My Stand Up for Comics post garnered a lot of hits and comments. One of the references made in the comment section is to the Duke University School of Law Center for the Study of the Public Domain's (CSPD) comic about the basics of copyright law, Bound by Law.
The comic is available under a Creative Commons license that allows you to also translate the comic into your language. Examples of French, Portuguese, and Italian versions of the comics are already available. Perusing the translated examples, and the "translation kit" sources it became clear that whereas the text on the cover, in speech bubbles, and in a few other places, is easily translated, other text (such as the names of creators and their work) is not, and the comics characters and their interactions themselves remain constant across all language versions.
Comic pages courtesy of the Duke University School of Law CPSD.
So, arising, from all this, a number of questions arise for all aspiring comic creators and translators:
Clearly, a fully-translated and culturally-applicable comic book delivery can be a significant, but worthwhile, undertaking. That's not to knock anyone's effort here, of course. Even a basic translation can raise the quality of debate and public information and lead to further investigation by readers, but it must be made clear to consumers that's the intention of what they're reading. Furthermore, it is obvious that with the use of comics as a global communications device (see this 200 page manga comic from the US Navy, for example), the demand for translation (to and from English) of comics will increase. There is already ample advice available on how to proceed with this task, and great information sharing is happening. Check out the collaborative comics translation website Comix Influx for a start!