Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Guillaume Singlein to publish first English-language book, 'PTSD,' with First Second

It's not due until 2017, but the knowing it's on its way is good news of itself: French artist Guillaume Singlein will be publishing his first English language book, P.T.S.D., with First Second. While that may seem rather far off, the good thing about First Second is that they're that rare beast of a reliable comics publisher and 99% of the time, their projected releases come out on time. P.T.S.D. tells the story of Jun, who returns home to a Hong-Kong style metropolis from a unpopular and failing war. Struggling to re-assimilate to civilian life, and grappling with post traumatic stress disorder, she's forced to navigate and confront her inner demons and arrive at some peace with her self. It's an intriguing set-up; I can't recall many books dealing with a female soldier's PTSD, or even a book dealing with the experience of being a female soldier. Couple that with Singelin's art, his mastery of light and atmosphere, and you've got an incredibly exciting proposition on your hands.

As regular readers will know, I am a big fan of Singelin's work: his series The Grocery, that amazing space illustration series, listing him as one of the 10 artists whose work I enjoyed most in 2014, and generally writing about his art in a drooling fashion as I'm unable to understand any French. In that last piece I wrote, 'I'm not making a wishes for 2015, but I hope upon hope that an English language publisher is working with him in some capacity, or looking into it.' So I am thrilled by this news. I hear a lot of criticism about First Second -most of it rather condescendingly seems to be that their catalogue appeals to young adults and children: boo! hiss!- but they publish some fabulous work with writers and artists I don't see anyone else picking up: The Divine by the Hanukas, the Last Man series, Penelope Bagieu's Exquisite Corpse, This One Summer, Farel Dalrymple's sublime The Wrenchies, in addition to lots more. As a comics fan, I'm grateful for what they do, and I think their range of books represents the medium well, too.

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