Official Press Release
In 1957, Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz brought out a second syndicated comics series, a gag panel called "It's Only a Game" which focused on games, sports, and leisure activities. This strip remained a forgotten piece of the Schulz legacy, as not a single panel of it showed up in any book until 2004, when About Comics released their complete one-volume It's Only a Game collection. This spring, the many Italian Schulz fans will get their first chance to experience these gems when Free Books releases their translation of that collection, È solo un gioco.
"The Italian readers are in for a treat," explains Nat Gertler, publisher of About Comics. "As best as we can tell, none of these hundreds of cartoons have ever been translated into Italian – or any other language. So while the American Schulz fan might have seen some of these when they ran in the handful of papers which picked up the series or read one accompanying an article on Schulz or in a Peanuts fan newsletter, they're all new to the Italians."
The Italian version is being edited by Free Books Editor-in-Chief Andrea Materia along with a team of internationally renowned Italian comics scholars. Materia explains "The translation extends beyond just Schulz's dialog. The English edition also has insightful commentary provided by cartoonist Jim Sasseville, who collaborated with Schulz during the latter part of the strip's run, and that commentary is being translated for our version as well."
This translation actually marks the first About Comics foray into foreign licensing of books. "Up until now, we haven't secured the foreign rights to most of what we publish. Some of our most popular books, such as Panel One: Comic Book Scripts by Top Writers, it wouldn't even make sense to translate," explains Gertler. "But for It's Only A Game, we knew we had something that would not only be popular – and it has turned out to be our fastest-selling book yet – but also have international appeal. So we made sure to get the rights, and now we're eager to license it for as many languages and territories as possible." Interested foreign publishers can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About Free Books, srl: Free Books, srl owns one of the largest printing facilities in Italy. The Free Books comics imprint was launched by Adriano Cerboni in late 2003. It quickly gained nation-wide attention for its publication of Alan Moore's Supreme and Judgment Day, Clive Barker's Hellraiser and Tapping the Vein, Joss Whedon's Fray and Tales of the Slayers, Joe Kubert's Yossel: April 19, 1943 and Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise. Other classics and fresh-new graphic novels are on the way. See www.free-books.it for further information.
About About Comics: A small but remarkably diverse publisher in the comics field, About Comics has published such books as Panel One: Comic Book Scripts by Top Writers, a collection of Kurt Busiek's first original series The Liberty Project, and the Scott McCloud-edited anthology 24 Hour Comics. About Comics is also the force behind 24 Hour Comics Day, an international event of marathon comics creation. See www.AboutComics.com for further information.