Words Without Borders bills itself as “The Online Magazine for INternational LIterature” and naturally, the latest issue turns to international comics.

Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian, fresh from their Grand Prix at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, revisit Get a Life while Dupuy goes for a solo run. North Korean Cho Pyong Kwon sketches an allegorical battle tale and translator Heinz Insu Fenkl parses the message. Mazen Kerbaj devours comics and dodges bombs as a child while Pah&eacute shuttles between sleepy Gabon and cosmopolitan Paris. South Americans hit the North American road as Alberto Fuguet & Gonzalo Martinez tear through the American Southwest and Liniers hops through Atlantic Canada. Magdy El Shafee‘s software designer turns to criminal code in Cairo; artist and writer Carmen Boullosa frames the Taller de la Gráfica Popular’s political message; and interviewer Nicole Rudick and Gipi compare life and art.

It’s quite a rich tapestry, although some of the comics presented (all translated) are bigger on emotion than craft. The highlight is The Duck by Dupuy, (above) another preview of his upcoming D&Q book. Highly recommended. For the weird factor there is Kwon’s North Korean propaganda comic starring very hard working bees (below) Good times.

Finally there’s an interview with Gipi (War Story, Garage Band)

NR: The story is meant to be universal, set in no specific time or place?

GIPI: The time is now. The place is everywhere. This was my plan. But I discovered that readers often need to place a story somewhere other than their own country and to shift the time to the past. I imagine this is a normal reaction. No one wants to imagine his home bombed out.