So as mentioned back in 2013 I spent some time working with artist James Harvey on a Chinese translation of his comic Masterplasty. The whole thing came about pretty spontaneously, starting with a tweet he made about getting the comic translated to Japanese. Having read the comic just a day before, I decided to offer him a Chinese translation as well because I really enjoyed it, and was thrilled when he was totally on board despite me being a complete stranger. The project was pushed back a few months because work but eventually everything was ready for print and James got in touch with Modes Vu, a publisher that specializes in visual content.
Fast forward a few months later and three copies of the comic are sitting on my desk. There’s always something magical about seeing stuff you’ve worked on come off the press, and this is no exception. Although I’m quite used to helping out with translations, this is my first real gig, so there was definitely a bit of learning involved, but I was happy with the results, especially the title, which I spent quite some effort trying to capture the essence of. The Chinese translation 天地改 literally means “heaven earth change” which, in context, means “complete/absolute modification/metamorphosis”, encompassing the premise of Masterplasty being the cosmetic procedure of all cosmetic procedures.
Anyway, I had fun working on this project, especially so since I don’t have many artist friends, so it’s always a treat to get a personal response on cool work, which James provided in spades, and most of which can be read in the QA section on the back.
So if you’re a Chinese reader and want something short and fun (and beautiful), you can now head over to Amazon for a copy, otherwise you can always check out the original English version here.
先前提過我在去年曾跟景仰許久的漫畫家 James Harvey 合作翻譯他的短篇作品 Masterplasty ，這契機的原委說來其實意外地單純。起初是我一次無意在線上拜讀這部作品後，隔天就在推特上看到 James 發表說日文版的 Masterplasty 即將發行。因為覺得這部作品很有趣，且篇幅又剛好，我就索性在回文中報上自己的背景並問他有沒有興趣翻成中文，而他竟然也爽快地答應了（這經驗再次提醒我有些機會其實只要肯開口就有了）。之後雖然因為工作而閒置了一陣子，但最終還是順利地在年底前將稿子送交給 James 合作的圖文出版商 Modes Vu 。
時隔半年，Masterplasty 的首刷終於上市，出版商的老闆 Erik 也很爽快給我寄了三份做收藏，果然自己參與製作的刊物拿在手中感覺就是不一樣。雖然我平常就不時地給人做些瑣碎的翻譯，但這畢竟是我第一份完整的翻譯工作，過程中也是學了不少，因此對於結果還挺滿意的，尤其在標題的部分，當時可是費了相當大的功夫。Masterplasty 是作者虛構的整型手術，它的特點在於可以徹底改變一個人的外觀，因此被視為整形手術中的整形手術，故稱之為Masterplasty。為了要確實傳達這個設定的意境，並且融入漫畫式命名的戲劇效果，我最後決定將它取作「天地改」。雖然有朋友笑說很中二