Monday, December 1, 2014

Ernie Pike

Maybe I shouldn't post a whole story by the great Héctor, but I'm doing it just the same because I don't believe that this story will ever be republished (Hugo Pratt didn't drew it!, you see?!...). Maybe the Argentinian government will put their money where their mouth is and someday they will publish Oesterheld's oeuvre in a deluxe collection with great production values (getting the Library treatment, I mean...). While that doesn't happen, and I don't believe that it ever will, to be honest, here's my small contribution... Frontera # 48, March 1961: Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), 19 year old Jesús Balbi (a). My translation.

(1/2) A rosary of shadows is coming down the mountain. /  (1/3) The artillery grunts relentlessly at the heights. It seems like the monstrous organ of a nameless cathedral. / (1/4) There, on my side, is a soldier, wounded in an arm, but also wounded elsewhere, a lot deeper than the flesh, because his eyes are trembling when they go from one body to the next... / (1/5) "Are you searching for a comrade?"

(2/1) "Yes, I'm searching for Stanislas... I let him in the trenches when they evacuated me..." / (2/2) "Maybe he's still there, in the trenches...." "No... he can't be... They told me that that trench was sweeped. There was a German counter attack..." / (2/3) "Well, one never knows, of course... Stanislas always manages to get out of trouble... Yes, he always gets out of trouble...." / We are at the front in Montecassino. Our troops try to advance as much as they can. They bleed to death to conquer a hill, but another one follows and the enemy doesn't give up, fighting with all they've got for every yard.... / (2/4) An endless rosary, the mules with the bodies are still passing by. They go up transporting ammunition and they return transporting death. / (2/5) "It's starting to snow, my boy... Soon it will be night. They will come no more today...." / (2/6) "No... they will come no more... I'll have to wait until tomorrow..." / (2/7) "Don't take it like that, my boy, you will meet Stanislas safe and sound soon. You said so yourself, he always manages to get out of trouble..."

(3/1) "Remember Company C. They said that it was licked when they appeared on the ridge they had just conquered to the Germans... but..." / (3/2) "Where's the soldier? Where is he?" / (3/3) "Hey! Come back here! Where are you going?" / (3/4) "He went... to the frontline..." It didn't even cross my mind to go after him. It snowed and he was a lot more faster than me. He soon disappeared behind the rocks. Besides, I have enough with my writing chores. If one tries to follow every man with a problem, this would be the never ending story... / (3/5) The next day it continued snowing. And the next I didn't even remember the soldier with the wounded arm. There're so many things going on at the front that every day seems like a century. / Again the mountain threshed its black rosary of mules and corpses... / "The mules again..." / (3/6) "The wounded come with them... Those who can walk, I mean... who knows what the others do..."

(4/1) "Yesterday the fight was ugly... the mules are more loaded than ever..." / (4/2) "But... that arm?" / (4/3) "The boy with the wounded arm..." / Yes, I recognized him immediately... it was him... / (4/4) "You knew him scribe?" "More or less... What happened to him?" / (4/5) "What was bound to happen... He appeared in the trench looking for a certain Stanislas... he was beside himself... he said that he had been in all the other trenches searching... that he had to find Stanislas..." / (4/6) "The sergeant tried to stop him... He told him that he had to go behind the lines... but he escaped and jumped the parapet..." 

(5/1) "And he went into the snow, onto the enemy. They saw him immediately, of course... The machine gun almost cut him in two..." / (5/2) "He had to be cuckoo. Why search his comrade in such a way?" / (5/3) "In the end, we are all always looking for someone..." / (5/4) "We... we are all searching for someone..." / (5/5) "The wounded man continued his path. And the endless passing by of the mules continued..." / (5/6) "Never, not even in the middle of the desert, did I feel so alone. Yes, we are all always looking for someone..."


Diego Cordoba said...

I'm new to your blog, but actually in both France and Italy they've printed a version of HGO and Solano Lopez's Eternauta scanned from the actual original art. The question is when will we see it in it's original Spanish language with scans from the original art instead of the old magazines?

Fantagraphics will also reprint the series for the firts time in English (translated as The EterNOnaut, beacuse as Eternaut it sounds like "Eat her not"). I wrote them about the possibility of using scans from the actual original art, but they are most probably going to go with the horrible Record reprint from Argentina.

Isabelinho said...

That's unfortunate indeed. Thanks for all the info. In any case "The Eternonaut" is awkward. If they don't like "The Eternaut" (the correct translation) I could point them out to a better translation. I'm not saying what it is because it's not mine and it was suggested to me in a private conversation. No one from Fanta asked me anything, of course...