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MEFCC: Seen and heard at the Con

Jinnrise to be an animated series soon

Jinnrise, the science fiction comic book series set around Middle Eastern myths will soon be an animated series, its creator has revealed. Writer and entrepreneur Sohaib Awan, the CEO of Jabal Entertainment, told tabloid! that he’s sealed a deal with a major production house to turn the series, which recently launched Issue 10, into a TV series.

“We are yet to finalise the details but the deal is signed,” he said. The US-based Awan, who launched Jinnrise in 2012, is a regularly at the Middle East Film & Comic Con. Last year at the event, his company announced a new series called Drawn, about a girl who discovers a magical world through henna art. The series, written by Dubai-based writer Maey Al Shoush, will soon be published.

“It’s hard now to get people interested in reading from a young age. We need stories like these that transcend cultures and is relevant to people around the world,” he said.

For more on Drawn and Jinnrise, go to

Emirati illustrator launches animation company

Animation is the way to go, it seems. Khalid Bin Hamad, the Emirati illustrator who launched his graphic novel Nasser’s Secrets last year, has founded an animation company called Moving Reflection Productions. The new company will bring to life all the characters he’s created, starting with those from Nasser’s Secrets.

Inspired by Japanese anime, the novel tells the story of three teenagers who mysteriously disappear and resurface three days later — 15 years older.

“We had so much material that we thought this was the right way to go about it,” says Bin Hamad of his new venture. “We are currently in talks with production companies to see how we can take this forward.”

Last year, this Emirati entrepreneur was commissioned to create a special animated series called Nahyan’s Expo Adventures for Dubai’s bid for Expo 2020.

For more on Khalid’s new venture, go to

EumacoManiacs give Emirati history a comic book twist

A group of comic-book crazy friends have set up a project to publish their own graphic novel series incorporating various art forms — from Japanese manga to Disney style animation.

Called Eumaco — an amalgamation of the words Europe, Manga and Comics — the group has published a book featuring three stories presented in three different types of animation, all in Arabic. One of the stories, Dark Bandits, is the group’s own take on Emirati culture and history.

The group is currently looking for a distributor to help take the project to the masses, said co-founder Ahmad Abdullah.

“We have been working on this for the last seven years. Once we get the license we want to start selling it and make it a regular series,” he said.

To find out more, go to

Got $1 million (Dh3.67 million) to spare for a comic book?

One stall making a killing at this year’s Middle East Film & Comic Con was Metropolis Collectibles, the US vintage comic books dealer. Hardly surprising, considering some of their prized items cost as much as $800,000. That’s for Detective Comics 27, the first comic book to feature Batman.

“We sold about 20 to 30,000 dollars worth of comic books in the first three hours of opening,” said Ammar Al Aradi, of Ammara Productions, the company representing Metropolis Collectibles in the region. “We even had a 12-year-old who came in a said he only had $200 but wanted a collectible. So we found him one.”

Each item sold at Metropolis Collectibles is graded by the CGC (Certified Guaranty Company), which awards points depending on quality. The higher the points, the more they cost. Of course, the rarer the item, then the higher the value.

“You get a lot of people that think of comic book collection as an amateur hobby. But many people are starting to realise that this can be series business,” said Al Aradi. “You never know, that boy who bought that comic book for $200 today could go and sell it for $1 million in 10 years.”

For more on Metropolis Collectibles, go to

When illustrator and artist Stephan Messam found himself deserted on a Vietnamese island for six days, he had to find a way to make the remaining five pages in his sketchbook last. So he turned to the creation of the comic The Resurrection Lands.

“It forced me to think more carefully about space and composition,” the Dubai-based New Zealander said. At first, the story had no direction, but he began to “establish a world for my characters to live in and a reason for them to exist.”

His five characters weren’t living, however, nor were they dead. They were born into purgatory. The premise revolved around them being chased and, as a result, questioning why they exist and why they’re being pursued.

“Taniwha is one of the most popular characters. She’s inspired by a native legend in New Zealand; she’s temperamental and unpredictable,” he said.

Messam, an assistant professor of art and design at Zayed University, was selling a thirty-page teaser at the Middle East Film and Comic Con on Sunday, but said he hoped to have the projected 160 page book ready by next year’s convention. What will set the story apart? It will be printed in sketchbooks that aim to replicate moleskins.

“The idea came because people wanted to buy my sketchbooks; it’s a love letter to those people,” he said. He plans to emboss the title into a cover rather than print it and use cotton-based paper for texture so it feels personal rather than mass-produced.”

For more on Messam’s work, go to

— with inputs by Marwa Hamad, Staff Reporter