Translation of Hispanic comics and graphic novels

Authored by: Javier Muñoz-Basols , Enrique del Rey Cabero

The Routledge Handbook of Spanish Translation Studies

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138698017
eBook ISBN: 9781315520131
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, we show how translation has contributed to the international dissemination of Hispanic comics and graphic novels. We begin by explaining the main reasons for the recent success of comics and graphic novels in the Hispanic world and by outlining some of the particularities of this medium in the Iberian and Latin American contexts. We then apply a multimodal perspective to selected issues that arise in the translation of this type of literature, namely: the adherence to the original narrative, the translation of cultural references, and the visual adaptation of the original. We focus our analysis on the translation of one of the most internationally successful recent Spanish graphic novels, Paco Roca’s Arrugas (2007), which demonstrates graphic literature’s ability to go beyond its traditional role of entertainment and to address a wide public by exploring complex themes. Finally, we offer some new avenues for future research in what promises to be a fertile field of inquiry.

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