Is it a camel? Is it a turban? No, it’s the 99 – faster than a whirling Dervish: Islamic comics dispel 9/11 insularities

When it comes to Comic Books and Graphic Novels, very often the US market has it cornered – even to where these “meta-humans” originate… Exceptions over the years have been numerous, yet seldom disseminated to this side of the Atlantic – Captain Britain from Marvel’s own UK branch apart from England’s cosmonaut Dan Dare forever battling the Monstrous Mekon; the quasi-historical and majorly humorous Asterix The Gaul as a co-European endeavor from Italy & France (Uderzo & Goscinny); Tintin from Belgium’s Herge; Australia’s Southern Squadron & Dark Nebula… A full list can be found at the wondrous website International Catalogue of Super-Heroes.

America's Government under BH Obama is now a kinder, gentler folk towards Allah as shown by using the 99 in a State sponsored Comic

America's Government under BH Obama is now a kinder, gentler folk towards Allah as shown by using the 99 in a State sponsored Comic

What about Islamic Heroes, or for that matter, Barbadian Meta-Humans? Both categories are not theory – both areas developed their own brand of super-powers for almost the same reason… A seeming lack of interest in their culture/part of the world.

Portion of 99's key Demographic, realign Public Awareness from the youth

Portion of 99's key Demographic, realign Public Awareness from the youth

When 9/11 set the planet on its ear for Travel and Religious dictates, there were some Islamic folk who immediately realised the potential evil ramifications of such profiling and perhaps a way to go beyond such misconceptions is start with children, as confirmed by The Atlantic;-

The 99’s fledgling success is a publicity story for our times: in 2006, amid growing controversy over a Danish newspaper’s publication of cartoons depicting Muhammad, a few articles about {Naif al-Mutawa’s: Nah-eef, 1st name} project appeared. So when people Googled variations of Islam, cartoon, Muslim, and comic, up popped the piece about The 99. Never mind that back in 2006, The 99 didn’t even exist yet in book form. Amid a miserable East-West cultural conflagration, searchers discovered a happier tale (Islam! Heroes! Children!), and al-Mutawa’s phone at his tiny company, Teshkeel, began to ring.

99-TeshkeelSince then, The 99 has been distributed in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, China, India, the United States, and elsewhere. But the comic books (which veteran illustrators and writers produce under al-Mutawa’s direction) were never the endgame, al-Mutawa told me; television was crucial to making his idea financially viable. In 2008, the European TV conglomerate Endemol snatched up The 99 for an animated series and is currently negotiating to broadcast in Western markets.

The first episode, “Origins,” is set in Baghdad in 1258, when the Islamic world’s most cherished library was destroyed by descendants of Genghis Kahn. In “Origins,” scholars manage to preserve the wisdom of the world’s great books in 99 stones. That there are 99 of them is, of course, no accident; in Islamic tradition, Allah is said to have 99 names, or virtues.

Heroes Of The World Barbados Contingent - site is right-click protected

Heroes Of The World Barbados Contingent - site is right-click protected

Now the Caribbean, and Barbados in particular, seem to be rallying round the ultra-powered bandcape, uh, bandwagon… Heroes Of The World is the brainchild of three young black men, two artists and their Business Manager. all based in Canada – they felt other parts of the world were ignored for too long. So Shawn Cuffie, Mark Williams and Joe Osei Bonsu took matters in their own hands and soon they may have a TV-Cartoon series;-

Apart from overseas, we have Anime-Kon happening by June 20 at the Sandiford Centre at Two Mile Hill {ex-Sherbourne}, among those heavily involved is Matthew Clarke of “Mass Anthology” fame with more issues soon due out.

Mass-Anthology_PromoIf you go on Facebook and look for Anime-Kon, you’ll see discussions like would Captain Marvel beat Superman, who is Spirit Bear? Or if you have illustrations which need promoting. It’s all there! Up, up and away – CRASH, ouch! Taxi?

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