I arrived a bit early at the fantastic graphic novel bookstore Bulles en vrac in Paris. After changing into Ultra Chômeur costume in the basement, I walked up the stairs, and there I met Grégoire Courtois, translator of Les Aventures D’Ultra Chômeur.
I hugged him and gave him the Ulta Chômeur T-shirt I brought for him. We got to talk for all too short a time, but as we went through parts of the book talking and laughing about the translations of different things, I could sense Grégoire was not only a good translator and master of wordplay, but a kindred spirit. The way he laughed at certain things reminded me of myself. It’s the laugh of someone who, for some tragically divine reason, finds humor in how absurdly awful the human condition is. When I was younger and more insecure, and I laughed at life’s absurdities, other people would sometimes call me sick (this was unfortunately before sick was also the equivalent of super cool). Of course, they were usually the sick ones (maybe they were working for villains).
I feel blessed that the universe brought The Amazing Grégoire Courtois and the book together. He saved the day.