Monday, September 08, 2003

September 08: Translation,Dwi Koendoro, Sektekomik  

September 08:
Getting into a routine, breakfast and bechak over to the convention hall. Will have to see more of Yogya outside the hall, it's such a fascinating city, there's such a mix of the old and the new - cars, buildings, people, culture. And the pace is bit slower than Jakarta, which is welcome. Curious, it's rainy season in Cambodia, here it hasn't rained once.

I get waves from people as I walk in, as the only foreigner attending the convention, I'm pretty visible. I hope that they realize just because I'm a foreign komikus it doesn't mean I'm an expert.

Over at the booth more work on the translations with Laine, Agung and Athonk. I have whited out the text of a number of uncollected stories, and have them fill in the Indonesian wording. Then I take a fresh copy and carefully copy their translation, to make sure the lettering is clear. Logos and titles also have to be redone. And there's a lot of slang. Laine: "I don't know this in Indonesian, do you want it in Javanese?" No. She keeps elbowing Athonk for the obscure words.

Meanwhile, Athonk begins circulating some jam strips. Indispensible at a comic convention.

A surprise, newpaper cartoonist Dwi Koendoro stops by the booth! He's happy to see so many people doing comics, and we all give him our stuff. He has influenced a whole generation of cartoonists, he's been publishing regularly for decades. Cool!

Another surprise, Sektekomik from Jakarta make an appearance! A lot of energy and enthusiasm in their work, titles like"Bill and Bull: total destroy fucking teenagers". There's nothing like a good fart joke to put theory in context. I'll have to get some of their stuff.

A quiet moment with the Sektekomik crew.

Laine and I check out the Aceh comic exhibition. These are blown up pages of suggested contributions for a comic about the uprising in Aceh. Submissions range from simple cute moralism to complex story and art. Laine aids with translation and I can parse much of the story from the pictures.

More translation fun. I ask people to check each other's translations. Thank gawd Indonesian is in romanized script or this would be impossible to do by the end of the convention.

I buy a stack of comics from the 'MKI' booth outside, the 'Indonesian Comics Society' from Jakarta. They have a wide range of comics, and I get a few extras for the Melbourne Comics Crew. I have got to explore the show more, I should have come a week earlier and tackled the translation.

I sell another one of the big books. Yay!!

There's a celebration for Firman's birthday, complete with cake and candles. He's been working hard organizing the show, nice to see him get a little appreciation.

One of the 'diskusi' - discussions begin. Sounds quite serious. Great to see such enthusiasm. I'm left to mind the booth and paste up my growing pile of translations. I'm glad I brought all my art gear.

Evening approaches. Some proofing help from Insist Press folks. It looks like the translation will not be professional quality. Oh well, it's "Spontan", as Agung suggests. Maybe this small effort will lead to a more polished work.

I'm invited to participate in a diskusi on independent comics and networking tomorrow. We'll have to figure who will translate. There are some musicians playing outside - music every night! Free food and music - this has American conventions beat.

We wrap up things and I walk back to Jalan Sosrowijayan. Maliboro Boulevard's wide sidewalks transform at night, from tourist kisosks and batik shops to eateries and squatting vendors. Every square centimeter of space is put to use, lit by electricity and oil lamps.

Guys on the street: 'You want room? You want smoke? Other guy: Athonk I guess when you were once the only punk rocker in Yogya you're pretty visible.

I hit the net cafe to share with the world. At the computer next to me is another guy from the convention, doing an update for his Indie comics site. (He's also involved with an indie comix news/reviewzine). And one of the web cafe guys is also attending the convention. Small world.

The computer promptly eats my floppy disc. The web cafe folks grab a pair of scissors and try to wrench it out. (That's a good way to get an electric shock.) Ouch. All things considered, after a long day at the convention I'd rather have a cold beer than hunch over a unresponsive computer.

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