Join Goethe Pop Up Seattle, Elliott Bay Book Company, and Fantagraphics for a virtual book talk in celebration of the launch of the English edition of Golden Boy: Beethoven’s Youth. Comic artist & author Mikael Ross will discuss the book and his process with translator Nika Knight. Fantagraphics’ own Eric Reynolds will moderate the talk.
The book talk will take place online on Saturday, June 11th at 11:00 AM PT. Please register to receive Zoom access info.
Want a copy of the book? Order now from Elliott Bay Book Company!
About the book:
Ludwig van Beethoven created music that moves and inspires us to this day; his very name sparks a melody in the ear. But are you born a genius? This graphic biography asks: “Who was Beethoven before he became ‘Beethoven?'”
Master cartoonist Mikael Ross tells the story of Beethoven from 1778 to his first major public appearance in Vienna in 1795. It begins when the family is living a difficult life in Bonn. Father Johann battles with alcoholism and is deep in debt. Only young Ludwig and his talent at the piano offer any hope for the future — if only he would stop composing his own pieces and just play what’s expected of him.
Author Ross was asked to do a small comic for the Berlin State Library. Through this opportunity, he encountered the diaries of the baker’s son that lived downstairs from Beethoven’s family, the content of which inspired Golden Boy. As in his previous book, The Thud, Ross skillfully mixes humor with empathy and pure social drama, crafting a coming-of-age story that transcends its biographical subject matter. His colorful, expressive style and mastery of the language of comics are perfectly suited to the tall task of capturing Beethoven’s timeless music visually.
About the speakers:
Mikael Ross (born in Munich in 1984) initially trained as a theater cutter at the Bavarian State Opera. A move to Berlin and studies at the Berlin-Weißensee Art Academy influenced his first longer story, Herrengedeck, which he self-published in 2008. Together with the Belgian scriptwriter and illustrator Nicolas Wouters, he wrote and drew the graphic novel Les pieds dans le béton (2013). His graphic novel The Thud (2018) received the Max & Moritz Prize for “Best German-language Comic” in 2020. Goldjunge, published in 2020, also received the Max & Moritz Prize; Fantagraphics will release the English translation in May 2022.
Nika Knight is a writer and translator of German literature. She has an MFA in literary translation and nonfiction writing from Columbia University, New York, and has translated graphic novels by Mikael Ross, Ulli Lust, and Katja Klengel, as well as a novel by Svenja Leiber. She lives in Maine with her husband and two children.
About the moderator:
Eric Reynolds is the vice president and associate publisher of Seattle’s Fantagraphics Books. As a cartoonist, critic, and editor, his writing and drawing has appeared in The Stranger, The New York Times, Juxtapoz, and other publications. He has edited hundreds of books for Fantagraphics, by authors such as Daniel Clowes, Ellen Forney, Joe Sacco, Robert Crumb, Emil Ferris, Robert Pollard, Peter Bagge, Jack Black, Crockett Johnson, Walt Kelly, and many others. His acquisitions for Fantagraphics have appeared on New York Times bestseller lists, earned multiple Harvey, Eisner, and Ignatz comics awards, Society of Illustrators medals, the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, and the Los Angeles Times book prize. Others, like I Am Not Okay With This and The End of the Fucking World, have been adapted into hit television series. In 2000, he was immortalized as a character on The Simpsons.