Catalan Communications
FounderBernd Metz
Headquarters43 East 19th Street,
Key people
Bernd Metz
Tom Leighton
Elizabeth Bell
ProductsComics, trade paperbacks

Catalan Communications was a New York City publishing company that existed from 1983 to 1991 and was operated by Bernd Metz (1944–2012), which mainly focused on English-language translations of European graphic novels presented in a series of high-quality trade paperbacks, or rather comic albums, a European book format American comic book readers were at the time not accustomed to, neither for its physical dimensions nor for their at a mature readership aimed contents, and who at the time had the tendency to use the diminutive term "Euro-comics" to refer to the for them unfamiliar format. Metz became one of the very first American publishers who tried to introduce US readership to the European-style comics on a larger scale than the niche-market efforts undertaken by HM Communications[1] – publisher of the groundbreaking Heavy Metal magazine – in the preceding decade.[2]


Page five from New York/Miami (Catalan, 1990) by Loustal and Philippe Paringaux, translated by Elizabeth Bell

The company was founded in April 1983 as a collaboration between Bernd Metz, Herb Spiers, and Josep Toutain (1930–1997) of Selecciones Ilustradas in Barcelona.[3] It published from 1984 until 1992, operating out of a large loft located at 43 East 19th Street. Metz was the editor-in-chief, and the novelist Tom Leighton and later Elizabeth Bell provided English translations for the French and French-edition titles, including Max Cabanes' Colin-Maillard (Heartthrobs). Despite initial struggles, the company was able to quickly establish financial stability, in large part due to their printing being done in Europe, where it was more economical to produce small press runs.[3]

On August 1, 1985, US Customs officials seized copies of Massimo Mattioli's Squeak the Mouse on grounds that they were obscene. Since all of Catalan's publications were adult-only material, and at least as susceptible to seizure as Squeak the Mouse, Metz chose to fight the obscenity charge in court.[3] Metz won the case, and distributors actually increased their orders for Squeak the Mouse following the seizure, despite a coinciding price increase on the book.[3] In 1990, the Cabanes graphic novel was the winner of the Grand Prix at France's Angoulême International Comics Festival. One of Bell's translated books for Catalan revealed errors in an earlier Heavy Metal translation of the same story. James Keller, the Germanic studies scholar, translated the German edition of Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs (Guido Crepax) in 1991, the year the company released its last titles. Tom Leighton was the IT arm of the firm as well as the translator from French until 1989. Jeff Lisle translated from Italian and Spanish.[4]

Other books published by Catalan included Jacques Loustal's Love Shots, Lorenzo Mattotti's Fires, and Barcelona artist Marti Riera's The Cabbie, with an introduction by Art Spiegelman. Published in five languages, Trip to Tulum by Federico Fellini and Milo Manara, with essays translated by Elizabeth Bell, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best trade paperbacks of 1990.[5]

In 1989–90, Catalan expanded its line with the "ComCat" line of comic albums aimed at an all-age readership, such as Blake and Mortimer, The Adventures of Yoko, Vic and Paul, Code XIII and Young Blueberry, the type of European comics traditionally referred to by its French-derived "bande dessinées" qualifier.


