I first came into contact with Gustavo. He had been browsing my Photobucket image files of foreign comic books and asked if I could tell him the numbers on a few issues of Titanes Planetarios. I was more than happy to oblige. Since then we’ve kept in contact, occasionally conversing through email and the Collector’s Society message boards. He’s been an invaluable source of information about the creative process that went into the translation of American comics into Spanish for the Mexican market. My impression of him is that he’s a true gentlemen and truly loves this hobby. He’s gracious, generous and one of the most interesting creators I’ve had the pleasure of talking to in the last 30 years. LSComics Continued from page 3 was to grab a thick volume of the Spanish Language Dictionary to review, among other things, the accentuation rules of demonstrative pronouns and other words. There was a lot to be learned from those venerable gentlemen. It was easy then for fans to criticize the translations, but little could be done when facing an editorial and governmental policy arguing that Mexicans did not like to read much and would compel the translators to summarize texts using type that was much bigger than their American counterparts. However, given the current commitment to literal translations, as opposed to cultural adaptations, there are times when one longs for the Novaro style of work. Having overcome the spelling obstacles, a novice worker could then aspire to translate “serious” comics and receive a copy of a certain crimson speedster, or maybe, hopefully, “El Hombre Murciélago”, The Batman. Having been given this opportunity, it was then a matter of numbering all the word balloons, measuring how many typed characters would fit inside them and finally, adapting the dialogue as best you could. “It’s just an album. A stack of yellowed clippings. Nothing but memories ...” thus read the first text I translated for Batman issue 2-1123 dated March 18, 1982. I remember the grim copyeditor reading these words out loud to me, savoring each word. The so-called “serious” comic book seemed to Batman #2-1123 Page 4 be the way to go. Novedades Editores: 1982 By then, it was rumored that there were problems at Novaro. Workers were upset and the economic crisis and the devaluation of the Mexican peso would eventually run the Latin American publishing giant into the ground. Long gone were the golden years when they would provide Latin America and Spain with virtually every title produced by D.C., Harvey, Dell and Archie Comics. Meanwhile, the publishers of the Novedades newspaper had decided to venture into the market of U.S. comic book reprinting thus becoming heir to the glories of La Prensa. On the third floor of the modest building of Editorial Herrerías, long-time Mexican comic book publisher and sister company to the newspaper, were the mod- Continued on page 6