Doc & Reiko Illustration by Mina, MAPLOPO

Next Project

**Thank you, Mina, for your lovely illustration. Big hugs! 

I’m currently translating Doc’s The Rubber Band King of Lopatcong into Japanese. Alongside other translation works we’re putting into English, and that are progressing in tandem, this project is what I feel most passionate about and it is occupying the entirety of my mind at the moment. 

This may sound weird to you, but I love thinking about Maplopo and our own works. As long as I have this brain and Doc next to me, I feel I can forever enjoy creating and never be bored. 

The experience of translating Doc generates in me this feeling of having access to a previously hidden box of sparkling jewels. And one thing I find important to keep in mind while translating this particular story is emotion. I sense the range of his emotions throughout the story and don’t want to lose them when shifting it to Japanese. So, I try and try, and work very hard at getting it right. I ask him all sorts of questions about every other sentence, making him read aloud and act out scenes. I’m like an exceedingly curious (and slightly obnoxious) child asking her parents about the world’s wonders (“Why is the sky blue? Why are apples red? Why does snow fall? . . . ”). But, asking lots of questions helps. I’m so fortunate to have this opportunity, and to be given this gift from him. 

Easily, my favorite sentence from Lopac is Margaret is in the rain. So beautiful… especially as it is s a view shared from Jimmy’s eyes. To him, rain is a peaceful and pleasant thing, and his Margaret is always there.

This project will be so much fun, and because it’ll include a number of other unique additions in the final package, it’ll be wrapped with lots of heart-dancing, hand-clapping content that we’ll cherish, and hope others will find value in as well. I’ll most definitely be reading it again and again—as always. I’m an unapologetically crazy fan of my own work and number-one Maplopo fan. But, what’s wrong with that, right? It’s our baby after all.

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