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Fantagraphics to collect Argentine sci-fi classic ‘Eternonaut’

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Fantagraphics is bringing one of the pillars of South American comics to the United States for the first time.

In August 2015, Fantagraphics will publish an English adaptation of the first storyline of El Eternauta, aka The Eternonaut. Created in the late 1950s by writer and revolutionary Héctor Germán Oesterheld alongside artist Francisco Solano López, The Eternonaut is a rollicking sci-fi tale about a group of people living in the midst of an alien invasion. The story is post-apocalyptic, but veers into the weird with mutated animals, insects and even humans that the group fights just as much as the alien invaders. Midway through the story, the group is split apart due to a malfunctioning time-travel device on one of the alien’s ship, stranding some of the heroes in time and sending them on a new quest to find each other.

The story of The Eternonaut‘s creator is just as interesting as the story itself: Oesteheld created the strip while his home country of Argentina was undergoing a series of bloody political coups. In the 1970s he began writing the series from hidden locations, as he was on the run from the Argentinian government, until he was captured in 1977. He’s believed to have died in 1979 while still under arrest; both of his daughters and their husbands were also abducted. After his presumed death, original artist Solano López published new installments intermittently with other creators, as recently as 2008.

Here’s a sample of pages from The Eternonaut:

Comments

12 Comments

This is great news! I’ve heard a lot about this title over the years and look forward to finally reading it.

The practically unanimous reaction to the English title from anyone remotely familiar with this comic is of absolute bafflement. Everyone would have expected, simply, THE ETERNAUT.

But no, the translator had to get “creative”. Well, they still have one year to re-think this very unfortunate decision, and avoiding being the laughingstock of comic fans world wide.

Not really fussed about the name.

everyone doing a wordplay on argonauts should be banned.

Yeah! looking forward to this!

WOW! Great news. I was thinking about “E; Eternauta” the other day. I love the story.

“El Eternauta” *

David Macpherson

November 11, 2014 at 6:34 am

I am one who does not care about the title as much that it is being translated and about to be available. I think the idea that there is universal bafflement is a tad hyperbolic. I have heard about this series for years, happy to finally get a crack at it.

To those who are carping about the title, THE ETERNONAUT:

This was a deliberate decision made by the translator and me (the editor). It is neither counter-intuitive nor wrong, as those here have suggested.

The original title is El Eternauta, which is a Spanish neologism combining the root eter with the suffix nauta; nauta is a cognate and translates as naut, as in astronaut or cosmonaut. Eter = ether, but shares a root with eternidad, which means eternity. This works well in the Spanish neologism in the context of the story. But it creates problems if we try to translate it literally into English as Ethernaut, partly because ether in English does not covey that double meaning, nor does the word itself roll trippingly off the tongue, not to mention that it sounds infelicitously like ethernet.

Our language police think it should be Eternaut, but as an English neologism, this sounds, ludicrously, like eat-or-not, so instead we borrowed the “o” from astronaut or cosmonaut, which brings with it the associations of outer space and the Cold War, which are both appropriate.

So. You can either boycott the book in protest or you can whine about the title on the internet.

To the rest of you: Thanks for our support. Putting this together, translating, finding the best reproduction, handling the necessary production work, etc., has proved to be a monumental job, but it will; be worth it.

Fantagraphics

“I am writing to you. Representing the Argentina Society EDITIONS RECORD SA unique global head of copyright, trademark and dibjos of the work” Eternauta “written by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and drawn by Francisco Solano López. In that character and in recognition of the specific instructions received, informed them that ever that society has assigned, sold or trasnferido rights that you have about the work. As a result all editions of the same for you. made lacking all legitimacy to be fashion marketed so far been doing it. the Civil justice and the Federal Trade Argentina dated October 29, 2010 at First Instance and August 30, 2011 at Second Instance has confirmed and ratified that EDITIONS SA is RECORD only undisputed holder of such rights by assignment documented in writing and made by the author himself. in addition to these failures was expressed conclusively that none of the legatees of Mr. Oesterheld (Ms. Elsa Oesterheld Sara Sanchez, Fernando Martín Mórtola or Araldi) are entitled to be attributed to any of these rights. Consequently any documentation to justify their illicit bearing proceed no legal effect for lack of standing and the ability to who provided it. In the merit of the information provided we make them directly responsible for the harmful impact of revisions not authorized by you. Fantagraphics distributed in the United States caused EDITIONS RECORD SA. For all purposes and in order to avoid lawsuits already decided to promote this city invite to get in touch with Dr. Ignacio A. de la Vega in the city of Buenos Aires, the street address of 489 May 25, 5th floor, CABA. CP. C1002ABI, 054.011.4311.3011 or telephone within 72 hours of receipt of this

Carlos Altamirano

November 22, 2014 at 6:51 am

¿Ediciones Record no podía pagar un buen traductor o alguien que escribiera esta misma carta pero sin recurrir al traductor de Google? Es una vergüenza realmente esta carta escrita en un inglés horroroso.

Go ahead Fantagraphics! Your classic comics editions for collectors are top quality.

Long live to the Eternonaut!

This is a kickass sci-fi novel and you will find it well deserves to reach a big budget Hollywood production movie. It is a story so great that executives, writers and directors could think of it about a franchise. A franchise unlike any other ever seen before by Americans and of course the rest of the world. Argentine minds have a powerful imagination.

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