Catalan titles

Title Art Script Year ISBN
A Matter of Time Juan Gimenez 1985 ISBN 0-87416-012-X
Abominations Hermann 1990 ISBN 0-87416-080-4
Anarcoma Nazario [es] 1984 ISBN 0-87416-000-6
Bell's Theorem #1: Bell's Theorem Matthias Schultheiss 1987 ISBN 0-87416-037-5
Bell's Theorem #2: The Connections Matthias Schultheiss 1988 ISBN 0-87416-062-6
Bell's Theorem #3: Contact Matthias Schultheiss 1989 ISBN 0-87416-074-X
Billy Budd, KGB François Boucq Jérôme Charyn 1991 ISBN 0-87416-111-8
Bodyssey Richard Corben Simon Revelstroke 1986 ISBN 0-87416-032-4
Breakthrough Various 1990 ISBN 0-87416-097-9
Burton & Cyb: 1 José Ortiz Antonio Segura 1990 ISBN 0-87416-101-0
Cases from the Files of Sam Pezzo P.I.: 1 Vittorio Giardino 1988 ISBN 0-87416-057-X
The Town That Didn't Exist Enki Bilal Pierre Christin 1989 ISBN 0-87416-051-0
The Ranks of the Black Order Enki Bilal Pierre Christin 1989 ISBN 0-87416-052-9
The Hunting Party Enki Bilal Pierre Christin 1990 ISBN 0-87416-053-7
Click! #1: A Woman Under the Influence Milo Manara 1985 (January and May printings with different ISBNs) ISBN 0-8741-6009-X
ISBN 0-87416-055-3
Companions at Dusk #1: The Spell of the Misty Forest François Bourgeon 1991 ISBN 0-87416-126-6
Corben Collected Works #1: Underground 1 Richard Corben 1985 ISBN 0-87416-018-9
Corben Collected Works #2: Underground 2 Richard Corben 1986 ISBN 0-87416-026-X
Corben Collected Works #3: Rowlf – Underground 3 Richard Corben 1987 ISBN 0-87416-031-6
Dark Tales Jordi Bernet Enrique Sánchez Abulí 1990 ISBN 0-87416-082-0
Den: Neverwhere Richard Corben 1984 ISBN 0-87416-003-0
Dorm Girls Jose Luis Galiano [es] Marta Guerrero [es]; Alfredo Pons [es] 1990 ISBN 0-87416-100-2
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Guido Crepax 1990 ISBN 0-87416-079-0
Dulled Feelings Igort 1990 ISBN 0-87416-090-1
Edgar Allan Poe. The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales of Horror. Richard Corben 1985 ISBN 0-87416-013-8
Erma Jaguar #1: Erma Jaguar: 1 Alex Varenne 1990 ISBN 0-87416-099-5
Erma Jaguar #2: Erma Jaguar: 2 Alex Varenne 1991 ISBN 0-87416-117-7
Evaristo: Deep City Francisco Solano López Carlos Sampayo 1987 ISBN 0-87416-034-0
Exterminator 17 Enki Bilal Jean-Pierre Dionnet 1986 ISBN 0-87416-024-3
Fires Lorenzo Mattotti 1987 ISBN 0-87416-048-0
Ghita of Alizarr #1: Ghita of Alizarr 1 Frank Thorne 1991 ISBN 0-87416-095-2
Ghita of Alizarr #2: Ghita of Alizarr 2 Frank Thorne 1985 ISBN 0-87416-010-3
Good-Bye and Other Stories Yoshihiro Tatsumi 1988 ISBN 0-87416-056-1
Giuseppe Bergman #1: The Great Adventure Milo Manara 1988 ISBN 0-87416-063-4
Giuseppe Bergman #2: An Author in Search of Six Characters Milo Manara 1989 ISBN 0-87416-071-5
Giuseppe Bergman #3: Dies Irae Milo Manara 1990 ISBN 0-87416-077-4
Giuseppe Bergman #4: Perchance to dream Milo Manara 1990 ISBN 0-87416-086-3
H.R. Gigers Necronomicon 2 H.R. Giger 1986 ISBN 0-87416-029-4
Hearts of Sand Loustal Philippe Paringaux 1991 ISBN 0-87416-134-7
Heartthrobs Max Cabanes 1991 ISBN 0-87416-128-2
Hidden Camera Milo Manara 1990 ISBN 0-87416-098-7
Ice Age #1: Blind Mists Christian Gine Didier Convard 1990 ISBN 0-87416-107-X
Ice Age #2: Death Bird Christian Gine Didier Convard 1991 ISBN 0-87416-132-0
Indian Summer Milo Manara Hugo Pratt 1989 ISBN 0-87416-030-8
Jeremiah #13: Strike Hermann 1990 ISBN 0-87416-106-1
Joe's Bar José Muñoz Carlos Sampayo 1987 ISBN 0-87416-046-4
Justine Guido Crepax 1991 ISBN 0-87416-136-3
Killer Condom Ralf König 1991 ISBN 0-87416-146-0
Kogaratsu #1: The Bloody Lotus Marc Michetz Bosse 1990 ISBN 0-87416-103-7
Kogaratsu #2: Treasure of Eta[6] Marc Michetz Bosse 1991 ISBN 0-87416-131-2
Kogaratsu #3: Spring of Betrayals[6] Marc Michetz Bosse 1991 ISBN 0-87416-133-9
