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Licensed to Translate

Licensed to Translate

Accessible description and captions of the comic pages follows.

Frame 1 An ID card shows the face of the artist, Jenny McKeon.

“Licensed to Translate. Name: Jenny McKeon. Major: Japanese/Linguistics. Graduation Year: 2013.”

Frame 2: Jenny stands outside Herter Hall on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.

“My name is Jenny McKeon, and I’m a manga translator! It all started when I studied Japanese at UMass.”

Frame 3: In a cafe across from Amherst town hall Jenny draws in a sketchbook while her partner types on his laptop computer. A nearly finished bubble tea sits on the table near her.

“After graduating in 2013, I stayed in Amherst with my partner, Alex (who I met at UMass!). I hadn’t decided what to do next, so I spent my time working and drawing comics.”

Frame 4: Jenny sits at a computer. Her cat watches.

“Then, near the end of 2014, I learned about the Manga Translation Battle.”

Frame 5: Jenny works on a laptop while friends stand behind her and offer encouragement.

“Contestants translate a sample manga chapter. One option was one of my favorite manga, Nichijou (My Ordinary Life).”

Frame 6: A computer cursor clicks a Submit button.

“I was a little rusty, but I did my best and entered. After a few months, I mostly forgot about it.”

Frame 7: Jenny working in the framing department in an art store. She looks at her phone and is stunned

“Until… I learned that I’d won!”

Frame 8: A certificate framed in gold.

“Along with a fancy certificate, the prize included the chance to translate more of the series. As I spent the summer of 2015 translating the first three volumes, the series was licensed for an English release by Vertical, which meant I’d be translating all 10 volumes!”

Frame 9: Jenny updates her resume and video chats with a friend

“An old UMass friend helped me find more freelance work…”

Frame 10: Jenny gets a haircut while talking to the stylist.

“Soon, I had enough work to quit my job at the art store and translate full time.”

The stylist asks, “Time for a change, huh?”

A little unsure at first, Jenny replies, “Yeah!”

Frame 11: Jenny stands at a bookcase in her home filled with her translated books. Her cat is asleep on her sofa.

“Translating can be like a puzzle: Sifting through the pieces of language to find the perfect fit.”

Frame 12: Jenny runs across a background of various manga comics.

“My work on Nichijou led to more comedy manga, plus romance, fantasy, and even light novels. Now I have over two dozen translated books in print, with more on the way!”

Frame 13: Jenny flies above the DuBois library on the UMass Amherst campus.

“I’m so grateful that all the pieces fell into place for me… and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Figure in Foreground
Page 2 animation layer
Licensed to Translate Page 2
Licensed to Translate Page 3 Character Animation
Licensed to Translate Page 3
Falling into place

To see more of Jenny McKeon's work, visit her website,