Les pensées improbables

LA PHILOSOPHIE DANS LA PISCINE (Les pensées improbables de Ray Banana)
Pour certains c'est dans le boudoir, pour d'autres dans la piscine

jeudi 19 janvier 2012

The Lost Ray Banana Comic Books

The comic books recounting some of my early adventures, Berceuse électrique and Cité lumière, were supposedly published around 1990 by Fantail, a subdivision of Penguin Books, under the titles Electric Lullaby and Bright Lights. They were translated into English by a man named Neville Watchurst, and  given ISBN numbers. Mockups of the English covers were done (I must have them stacked somewhere), and one could theoretically buy them on Amazon.com, for instance (where they seem to be unavailable for the moment).

The translation was somewhat weird to my ears - the general style reminding me more of Peter Cheyney than Dashiell Hammett, and had me speaking more like Lemmy Caution than the Lancelot like adventurer I thought I was at the time.

Fantail even went to the extent of having these publicity shots below staged. As you can see, they show me carelessly leaning against the hood (bonnet, an Englishman would say) of a big Pontiac. The car is OK, even if there would only be a slim chance that you see me driving a four door in real life. 

But the sunglasses are definitely not RayBans, and the model impersonating me, who is blessed with very thick hair, I must say - something that every man over 35 will envy - is evidently British and operating in Fulham rather than Pasadena, as the sign in the upper corner shows.

But did these books ever exist? Were they sold, bought, read, cherished or tossed away? Were they even printed? I never laid my eyes on a single copy.

(Ray is known for holding a grudge against penguins since.) (NdT)

Another edition (at least with a different title, City of Light, and a different ISBN, was published in the US by Fantagraphic  Books. I never saw one either, so I guess this one must fall in the same category, the books that never were.
Or, as they are also called sometimes, The Phantom Books.

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