Comic books!

I have had a lot of free time to draw.  So on a whim I searched the Internet for some of my favorite superheros to copy, so I can practice my comic drawing.  (See how it's coming along on my other blog.)  I thought to myself how lame to copy from Internet scraps instead of a real comic book, and so I took it upon myself to find a comic book store in Cairo.  Hello Kryptonite!  I will be taking a trip there very soon.

While searching comic books I found these:

Cats in Cairo

Metro: A Story of Cairo

Rise: The Story of the Egyptian Revolution As Written Shortly Before It Began

This one I've read.  It is pretty good.  It is not political like the others listed here.  It was written by an American journalist who spent many years working in Cairo.  The illustrations are great.  The dialogue and plots jumps around a bit.  For instance it becomes intense suddenly without adequate build-up and the reader is left a bit confused, but the over arching ideas are pretty neat.

There was another comic book I found a the Kafir cart at the Mall of Arabia, but I didn't catch the name.  It was all in Arabic.  Maybe I can work up to that by the time I leave.

Another GREAT graphic novel is Habibi.  It is not Egyptian, it's not even quite Arab.  It is written by a white boy from Wisconsin, but, man, is it beautiful.  It feels a little bit orientalist, the way it romanticizes supposed exotic and erotic aspects of the Arab World, but it thoughtfully addresses many current issues in Arab society.  Though it may be orientalist, the novel's portrayal sexuality is very interesting.  The protagonist is a woman who overcomes a child marriage.  The book then follows her as she grows up with a baby she rescues form slavery.  It touches on village/tribal life, but the plot also moves to the city, and touches on the degradation of the Arab city and its natural resources.  The book also beautifully depicts the acquisition of knowledge, the Arabic written language, and Islam.  It is done so beautifully I wonder if the author has or is planning to convert.

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