Sporadic Sequential
Friday, September 07, 2007
Whatever Happened To: Joann Sfar?

Seeing Bart Beaty's piece on Joann Sfar's new bande dessinée Greffier made me realize that I've been going through Sfar withdrawal lately. Aside from Sardine, I don't think there have been any new Sfar-illustrated works released this year. Which is especially tough considering last year was a Sfar bonanza in terms of the number of books then freshly translated into English. I do need to re-read The Rabbi's Cat again (I'd originally read the hardcover via the library but now own the softcover edition), so there's that to tide me over. And 2008 already looks promising, with Little Vampire (which I'm assuming will be a compilation of this and this) and The Rabbi's Cat 2 announced so far. (That April 1st release date for both books had better not be an April Fool's joke.)

And in other Sfar-related news, the artist himself was recently announced as the director for an upcoming feature film version of his Rabbi's Cat. According to the press kit (PDF), the film will be done in an ambitious new animation method: the drawings will be done by hand on location rather than in an isolated studio. As Sfar puts it, "It will be as if we were making a real film, on a real set with real props, but instead of filming, we'll draw." Sounds interesting (and reminiscent of Sfar's approach working on Greffier). Has anything like this been done before?

I do hope more of Sfar's work is translated into English. Greffier sounds simply fascinating to me, despite the possible bias and preachiness: after years of reading inaccurate legal drama in comics like Daredevil and She-Hulk, I think it'd be a kick to see a straight-up sequential art report of courtroom proceedings with no spandex in sight. I'd also like to see more Vampire Loves and Klezmer, of course, but I have no idea how long it will take to prepare the next volumes for publication in English. (I believe with Vampire Loves, the First Second versions collect two of the French Le Bestiaire Amoureux collections (which in turn collect two of the Grand Vampire books), so I think there's now enough material for First Second to do a second volume. With Klezmer, I think it's a one-to-one correspondence, so there are two other books available to translate.)

In the meantime, here are some images to enjoy, and there are many, many more wonderful samples of Sfar's artwork to be found on his website.

Labels: ,