Michael Waaler

Michael Waaler © Michael Waaler Michael Waaler was born in 1975 in Athens and grew up in Surrey (southern England). He studied Drama at the London College of Communication, from where he graduated in 2000 with a BA in Film and Video.

Since then he has been working as an author, journalist and, above all, as a translator of comic literature from German into English. In 2010 he was a member of the jury for the Manga Talents competition at the Leipzig Book Fair. Recently published translations include Baby’s in Black by Arne Bellstorf and Castro by Reinhard Kleist. Michael Waaler lives and works in Hamburg.


Three questions to Michael Waaler

Why did you choose to become a translator? Is it the profession you always wanted?

When I was studying screenwriting at film school I never imagined that I would become a translator, but they both have a lot to do with language and working as a translator has opened other doors for me along the way. Although I wouldn't change anything, I do wish I had studied translating, simply because I enjoy it so much. So, working as a translator gives me the best of both worlds. I enjoy it and it has led to such things as my manga series with Nadine Büttner and now a possible future opportunity to work as a writer and editor on video games written in English by German developers. I would also like to translate young adult and fantasy novels as well as game novelisations, but I don't have any contacts in those industries!
Which German book do you like the best and why?

My favourite German book? Surely you mean my favourite German comic! That would be Vier Augen by Sascha Hommer, and my current favourite German manga is 78 Tage auf der Straße des Hasses by David Füleki!
Is there a particular book you would like to translate?

Sorry, but it has to be Vier Augen by Sascha Hommer. It wouldn't be much of an earner, but certainly a pleasure.

  • Kleist, Reinhard: Castro. SelfMadeHero, 2011
  • Hommer, Sascha; Bellstorf, Arne (eds.): Orang 9. Reprodukt, 2010 (German language with English subtitles)
  • Bellstorf, Arne: Baby´s in Black. SelfMadeHero, 2010
  • Kleist, Reinhard: Johnny Cash. I See a Darkness. SelfMadeHero, 2009
  • Ishiyama, Kei: Grimm´s Manga [Serie]. Tokyopop, 2009
  • Park, Judith: Y Square. Yen Press, 2007