Wednesday, August 3, 2011
FEEDING GROUND _ Found in Translation-FG Flip Book
When we pitched Feeding Ground to Archaia in 2008 at NYCC the first question the CEO & President PJ Bickett had was, “how do you feel about making each of the six issues a flip book, translated into Spanish?” Right after being asked this question, Micheal Lapinski, who pitched it to PJ, called Swifty Lang and I to share the news that Archaia was interested in publishing our comic and that they wanted to translate it as a flip book (English on one side and Spanish on the other- same story). The uniqueness of the floppy flip book resides in the tactile weight and ease of flipping from cover to cover, and those Spanish speaking readers could read Feeding Ground in their native language. This was both an challenge and an opportunity to capture the nuances of Swifty Lang’s well written English dialogue. Either-way, it would be exciting to see how our story would translate.
The three of us were thrilled by the idea and thought it perfectly mixed with the set of our story on the Arizona/Mexico border. Mike had one brilliant contingency though, that the flip book be set at the standard $3.95 single issue price point (thought being, no one would pay twice the amount for a floppy, and a new title to-boot). Archaia agreed. Feeding Ground Spanish/English Flip book was going to be an exclusive opportunity and only the single issues would be flip books (the graphic novel would be stand alone as either English or Spanish books).
As we eased into the production of our first floppy there were a few issue. For one, between the three of us, none of us spoke fluent Spanish. Luckily, we found a few translators (translated by Nathalia Murray / Hard Cover being edited by an editor from Mexico) for the 6 issue trade and began a long journey of writing/revising and translating month to month with them. Second, Diamond at the time was going through major market changes as comic shops across the country were greatly effected by the digital shift brought on by tablets and other incidental printing problems. And, as we tirelessly worked on our first issue, we watched our published shift interests away from printing single issues to focus on printing only hard cover. In fact, our property was the final floppy they were to publish. Lastly, to add to the complexity of production, our floppies were being printed in Korea, which at the time stood on the rim of war and had problems with shipping exports on time, making it hard to find our issue in many stores. Needless to say, we regarded this opportunity as creators on a changing print frontier and cherished the medium we were working in as a once in a life time opportunity.
The first time we held our first issue “One in Ten” in hand in the fall of 2010 at Bergen Street Comics, the first thing we noticed was how heavy it was and others noticed too, like you were getting more than you paid for. The quality of the floppies semi-glossy offset coloring and tones looked outstanding. We ran out of comics that night at Bergen Street and it introduced us to the scarcity of each issue. Since, we have had trouble finding a few spare issues to hand to family and friends, which meant collecting each issue, even as creators, reminded us that floppies are a tactile joy, that unlike unlimited digital distribution there are a finite amount of printed floppies. In these fine days of curious curation, cataloguing music and films and comics, somehow that makes the floppy feel special. After two years and six issues, our Feeding Ground flip book are finished printing (Issue Six is available for a limited time in stores) and we are as proud as we are humbled to find our art and story out there. Give us a shout, let us know how you found the translation or flip book!
by Chris Mangun