MAKMA: translating and lettering comics since 2001

Translating and lettering comics since 2001, MAKMA is a comic book studio created by Stephan Boschat and Edmond Tourriol. Within our team, we work with more than forty people on each step of the creative process of making comic books: writers, artists, colorists, letterers, translators…

We work with a lot of comic book publishers

MAKMA’s clients include most of France and Belgium’s biggest comic book publishers: Akileos, Alayone, Bamboo, Casterman, Dargaud, Delcourt, Dupuis, Glénat, Hachette, Hugo Publishing, Jungle, Kazé, Kotoji, Le Lombard, Nazca, Panini, Pika, Soleil, Urban Comics… Across the Atlantic, we’ve also worked on books published by Image Comics, and we’ve created original strips for Comixology. We also work with various other clients who use comics for their communication purposes, such as Fnac or Dassault Systèmes.

Number one on translating and lettering comics

We’ve been working in the field of comics as professional translators and letterers since 2001. MAKMA was the first comic book studio to offer such services for publishers at the same time. We can take any foreign comic book and turn it into a French « bande dessinée » with French translation and lettering, almost overnight if necessary. We can translate from numerous languages into French, including English, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, German, Portugese, Chinese (Mandarin) and Japanese. We can create word balloons in any kind of shapes and styles. We can clean existing word balloons to put new text inside them. We can create various visual sound SFX for comics. We can also work inside any image to recreate any special lettering created by the artist (written words on a tattoo or a handscripted letter, for example).

MAKMA’s process

Usually, we translate comics from a low resolution PDF file, and then we hand the translated text to the graphic team which will integrate the new lettering in the comic book. The translated text is typed in a Word document (.doc or .docx) with each page and balloon numbered in the natural reading order. For Webtoons, we’ll number each panel, and then each balloon or SFX. Then the graphic team integrates each balloon in its right place thanks to the guide provided in the numbered translated document. We can then give the new lettered files to our client as a large PDF file or a number of flatted JPG or PNG or TIF image files. Your choice!

Agence de traduction BD, de transcréation et de localisation : MAKMA. Illustration The Walking Dead (TWD) Negan © Skybound Entertainment et © Groupe Delcourt pour la VF. MAKMA's been translating and lettering comics since 2001.
Illustration The Walking Dead (TWD) Negan © Skybound Entertainment et © Groupe Delcourt pour la VF

More than 15 people translating and lettering comics

Edmond Tourriol, comic book writer (Zeitnot, Banc de Touche, PSG Infinity, L’équipe Z). Translator since 2001. He has translated hundreds of comics, including The Walking Dead, Uncanny X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Wolverine, Incredible Hulk, Batman, Superman, Flash, Teen Titans, Aquaman, Shazam, Lobo, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Justice League. He is our chief translator and he oversees the work of our team. Edmond was our first author translating and lettering comics at the beginning of the studio’s existence.

Stephan Boschat, comic book writer (My Candy Love, Urban Rivals, Sociétés secrètes, Inventifs) specialised in translating and lettering comics. Letterer, translator and graphic designer since 2001. He has lettered hundreds of comics, including Batman, Superman, Justice League, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Shazam, Avengers, Spider-Man, The Simpsons, Pogo, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Scrooge, Conan, Attack on Titans. He has also translated Deadpool, Intrusion, Nymphomaniaque. He is our chief letterer and he oversees the work of our team.

Benjamin Rivière, comic book writer (Bowen, Baltazar & l’Efface-Rêve). Translator since 2003. He has translated many comics including Harley Quinn, Green Arrow, Suicide Squad, Punk Rock Jesus Sweet Tooth, Descender, Deadly Class, Manifest Destiny, X-Men, Deadpool, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Crossed, Cinema Purgatorio among many others. He’s one of MAKMA’s senior translator. He’s also a writer specialised in punk and metal cultures for the French rock magazine New Noise.

Mathieu Auverdin has been a comic book translator since 2011. He has worked on hundreds of comic books like The League of Extraodinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Darth Vader, Deadpool, Deathstroke, Moon Knight, Thor, Brother Lono, Daredevil, Punisher, Kid Eternity, Batgirl, Justice League Dark. He is also currently acting as an editor for the creation of a collection of albums on the history of France.

Benjamin Viette is one of the youngest additions to our team, although he has already translated a lot of comics among which Green Lanterns, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Savage She-Hulk, Howard the Duck, Killraven, Blade, Luke Cage, Great Lake Avengers, Shirtless Bear Fighter and many others as well as a number of unofficial Fortnite novels. He also writes news articles and comic book reviews for the French website Superpouvoir.com on the side.

Sarah Grassart translates comics such as Aquaman, Titans, Machine Man, Captain Britain, West Coast Avengers, Namor, Squirrel Girl, Deathlok, Disney comics like Incredibles 2, the Nightmare before Christmas or Ralph 2.0, but also Chinese manhuas (‎西游记, 妖神记). She’s been translating and lettering comics since 2016.

