Prominent Egyptian caricature artist, book designer, and children’s book author Mohieddin Al-Labbad died last Saturday at age 70, numerous sources report.
Al-Labbad was one of the most prominent book-cover designers in the Arab world. He also produced many illustrations and caricatures, particularly for Rose Al-Yousef and Sabah Al-Kheir magazines.
His caricatures and drawings have been collected and published in two books, Nazar 1 (1987) and Nazar 2 (1991). More recently, Al-Labbad also published 100 Drawings and more (2001). Karam corrects me that there were four volumes of Nazar.
Al-Labbad won a number of awards for his contributions to the book industry, including the 1989 Bratislava Biennial festival Golden Apple, for his children’s book Kashkoul Al-Fannan.
Literary critic and scholar Samia Mehrez writes about one of al-Labbad’s covers in her book Egyptian Writers between History and Fiction:
Dhat (transliterated by AUC Press as Zaat) was published in Cairo by Dar al-Mustaqbal al-‘Arabi, with a cover design by the distinguished graphic artist Mohieddin al-Labbad, whose design captures the major signs in the text and participates wholeheartedly in the confrontational politics of both author and publisher.
Translations done by editors at Meedan.Com:
Bilal Ramadan writes in Youm7: “The most distinctive feature of Al-Labbad’s art is the evident simplicity, how he addressed the reader directly in a friendly and paternal manor, or maybe like a teacher, this feeling was not highlighted but its presence was clearly felt.”
And, from Mohammad Cheair at Al-Akhbar:
When Al-Labbad entered the field of designing books, he changed everything, turning book covers into a visual text as important as the written text within it.
Some of Al-Labbad’s work can be found in the Palestinian Poster Project Archives.
If I may add this piece of information that Al Labad got his works published in 4 volums “Nazar” and were published by Al Arabi which in my opinion the best of his books ever… do no tend to agree his works were mainly for children but only a few albums -and it was the first time to hear this word to describe a book- were addressed to young readers to teach them very important things related to reading and understand our culture and heritage and how to connect to modern time or the moment… well, god rest his soul in peace.. he was unique and extraordinary man.
Thanks as always, Karam!
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