Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Dissector #104.

DISCLAIMER (angry creators, please read)


"You saying I got a little white in me? Yeah, I got a little white in me! My teeth, my eyes, and my fuckin' cum!!!" Sgt. Jamal Stuart, Haunted Tank #1.

December's first week, 12/03 is here; and for starters, let me tell you that the Guvnor cracked the DT!, thus earning another badge. The problem with that Odin picture was that Odin clearly has both eyes; and he had not regained his lost eye it yet in Marvel continuity.

Now, The Dissector's Picks Of The Week are next; Best Book Of The Week was Amazing Spider-Man #579. Mark Waid provides a good Spider-Man tale, and reminds us again that Peter Parker is practically a genius... Spidey can THINK. Worst Book Of The Week was Wolverine Annual #2; standard "Wolverine travels alone, finds monster, defeats, tries to teach moral". Yawn. Dissections, please!

TITLE: El Diablo V3 (DC).

ISSUE: 04.

CULPRIT: Jai Nitz (writer).

DISSECTION: While letterer Sal Cipriano correctly makes the Ñ the same size as the rest of the letters; Jai Nitz uses the word "quinceñera" instead of "quinceañera" (literally "fifteen year old girl"; as in "sweet fifteen"; since Hispanics celebrate that for girls instead of "sweet sixteen").


TITLE: Guardianes De La Galaxia (Forum/Marvel, translating Guardians Of The Galaxy V1).

ISSUE: 09 and 12 (same numbering as in US edition).

CULPRIT: Xavi Marturet (translator).

DISSECTION: With not enough dissections in this week to fill the requisite minimum of ten per column; I once more went to my Vault. I found some little gems I had stowed away, to show how it's not just English speaking writers who mess up other languages. One day, I'll write an article on the atrocities that are committed when translating comics to Spanish.

In this case, there are three cherries from the 1994 Guardians Spanish edition of 1991 US book that I wanted to share with my readers. First up, and just a typo, but one with funny results; Martinex is called "Martinez"; which ends up being a Spanish surname. Actually, I don't think it's a typo; I think the translator spellchecked his document and the spell check dictionary, in Spanish, replaced Martinex with Martinez. I remember when my spell checker, when writing articles in Spanish, would replace "Marvel" with "Marcel"...

Next, and completely out of the blue, Martinex is called "Frank"... WHAT??!?!?! And lastly, and even more funnily, in the middle of an issue, someone refers to the "Belt asteroid" ("asteroide Belt" in Spanish); making it obvious that the translator didn't know what an asteroid belt was. The funniest thing is, that when I went to Google what was Xavi Marturet up to know (his actual name is Javier Marturet); he had blogged about a Final Fantasy fan music video with an Evanescence song. He translated the lyrics to the song himself, and posted them along with the video, because (according to himself) "you don't wanna know the stinkers that pass for translations on the internet, they're horrible". The lyrics translation looks okay, but I hope he's learned what an asteroid belt was in these past 15 years.

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars, for "asteroide Belt", lesser scores for the other two. I usually give wrong uses of the Spanish language (or other languages) in English comics 6 or 7; in this case I gave it a higher rating because those are uses of foreign languages to give certain scenes or characters a "flavor"; while what Marturet was doing was translating comics in their entirety to another language, for people to read and understand them, and he didn't even know what an "asteroid belt" was (heck, he couldn't even translate the word "belt" literally)...

TITLE: Iron Man/Hulk/Nick Fury (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Chris Sotomayor (colorist).

DISSECTION: See if you can spot this one:


TITLE: New Exiles (Marvel).

ISSUE: 15.

CULPRIT: Mark Paniccia (editor) and/or Jordan D. White & Michael Horwitz (assistant editors).

DISSECTION: Morph; but this might end soon (no, not the book, unfortunately).

DISSECT-O-METER: 10 Bazzars.

TITLE: NYX: No Way Home (Marvel).

ISSUE: 04 of 06.

CULPRIT: Marjorie Liu (writer).



