On May 11, if you’re one of the 28 million who live — collectively — in Cairo or New York City, then get yourself to one of these events celebrating and exploring the Egyptian graphic novel:
If you’re in NYC:
At 2 pm, at the School of Visual Arts auditorium on 23rd Street in Manhattan, Magdy El Shafee will give a presentation via live Skype discussing the new movement of cartoonists that has emerged in the last few years, about the changing situation in Egypt, and about his own case and art.
As event organizers note, El Shafee’s 2008 graphic novel, Metro: A Story of Cairo was yanked from stores and banned by the Mubarak regime. El Shafee and his publisher were arrested, jailed, and fined. It was first available in Italian, then English, then in republication in Arabic, as well as in French and German.
El Shafee has continued to write and draw from his life; several of these comics have appeared in English translation in World War 3 Illustrated magazine, the US’s longest-running political comics anthology.
In late April, El Shafee was swept up with 39 others in a mass arrest of anti-Mursi protesters. He was released on bail, but seven charges still hang over him, including use of a weapon, attempted murder of police officers, and damaging public and private property.
Introducing and interviewing El Shafee will be Peter Kuper and Seth Tobocman, co-founders of World War 3 Illustrated.
Admission is free.
If you’re in Cairo:
Celebrate the release of TokTok 9, Egypt’s premiere graphic-novel magazine, with the band Like Jelly. Festivities will start at 7 p.m. at the Institut Francais, Madraset El Huquq St., Munira, not far from the Saad Zaghloul metro station.