Gekiga Into English: Translating the Words, Images, and Culture of Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life

2008. Master of Publishing (MPub). Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Simon Fraser University. Thesis title: Gekiga into English: Translating the Words, Images, and Culture of Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life.

Supervisors: Dr. John Maxwell, Assistant Professor, Master of Publishing Program, Simon Fraser University; Mary Schendlinger, Senior Lecturer, Master of Publishing Program, Simon Fraser University; Chris Oliveros, Publisher, Drawn & Quarterly Publications.

Abstract:

This project report examines how the editorial process of a graphic novel can turn conventional practices of editing text in English in entirely new directions, not only incorporating traditional text-editing techniques, but also applying these familiar principles to meet the rhetorical and spatial demands of a visual narrative. This process is explored in depth by detailing the editorial process used by Drawn & Quarterly, a literary comics publishing company, in bringing Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s Japanese-language graphic novel, A Drifting Life, to an English-speaking audience, particularly with respect to the visual, textual, and cultural differences that must be respected when translating a graphic novel from Japanese to English, and how the different reading and comprehension needs of the two audiences have affected the physical, visual, and textual structure of the book.

Download a PDF of the thesis here.

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