TITLE: Secret Invasion (Marvel).

ISSUE: 08 of 08.

CULPRIT: Tom Brevoort (editor) and/or Jeanine Schaefer (assistant editor).

DISSECTION: The recap at the beginning says "the original avengers are united"... which is not true. Good ending for the event, though.

DISSECT-O-METER: 4 Bazzars; you could argue that with Captain America, even if it's not Steve Rogers, the original Avengers are there. Also, Norman Osborn is shown wearing a suit; when he was wearing some battle armor of sorts last time.

TITLE: She-Hulk: Cosmic Collision (Marvel).

ISSUE: One-shot.

CULPRIT: Val Staples (colorist).

DISSECTION: Jennifer Walters' eyes are colored brown, when they should be green.


TITLE: Vixen: Return Of The Lion (DC).

ISSUE: 03 of 05.

CULPRIT: G. Willow Wilson (writer).

DISSECTION: Again; Vixen is said to be from the fictional nation of Zambesi. The country is M'Changa, Zambesi is the village.


TITLE: Wolverine V3 (Marvel).

ISSUE: Annual #2.

CULPRIT: Cory Petit (letterer).

DISSECTION: Petit, unlike Cipriano, does not make his Ñs the same size as the other letters.


TITLE: Wolverine: Manifest Destiny (Marvel).

ISSUE: 02 of 04.

CULPRIT: Cory Petit (letterer).

DISSECTION: Again Petit makes accented letters smaller than the rest, this time from Pinyin transliterated Mandarin Chinese.

So, that brings us to the end of another column; with a 6.7 Bazzars average on sixteen dissections. Let me get you the Moments Of The Week, and you can be on your way. First up, is DC cutting back on salaries and people have to multitask?

Looks that way. Then, this is a priceless moment from the first issue of Haunted Tank:

I saw it coming from a mile away, but it was still funny. This book was a runner-up for Book Of The Week. Last, one step closer:

OZ FOR PREZ!!! That's it for now, until next time, I'll be on the outlook for more dissections, because (almost) nothing escapes...



The Guvnor Paul C said...

Dissect This: Nick Fury is black when I'm guessing this one-shot was in the normal Marvel Universe.

Oh, and Happy New Year to you as well.

MaGnUs said...

Nope, the one-shot was in the new movies universe; so Nick Fury is black. If it was that, it'd be more than a colorist dissection, wouldn't it?

MaGnUs said...

Comments originally posted on, right after the column was posted:

mathias: Your articles are great! They are very insightful and funny. I notice you have a pet-peeve when it comes to the size of the tilde over the "n". I know in spanish this pronunciation stretches the "en" sound to an "en yay" sound. Does the size of the tilde really matter (as long as its not obnoxious)?

Martín "MaGnUs" Pérez: Thanks for your kind comments Mathias, I am glad you enjoy my column. I hope that when I catch up, I can write them even more funny and insightful; personally, I enjoyed my older columns more than the current ones, which are a bit rushed.

As for the "ñ", the thing is that, unlike the accented vowels, it is a separate letter, not an accented "n"... you can't put tildes on consonants in Spanish. The "ñ", as a letter on its own (and in fact, the accented vowels too), must be the same size as the rest of the letters in a word. This is the work of ignorant, or at least careless letterers... I do have a pet peeve on this, but not just about this; it's regarding all wrong usage of languages foreign to the writers and letterers (you can see how hard I came down on that Spanish translator in this very same column).

Being a writer myself, I never claim to be perfect, but I do believe that if you're going to write about something, you either need to be very knowledgeable about the subject, or you need to do some research. If I ever have to write a story (narrative or comic or whatever) that features characters speaking in a language I'm not fully fluent on (and that's just English and Spanish, my French is incredibly rusty...), I'm going to ask for assistance from a native speaker; as I do when I check errors in German or other languages. In fact, even when I write in English and Spanish, I could benefit from proofreading!

Again, thanks for your nice words about my writings, feel free to drop a line every now and then on my columns.