Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Dr Naif al Mutawa - "The 99", comics
He talked about the journey that led him to his comic books' success.
It starts with the bad image Islam, in the west, in addition with one version of Islam depicted as being the only version possible. Trained as a clinical psychologist in the US, he says:"it is all about perception, how to alter and control it".
He wants to show that Islam is about values, although there is no religion reference in the comics. He uses ideas, symbols to built a positive spin and an identity boost. He targets the dichotomy between traditions and modernism. He calls on women as Superheroes, some veiled, some with hair flowing in the wind. He plans to tackle many issues young readers face with a new archetype based on an Islamic culture.
His aim is to be on equal level as Superman and his fellow friends Batman, Wonder woman etc. He was proud to announce that Superman is in close contact with the 99 superheroes to form a possible cooperation. Islam and muslims don't have to be on Bad side all the time.
The plot is thrilling, drawings and colors are of high quality, characters and powers are inspiring.
A question from the audience was about the dilution of Islam through this media: Dr Mutawa answered that the message of Islam is given by him through lectures around the world, but he doesn't see fit to give a direct message of religion in his comics as the intellectual antibodies will come out and destroy them.
As long as Dr Mutawa leaves preaching for the preachers and continues to address a void in the public image, then let "the 99" be a successful business.
link to the website: the 99