Light and Bold Jordi Bernet 1990 ISBN 0-87416-122-3
Little Ego Vittorio Giardino 1989 ISBN 0-87416-069-3
Love Machine Horacio Altuna 1991 ISBN 0-87416-120-7
Love Shots Loustal Philippe Paringaux 1988 ISBN 0-87416-059-6
Mark of the Dog Silvio Cadelo 1991 ISBN 0-87416-113-4
Max Friedman #1: Hungarian Rhapsody Vittorio Giardino 1987 ISBN 0-87416-033-2
Max Friedman #2: Orient Gateway Vittorio Giardino 1987 ISBN 0-87416-041-3
Morbus Gravis Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri 1990 ISBN 0-87416-115-0
Necron #1 Magnus 1989 ISBN 0-87416-072-3
Necron #2 Magnus 1990 ISBN 0-87416-118-5
Necron #3 Magnus 1991 ISBN 0-87416-107-X
New York/Miami Loustal Philippe Paringaux 1990 ISBN 0-87416-073-1
Nikopol #1: Gods in Chaos Enki Bilal 1988 ISBN 0-87416-049-9
Nikopol #2: Woman Trap Enki Bilal 1988 ISBN 0-87416-050-2
Outer States Enki Bilal 1990 ISBN 0-87416-085-5
Paper Man Milo Manara 1986 ISBN 0-87416-022-7
Peter Pank Max 1991 ISBN 0-87416-119-3
Pioneers of the Human Adventure François Boucq 1989 ISBN 0-87416-075-8
RanXerox #1: RanXerox in New York Tanino Liberatore Stefano Tamburini 1984 ISBN 0-87416-027-8
RanXerox #2: Happy Birthday Lubna Tanino Liberatore Stefano Tamburini 1985 ISBN 0-87416-008-1
Realms Paul Kirchner 1987 ISBN 0-87416-043-X
Rebel Pepe Moreno 1986 ISBN 0-87416-020-0
Remember Jonathan Cosey 1990 ISBN 0-87416-104-5
Rocco Vargas, The Astral Adventures of #1: Triton Daniel Torres 1986 ISBN 0-87416-025-1
Rocco Vargas, The Astral Adventures of #2: The Whisperer Mystery Daniel Torres 1990 ISBN 0-87416-096-0
Rocco Vargas, The Astral Adventures of #3: Saxon Daniel Torres 1990 ISBN 0-87416-114-2
Romantic Flower Silvio Cadelo 1990 ISBN 0-87416-088-X
Shooting Stars Rod Kierkegaard Jr. 1987 ISBN 0-87416-028-6
Shorts Milo Manara 1989 ISBN 0-87416-060-X
Snowman Milo Manara Alfredo Castelli 1990 ISBN 0-87416-124-X
Squeak the Mouse Massimo Mattioli 1989 ISBN 0-87416-070-7
Stella Norris #1: Hurricane Roberto Baldazzini Lorena Canossa 1991 ISBN 0-87416-112-6
Superwest Comics Massimo Mattioli 1987 ISBN 0-87416-035-9
Tex Arcana #1: Tex Arcana John Findley 1987 ISBN 0-87416-036-7
Tex Arcana #2: Tex Arcana Meets the Toast of Europe/Part 1 John Findley 1991 ISBN 0-87416-129-0
The Ape Milo Manara Silverio Pisu 1986 ISBN 0-87416-019-7
The Cabbie Marti Riera 1987 ISBN 0-87416-042-1
The Last Voyage of Sinbad Richard Corben 1988 ISBN 0-87416-054-5
The Magician's Wife François Boucq Jérôme Charyn 1987 ISBN 0-87416-045-6
The Man from Harlem Guido Crepax 1987 ISBN 0-87416-040-5
The Specialist: Full Moon in Dendera Magnus 1987 ISBN 0-87416-044-8
The Survivor #1: The Survivor Paul Gillon 1990 ISBN 0-87416-116-9
The Survivor #2: The Heir Paul Gillon 1991 ISBN 0-87416-083-9
The Talking Head Paolo Baciliero 1990 ISBN 0-87416-105-3
Torpedo 1936 #1 Alex Toth, Jordi Bernet Enrique Sánchez Abulí 1984 ISBN 0-87416-125-8
Torpedo 1936 #2 Jordi Bernet Enrique Sánchez Abulí 1985 ISBN 0-87416-014-6
Torpedo 1936 #3 Jordi Bernet Enrique Sánchez Abulí 1986 ISBN 0-87416-023-5
Torpedo 1936 #4 Jordi Bernet Enrique Sánchez Abulí 1987 ISBN 0-87416-039-1
Torpedo 1936 #5 Jordi Bernet Enrique Sánchez Abulí 1988 ISBN 0-87416-058-8
Torpedo 1936 #6 Jordi Bernet Enrique Sánchez Abulí 1991 ISBN 0-87416-078-2
Torpedo 1936 #7 Jordi Bernet Enrique Sánchez Abulí 1991 ISBN 0-87416-125-8
Trip to Tulum Milo Manara Federico Fellini 1990 ISBN 0-87416-123-1
Venus in Furs Guido Crepax 1991 ISBN 0-87416-091-X
Video Clips Tanino Liberatore Stefano Tamburini 1985 ISBN 0-87416-015-4
Werewolf Richard Corben 1986 ISBN 0-87416-007-3
Zeppelin Pepe Moreno 1986 ISBN 0-87416-021-9
Zora and the Hibernauts Fernando Fernandez 1984 ISBN 0-87416-001-4

