NBM Brings Étienne Davodeau’s Award-Winning ‘Lulu: Femme Nue’ To English As ‘Jude: Nude’
For fans of international comics, 2015 is already stacking up very nicely indeed in terms of translated material: the Lastman series, David Rubin's The Hero from Dark Horse, as well as his Beowulf adaptation with Santiago Garcia- to be published by Image, who are also releasing an English edition of Ken Niimura's Henshin; no doubt there'll be another installment of Frederik Peeters' Aama from Self Made Hero, books 3 and 4 of Fabien Vehlmann's and Bruno Gazzotti's Alone, and hopefully more that are yet to be announced. And that's without even touching any manga releases. It looks to be shaping up into another excellent year.
Adding to that pile are NBM with an English language release of Etienne Davodeau's award-winning Lulu: femme nue (Lulu: naked woman), re-titled Jude: Nude. Originally published in two volumes in 2008 and 2010, Davodeau's story of a woman who decides to suddenly take off one day after a job interview goes horribly wrong, leaving her husband and children to make time for, and discover, herself. What was a sudden whim to go to the beach turns into a longer journey in which she meets other people, many of whom are living in similarly odd circumstances. Lulu won a host of awards, including the Prize "Essential" at the 2009 Angouleme Festival and was also adapted into a movie of the same name in 2013.
I greatly enjoyed Davodeau's The Initiates, a non-fictional, autobiographical book which saw the author and his vintner friend, Richard, make a pact to switch places and learn about each other's trade. One of the highlights in that book are the cameos made by various French comics stars as Davodeau takes Richard to visit his fellow comic creators to discuss some of the finer points of their chose profession, interpolated with relaxing scenes of walking through vineyards and bitching about bad wine. It was a hugely enjoyable, engaging story (remarkably so, considering the specialised subjects at hand that may easily have veered into elitism), made more so by seeing someone tackling the many strange and wonderful facets of the medium for the first time as an adult: 'Why does he draw himself like a duck?' -on encountering Lewis Trondheim's work for the first time- cue a very entertaining Trondheim guest-illustrating a page and addressing Richard and the reader to explain why he draws himself as a duck whilst drawing himself as a duck.
So I'm pleased to see more of his work available in English, and looking forward to seeing how he fares with a fictional narrative. Jude: Nude will release in February 2015.
UPDATE: The title of the book will now be Jude: Anew, and publication has been moved to April 2015.