May 312015

Journal de Spirou #3938 cover (ill. Yoann, Vehlmann; (c) Dupuis)

From 2013, a story set during the 75th anniversary “Spirou Tour” through Belgium, France and Switzerland. One of the last stops was Nantes, home base of Yoann & Vehlmann…

"Radar of Nantes" p.1 ('Radar le Nantais'; ill. Yoann & Vehlmann; 2013 (c) Dupuis and the artists; from JdS #3938; SR scanlation)

"Radar of Nantes" p.2 ('Radar le Nantais'; ill. Yoann & Vehlmann; 2013 (c) Dupuis and the artists; from JdS #3938; SR scanlation)

"Radar of Nantes" p.3 ('Radar le Nantais'; ill. Yoann & Vehlmann; 2013 (c) Dupuis and the artists; from JdS #3938; SR scanlation)

This scanlation is based on Miriam’s earlier version.

The Machines of the Isle of Nantes are a popular tourist attraction: giant contraptions of wood and metal, including a walking mechanical elephant. The minister seems to be Jean-Marc Ayrault: previously mayor of Nantes, he served as Prime Minister from 2012 to 2014. (I have him talking in political clichés, but I have no idea whether that’s fair to the man.) The GIGN (Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale) is a French counter-terrorism unit. And Radar, of course, is the robot from Franquin’s Radar le Robot (“Radar the Robot”).

  12 Responses to “Scanlation Sunday: Radar of Nantes”


    There’s almost Jijé-an levels to Fantasio’s impulisivity, here. I get vibes of Franquin’s old Spirou and the Tank story.


    I wonder if “SNAFU” would pass censorship in an official publication. It seemed like the best term to express the concept of a catastrophic slip-up, but the French punchline – which relies on the officer mistaking bévue (“blunder”) for BVU and thinking it’s an unknown terrorist group – doesn’t really work, since SNAFU is originally military slang that he would certainly know. So in this translation you have to assume that (he already believes) there actually is a SNAFU terrorist group.

    I don’t know… Maybe a gremlin/Kremlin pun would have worked better.

    Other notes on translation: I changed the minister’s misnaming of Vehlmann from “François” to “Fabio” Feldman mainly to fit the speech bubble, but also to avoid the cedilla and because “Fabio” is funnier to me. There’s also an untranslatable pun there about them being repreneurs (“take-over-ers,” i.e., the team that has taken over the series, but more often used for someone who has taken over a company).

    Finally, one of the biggest recurring challenges in doing these translations is coming up with English equivalents of French shouts of dismay: “Horreur !”, “Misère !”, etc. English doesn’t seem to have many interjections that serve this purpose (at least that aren’t offensive), and “Oh no!”, “Oh dear!” and “Oh my god!” get a bit boring. “Mommy!” fills in here, but I’m not 100% satisfied.


      I think there might be slightly antiquated British expressions that might fit, such as Cor Blimey, Heavens to Betsy and similar…


        Yeah, could work, but to my ear they’re more expressions of astonishment than distress. (“Heavens to Betsy!” is American rather than British – and I think too closely associated with the Duck comics – but there are certainly British examples as well.)

        Another alternative is to go with vocalizations of physical reactions, like “GULP!” or “SHUDDER!”

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