In the past year, Dark Horse Comics has announced multiple new English editions for graphic novels previously published internationally. Books like Pau‘s Baboon, Zao Dao‘s Cuisine Chinoise: Tales of Food and Life, and Enrico Orlandi‘s The Flower of the Witch have brought greater diversity of culture and storytelling to Dark Horse’s already-robust graphic novel lineup. Now, in a The Beat exclusive, Dark Horse is announcing two new additions to their slate of international graphic novels, and debuting a preview for the previously-announced Cuisine Chinoise.
The first new book, Gert and the Sacred Stones, is a middle-grade graphic novel by creators Marco Rocchi and Francesca Carità. Originally published as Gherd. La Ragazza Della Nebbia by Italian publisher Tunué and translated into English by Jamie Richards, Gert and the Sacred Stones tells the story of a young girl who sets out to become a warrior in order to defend her people from savage monsters that strike from the fog surrounding the village.
In a statement on the book, Rocchi and Carità discussed their intent in developing Gert and her world:
“We wanted to create a multi-faceted and well-rounded female character who could mirror the strengths and weakness of both girls and boys. Although it’s a fantasy setting, there are many references to real life and to our way of seeing the world. Many will recognize themselves in the protagonist’s will to forge and affirm her own unique identity despite the adversities she faces, and in her awareness that she must learn more, experience more, and grow by taking responsibility for her choices before she can change the world.”
The other new title, cartoonist Elisa Macellari‘s Papaya Salad, tells the story of Macellari’s great-uncle Sompong’s experiences as a Thai student living in Italy during World War II. The graphic novel, Macellari’s first, was originally published by Italian publisher BAO Publishing in 2018, and has already been translated into French and Spanish editions. The English translation for Dark Horse is by Carla Roncalli Di Montorio.
In a statement, Macellari describes Papaya Salad as “a historical and emotional journey through my family and my roots, grown in both Europe and Asia. A personal narrative that needs to be shared and hopefully finds a home in the empathy of readers”.
In addition to the two new titles, Dark Horse has also provided a preview of the previously-announced Cuisine Chinoise: Tales of Food and Life by Zao Dao. The 96-page hardcover collection features five stories translated by Diana Schutz and Brandon Kander, highlighting the connection between food and Chinese folklore. The six-page preview is a great sampling of the lush illustration and storytelling on display in the book.
Check out the preview for Cuisine Chinoise below, and look for that graphic novel in stores on June 10th, 2020. Both newly-announced Dark Horse international books, the 160-page Gert and the Sacred Stones and the 232-page Papaya Salad, are scheduled to arrive in stores on August 26th, 2020.