Rise of the Comic Book

The mainstream comic book industry has started to integrate Muslim and Arab heroes into their plots [AP] – Image from Al Jazeera story
What to do when you can’t sleep? FB, of course. Just came across an interesting article on Al Jazeera English website (via FB).

The full link is here – The rise of the comic book in the Middle East. Here is a brief excerpt from the article, be sure to head on over to read the full story.


More significantly, the Muslim and Arab world has begun constructing more of its own comic superheroes, as the demand for comic books burgeons in the Middle East.

Social problems specific to the countries from which the comics originate are often placed dead-centre in the narratives. For instance, Deema Mohammed’s Qahera is a veiled crusader who not only battles sexism in Egypt, where an estimated 99 percent of women have faced sexual harassment, but also rails against Islamophobia.

And Joumana Medlej’s Malaak: Angel of Peace revolves around a superheroine who combats jinn – a type of spirit in Islamic cosmology – while trapped in an alternate reality of endless war, much like Lebanon during its long civil war.

While growing demand for comic books in the Middle East has been tied to Western icons and productions, homegrown comic culture has simultaneously been gaining appeal.

This April, the annual Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) in Dubai was at its most popular since its inception in 2012, drawing around 50,000 attendees to Dubai’s World Trade Centre. That surpasses last year’s attendance by almost 40 percent, making the convention one of the highest-profile pop culture events in the region.

International celebrities like William Shatner and Gillian Anderson were a big draw for their iconic sci-fi roles. But the convention also featured Sohaib Awan, who introduced his digital comic Jinnrise there in 2012 and then showed its animated series pilot this year.

You can also learn more about MEFCC by visiting their website, just click on the link.

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