Flemish comic strip translations prosper

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The Flemish Literary Fund VFL yesterday announced its decision to send the cartoonists Wauter Mannaert, Leen Van Hulst and Ivan Adriaenssens to the Angoulème comic strip festival at the end of January next year. Flemish comic strips made for the foreign market is nothing new, but since VFL has supported this art form as well, there has been an increase in Flemish comic strip translation that were  originally destined only for the Dutch market. Since Flanders was the guest region at the strip festival in 2009, 34 foreign language translations of Flemish strips have been supported. Most of these are graphic novels  published in Dutch by smaller, independent publishers, with translations often published in a limited edition for an alternative public. But there have been exceptions like Brecht Evens who has been published by giant Jonathan Cape and Pieter De Poortere’s 'Boerke' that has been published by the French agency Glénat. The most popular authors among the 34 translated writers are Olivier Schrauwen, Judith Vanistendael and Brecht Evens. New translations are on the cards for each of them. ‘Ergens waar je niet wil zijn’ somewhere you would not like to be written by Evens will soon appear in Korean. Vanistendael’s ‘De maagd en de neger’ the virgin and the negro is to be translated in Polish and German, and  Schrauwen’s work is due for publication in the Norwegian and German language.

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