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Graphic Lit

from the February 2010 issue

from “That Was Happiness”

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From C'était le bonheur. Published 2005 by Futuropolis. Copyright 2005 by Futuropolis. By arrangement with the publisher. Rights arranged through Nicolas Grivel for the Sylvain Coissard Agency, France. Translation copyright 2010 by Edward Gauvin. All rights reserved.


Christian Hincker, who uses the pseudonym Blutch, studied art in Strasbourg, where he was born. Blutch made his comic debut in the magazine Fluide Glacial in 1988 with Pecos Jim and several short stories. He later came up with the series Johnny Staccato and Mademoiselle Sunnymoon. His Fluide Glacial work has been collected in such albums as Waldo's Bar, Mademoiselle Sunnymoon, Rancho Bravo, Blotch, le Roi de Paris and Blotch Face à Son Destin. At the same time, he joined the publishing house L'Association, where he began a collaboration with the magazine Lapin. His Lapin work appeared in the album Sunnymoon, Tu Es Malade. At the publishing house Cornélius, he created La Lettre Américaine and Mitchum.

Blutch joined the magazine À Suivre in 1996. There, he started his series Peplum'; the complete story appeared in an album at Cornélius. He also works as an illustrator for Libération, The New Yorker and Les Inrockuptibles, and he has cooperated on several collective albums. In 1998 he published Le Petit Christian, and a second installment was published in Charlie Hebdo in 2008. Blutch has also collaborated with Dupuy and Berberian on the story Endlich Glücklich Leben. A master in the black-and-white genre, Blutch created his first color album, Vitesse Moderne, in the Aire Libre collection of Dupuis in 2002. Around 2005 he changed his graphic style for his illustration work, and started signing with Blutch Hincker. He also produced the animation film Peur(s) du noir in 2008. He was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2009 Angoulême comics festival.

Translated from French by Edward Gauvin

A 2021 Guggenheim fellow, Edward Gauvin has translated in various fields from film to fiction, with a personal focus on contemporary comics (BD) and post-Surrealist literatures of the fantastic. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, and World Literature Today, and twice placed in the British Comparative Literature Association’s John Dryden Translation Competition. It has also been shortlisted for several major awards—the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Albertine Prize, the Best Translated Book Award, the National Translation Award—and twice nominated for French-American Foundation Translation Prize. He has received fellowships from the NEA, PEN America, the Fulbright program, and the Centre National du Livre, as well as residencies from Ledig House, the Lannan Foundation, the Banff Centre, and the Belgian government. A multiple grantee of the French Voices program from the French Embassy, he is a frequent contributor to their cultural initiatives. As a translation advocate, he has written widely, spoken at universities and festivals, and taught at the Bread Loaf Translation Conference, where he will be returning (virtually) this summer. The translator of over 400 graphic novels, he is a contributing editor for comics at Words Without Borders.


Photo credit: Quitterie de Fomervault-Bernard © 2016.

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