Comic artist and author David Roach regularly delights his Facebook followers with comic and illustration art he’s found online, or from his own collection, but a recent posting of a Nancy Drew book cover by Jose Maria Miralles led me to see if I could track down a better version of it – which I did, discovering a terrific web site in the process that highlights many European editions of American book series such as Dana Girls, Tarzan, and more.
The European Connection, the dedicated work of Sean Bourke of Sean Bourke Books, is devoted to the provision of information on the European editions of American children’s series books.
“Many collectors are interested in learning about, and often building up collections of, the foreign editions of the books they love,” Sean, who deals in secondhand books and researches children’s book history, explains. “As I am living in a European country – Ireland – I have managed over a lifetime of collecting to visit many European countries and to find many foreign editions of your favourite series books. From the widely published French editions of Nancy Drew to the single, decades-old volume of a series such as Ted Scott or the Motor Boys, I have built up a database of many thousands of book listings.”
Carefully researched, the site includes a listing of over 130 authors republished work in 26 languages, including SF authors such as Isaac Asimov and Ben Bova, as well as listings of close to 150 series and many sample book covers, a publishers listing and more.
“Many are surprised by the sheer number of American series books translated into European languages,” Sean notes. “… From Catalán to Russian, Turkish to Icelandic, very few Europeans of the last two or three generations have not been exposed to a Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden or Bobbsey Twins book, to mention only a handful.”
“As with all research of this nature, it will probably never been finished,” Sean notes, but nevertheless, what he has discovered makes for a brilliant snapshot of international publishing. You can find The European Connection site here.
David Roach is the author of Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art and Masters of British Comic Book Art, and will be appearing at the Lakes international Comic Art Festival next month to discuss his career and Rebellion’s upcoming “Apex” books presenting the art of Brian Bolland and Mick McMahon. You can find him here on Facebook.