This week I got my copies of the Korean translation of Tangles. I’d seen a PDF of the cover and I knew it was aesthetically pleasing, but I didn’t expect to start crying when I held the book in my hands. Partly I was touched by how much time and care had been put into the book. But there’s also something very intense about watching someone take Tangles and make it into something new. It’s a certain kind of honouring of the story and of my art.
Like here’s the cover. Look how the designer searched through the English Tangles and picked out little bits of the drawings and put them all together into something new.
[I just realized I need to email the publisher and get the designer’s name so I can credit him/her here!] Designers are Jihye A and Joonoh Jang of Sparksedition. Tangles is published in Korea by Woorinabi Publishing.
That sideways cat is my favourite. It looks so bratty. How did they think to turn it sideways? Awesome.
Then on the inside pages they just kept going…
I am so excited about how they found this tiny flower from one of the panels and made it into this crazy beautiful pattern.
This is where it originally appeared:
These plants on the first inside page are all from different chapters: willow from walking along the river in Fredericton, bird of paradise from my parents’ apartment in Oaxaca, and some other plant behind my mom that I don’t even recognize, really. And look at that tiny deer, for God’s sake!
The experience of looking at characters that I can’t read is very interesting — the writing becomes another element of the artwork for me. (How does this relate to Eisner, McCloud, et al’s discussions of how text and image combine? What happens if you cannot read the text as text but only as pleasing marks?)
There is something so odd about looking at pictures of yourself and your family speaking a language that you don’t speak. This was true of the German and French Tangles but I find it even more strange and thrilling here… My sister and I talk on the phone in Korean. Though oddly my dad’s letter to me is not translated.
Even the cat speaks Korean:
I really want to know how they decided what to translate and what not to translate. Like my dad’s letter above and here, when my sister and I are banished to the treehouse because we can’t stop saying bad words…
In part two, my mother writes in Korean…