Nick Meylaender is a comic book writer (Executrice Women, The Darkness, Nankin, Shi Xiu reine des pirates, The Legend of William Tell). A translator since 2002 (dual French and British nationality), he has translated hundreds of US and British comic books into French, including The Goon, Chew, Tarzan, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tank Girl, Sons of Anarchy, World of Warcraft, X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Captain America, Doc Savage, The Spirit, Batman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman… He also translated French comics into English such as Lanfeust of Troy, Ythaq, Sherlock Holmes, Judge Bao… Nick was also a scriptwriter, game-designer, character-designer, storyboarder and localization coordinator on 18 videogames released by Sony, Infogrames and Ubi Soft, including The City of Lost Children, Tintin, Lucky Luke, The Smurfs, Lanfeust of Troy, Imagine Babies.

Maxime Le Dain has been working as a professional literary translator for ten years. He has had the pleasure and honour of rewriting in French the works of many acclaimed authors, such as H.P. Lovecraft (Call of Cthulhu and other short stories), Anthony Ryan (the Blood Song & Draconis Memoria trilogies), Joe Hill (Locke & Key, Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland), Jim Starlin (Captain Marvel, Warlock) or Tom King (Sheriff of Babylon), amongst many others. He indiscriminately loves to work on short stories, novels and comics, especially those that pertain to his favorite genres and mediums: SF, fantasy and comics. He also writes choose-your-own-adventure books.

Laurent Queyssi is a writer of comics, short stories, young adult and adult novels. Translator of several DC comics series (Superman, Action Comics, Fourth World, JLA Earth 2, Multiversity, Kamandi). His latest book is a comic-book biography of Philip K. Dick published by NBM in the US. He’s working on his first movie screenplay.

Camille Gardeil, translator and proofreader since 2016 working from English and German to French. He regularly works on the editorial content of Marvel collections (Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes and The Ultimate Graphic Novels Collection), and monthly translates the editorial content of Marvel’s Savage Sword of Conan collection. He also translated comics, both within and without the scope of these collections (Black Knight, Beta Ray Bill, Jae Lee’s Hellshock). Outside of the field of comic books, he worked on several role play games, both as a proofreader (Squirrel Attack!) and translator (7th Sea’s supplement Nations of Theah vol. 1, Opus Anima), as well as video games (NCIS: Hidden Crimes, Doraemon).

Gaël Legeard, comic book translator since 2017. He has translated several comics, including Generation Gone, Marvel’s What if ?, Devil’s Candy, Brink. He also translated into French the editorial content of the Marvel Graphic Novel Collections published by Hachette.

Stéphane Le Troëdec, web editorialist specializing in pop culture and speaker about comic books. Translator since 2015. He has translated various comics : Divinity, Flash, Batman, JLA, Green Lantern, Avengers, Black Widow, Fantastic Four, Alpha Flight, The Ultimate Graphic Novels Collection, Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes Graphic Novel Collection. Fantastic films and roleplaying games expert.

Caroline Vieira, an English teacher since 2001 and a translator since 2017. She is in charge of numerous cultural projects based on comic books in her vocational school. She has translated comics such as Spider-Girl, Ultimate Spider-Man, Pet Avengers, Miss Marvel and Steve Canyon.

Nathan Kempf graduated in translation in May 2018. He’s been translating and lettering comics as a professionnal ever since. He has years of experience in graphic design, working for several world-famous singers and music bands, which allowed him to start working as a letterer in October 2018. In the first few months of his career, he lettered French versions of comics such as TMNT, Stranger Things, and occasionally Green Lantern, Detective Comics, and Action Comics. He has also been a lettering assistant on series such as Superman, Rick and Morty, Batman, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Catwoman, among others.

Jonathan Oriol, translator since 2014. He has worked on dozens of video games (Far Cry 5, Marvel Heroes, Guild Wars 2, Tales of Berseria, etc.), several comics (including Marvel and video game exclusive issues), and he has just translated his first novel (Tom Clancy’s The Division – Broken Dawn, written by Alex Irvine).

Anne-Laure Moumal, cheery mascot of MAKMA, 25 years old. Born in China and raised in Belgium. Graduated in French literature at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She discovered the world of comic books during an internship at Kotoji publishing (Nancy) and manages the translating of comics from Dutch to French for MAKMA. She enjoyed to participate at events around the book’s world like : The Brussels Book Fair(2017, 2018, 2019), Angoulême International comic festival (2017, 2018) and the Japan Expo (Paris) in 2017. She used to work in publishing with Mardaga publishing (Belgium) and in The Royal Library of Belgium (legal deposit).

Angélique Lambert, translator at MAKMA since 2017. She has translated several comics like Attack on Titan – The Anthology or Cut Time, but also different chapters of Marvel comics such as Miles Morales, The Runaways, Rogue, Dr. Strange, Uncanny Avengers, Young Avengers. She has also made many proofreadings of Marvel and DC comics translations (The Savage Sword of Conan, Hulk, Red Hulk, Nova, Rocket Racoon, Birds of Prey, Poison Ivy).

Arnold Petit, translator since 2013. Mystery novels, romances, Young Adult, children books. Co founder of Tim Burton’s first French association; reviewer for horror fiction and superhero figures on screen. He translated comics editorial texts for hardback books.

Translating and lettering since 2001

The authors working at MAKMA love comics. Most of them have almost learnt how to read in comics or mangas. They even have learnt how to speak English reading American comics published by Marvel or DC! If you chose MAKMA as your French translating and lettering team, not only will you get a team of seasoned professionnals, but also a team of creators which has a lot of love and passion for the comic book medium.

Une partie de l'équipe MAKMA au FIBD Angoulême.