What Does Arab Comics Culture Look Like?

Arabic Literature (in English)

Yesterday at Brown University, scholars and artists met for an afternoon symposium about “Arab Comics: 90 Years of Popular Visual Culture”:

comics_culturesIn Nadim Damluji’s presentation — “The Violence of Localizing Western Comics for Arab Children” — he began with a slide boiling down recognizably (North) American, European, and Japanese comics. There might well have been a fourth slot on the slide with “Arab” and a question mark over it.

Damluji said that when he first began investigating Arabic comics, he saw two distinct periods in production: An early period where distinctly Arab comics were being produced and a shift in the 1960s to translated works. Damluji said that his view has changed, and that he nows sees an exchange between Arab and translated comics, noting for instance a “resistance in translation” when it came to Samir’s translation of racist moments in Tintin. But he still said that we “can’t escape the fact…

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