ComCat titles

Title Art Script Year ISBN
Blake and Mortimer #1: The Time Trap Edgar P. Jacobs 1989 ISBN 0-87416-066-9
Blake and Mortimer #2: Atlantis Mystery Edgar P. Jacobs 1990 ISBN 0-87416-094-4
Yoko Vic and Paul #1: Vulcans Forge Roger Leloup 1989 ISBN 0-87416-065-0
Yoko Vic and Paul #2: The Three Suns of Vina Roger Leloup 1989 ISBN 0-87416-076-6
Code XIII #1: Day of the Black Sun William Vance Jean van Hamme 1989 ISBN 0-87416-061-8
Code XIII #2: Where the Indian Walks William Vance Jean van Hamme 1989 ISBN 0-87416-081-2
Code XIII #3: All the Tears of Hell William Vance Jean van Hamme 1990 ISBN 0-87416-092-8
Magic Crystal #1: Magic Crystal Marc Bati Moebius 1989 ISBN 0-87416-067-7
Magic Crystal #2: Island of the Unicorn Marc Bati Moebius 1990 ISBN 0-87416-084-7
Magic Crystal #3: Aurelys's Secret Marc Bati Moebius 1990 ISBN 0-87416-102-9
Blueberry, Young #1: Blueberry's Secret Moebius Jean-Michel Charlier 1989 ISBN 0-87416-068-5
Blueberry, Young #2: A Yankee named Blueberry Moebius Jean-Michel Charlier 1990 ISBN 0-87416-087-1
Blueberry, Young #3: The Bluecoats Moebius Jean-Michel Charlier 1990 ISBN 0-87416-093-6
Blueberry, Young #4: Missouri Demons[6] Colin Wilson Jean-Michel Charlier 1991 ISBN 0-8741-6109-6
Blueberry, Young #5: Terror over Kansas[6] Colin Wilson Jean-Michel Charlier 1991


  1. ^ Metz was not the only American publisher who tried to introduce the European graphic novel to his countrymen; NBM Publishing too, tried their hand at translated European graphic novels in the same time span Catalan was active, and there was some overlap in authors who were published in English by both, most notably Milo Manara. But unlike for Catalan, the English-language publication of European productions has never been a core business for NBM, but rather executed on a more haphazardly experimental scale, and NBM therefore persevered longer than Catalan in their efforts. However, and like Catalan, NBM found out for themselves that American readership did not take to European comics at all – save for a small "intellectual" niche market, making their translation endeavors not commercially worthwhile – and threw in the towel in the early 2000s themselves when they too ceased all their "Euro-comics" translation efforts.
  2. ^ Thompson, pp. 30-31
  3. ^ a b c d Sweeney, Bruce (August 1986). "Bernd Metz". Comics Interview. No. 35. Fictioneer Books. pp. 38–45.
  4. ^ Stewart, Bhob. "Screaming Metal", The Comics Journal no. 94, October, 1984.
  5. ^ Publishers Weekly, 1990.
  6. ^ a b c d Announced (on back covers of released preceding series volumes), but cancelled due to Catalan's mid-1991 bankruptcy.