5 Must-read Narrative (Arab) Comix Online

If you have an interest in Arab and Arabic comix — in narrative or single-panel form — then I’d hope you follow Oum Cartoon, edited by Jonathan Guyer (@mideastxmidwest).

But here, a glimpse of five recent narrative projects:

1) Lena Merhej’s 2012 Machine / ماكينة, enigmatically subtitled”a story about drama,” is a wordless exploration of war, refugee life, protest, and violence seen through and by women’s bodies.


Merhej is one of the founders of Samandal magazine, and her evocative art was one of the reasons the magazine was convicted of crimes against religion. Her graphic novel I Think We Will Be Calmer in the Next War was one of the best-selling books in Lebanon in 2007, and her autobiographical Murabba we Laban, (Jam and Yogurt) was released in 2010. You can find more of her work at Grand Papier and new work at Solidarités International, where Merhej and others are working on testimonies from Syrians in Akkar: in Arabic, French, and English.

2) Merhej’s “Where There is Life, There is Love:



3) New work by the popular but enigmatic Berlin-based Jordanian comix artist, “Flyin’ Dutchman,” can be found on Behance.

That’s where you can find the Flyin’ Dutchman’s nearly wordless “The Sad Handsome Mysterious Man, Part 2,” among other narrative works:



4) The Arab comix project to have received the most attention of late, and deservedly, is Ganzeer (Mohamed Fahmy’s) cli-fi futurist-humorist mystery The Solar Grid, appearing in installments at thesolargrid.net/. The first three issues are available now, with a fourth “coming soon.”

Stylish, eclectic, insightful, and jammed with a fun, terse humor.



5) If you’re interested in shorter cli fi, then The Offing published a short comic-story by Mohamed Saleh, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette: “8 Minutes.”