Comics Are as Popular in the Arab World as Elsewhere
As a part of my research on new ways to convey ideas, I’ve been looking into the medium of the illustrated novel. My colleagues have made a deal for two “comic books” that, we hope, will effectively convey the ideas of freedom to readers of Arabic. That may lead to a lot more. (We’ll see.) In addition to the works of Scott McCloud, I have been directed by Arab friends to AK Comics and the interview with the principals behind the project on NPR. (They have a video version of their TV cartoon work, which is very action-oriented, here.) (I think that we’re going to go less with the “action hero” genre and more with the illustrated book of ideas, but we’re still looking at options.)
The radical enemies of toleration have been using the medium of illustrated novels for some time. I hope that my Arab libertarian friends can give them some competition.
3 Responses to “Middle Eastern Comic Book Art”
I’m sure you know by now that McCloud also wrote a very good sequel to Understanding Comics, and has a third book in the series coming out now as well.
In addition to McCloud’s books, though, I wanted to point out the work of Larry Gonick. In addition to three collected volumes of The Cartoon History of the Universe, for which he’s probably best known, he’s published several books on other subjects — the Cartoon Guides to physics, chemistry, statistics, sex, genetics, etc.
Also, check out the series of “Big Books” published by Paradox Press throughout the 1990s:
I don’t think they’re all in print anymore, but most of them can be found on Amazon, and the rest can certainly be found at bookfinder.com. They’ll provide excellent examples of how to portray a wide range of informative subject matter in comic book format.
Alan Moore’s book “From Hell,” although historical fiction (heavy on the fiction), may also provide a good example of how to present a dense amount of information in pictorial form. Alan Moore is also famous for writing amazingly detailed scripts for his artists to follow, and this book contains some excerpts from his scripts:
It may give you a better idea of how to explain to an artist exactly what it is the reader needs to see… (The Amazon copies all appear to be pretty expensive, but you can find a “standard”-quality used copy at powells.com for $16.95.)
Hey Dr. Palmer,
I’ve always thought that communicating the idea of liberty should be done through the comics medium, especially after reading McCloud’s book.
How about one in English for Americans???!!!
It’s a good idea and I’ve been thinking about it. I’m going to try in Arabic first, but I may work with some people to commission English-versions after that.