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Seven Languages Plus One

Zahra’s Paradise is a new comic being offered online by First Second. From what we’ve seen, it promises to be an absorbing true story and I like the art. It’s being released simultaneously in English, Farsi, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutchs—seven languages in all. Eight, if you count the language of comics.

Zahra’s release follows closely on the heels of Valentine, released in a whopping twelve languages simultaneously. If this is a trend, I like it.

[Edit to add: In the original post, I'd referred to Valentine as "Robot Comics' Valentine"—it's actually available from Robot Comics, Comixology, Ave! Comics in France, and others soon. Needless to say, the multiple publishers aspect may be even more important in the long run if that trend also continues. Oh, and they're already up to 14 languages.]

Understanding Comics has been translated over the years into 16 languages, but like any book project, the process of getting it printed and distributed from scratch in each country requires an enormous amount of effort for its respective publishers.

The idea that all these dammed-up rivers of art and story might start breaking free all over the world soon is encouraging.


Discussion (6)¬

  1. [...] got a nice little mention over at Scott McCloud’s site.  Apparently we aren’t the only ones releasing a series [...]

  2. Robot Comics says:

    That’s great that Valentine isn’t the only one, and so soon! Sign of the times.

    And just an update, VALENTINE is up to a Gulliverian 12 languages! (Russian and Dutch have been added to the list). Whoof. It’s a lot of work to paddle up each bloody “river”, make no mistake, but the dammed parts you allude to are indeed gone. Or potentially so. Three cheers.

  3. Heh. Valentine’s soon to be 16 – adding Latin and Hungarian. Had to draft my husband in to help with the lettering.

    And given the sales/download figs so far, we were entirely justified in releasing in so many languages – English downloads have a plurality but not a majority. Besides, there’s something wonderful about seeing your comic in so many different languages…

    Thanks for the mention, Scott, and we wish Amir & Khalil every success with Zahra’s Paradise! It’s nice to see First Second do more stuff online.

    • Scott says:

      Uh-oh, one more and I’ll feel like I’m lagging behind!

      (16 languages used to be a big bragging point, soon it might be par for the course.)

  4. Well, we have to go through a lot less palaver to be translated thanks to this wonderful interwebs fad.

    By the way, if anyone wants to read the first episode of Valentine, it’s free here at Comixology (online, or download for iPhone/iTouch) and here at Robot Comics (Android phone and iPhone). There are also free Episode 01 ePub downloads in all languages at our site here.

  5. And given the sales/download figs so far, we were entirely justified in releasing in so many languages – English downloads have a plurality but not a majority. Besides, there’s something wonderful about seeing your comic in so many different languages…

    Thanks for the mention, Scott, and we wish Amir & Khalil every success with Zahra’s Paradise! It’s nice to see First Second do more stuff online.