Artists recently came together for the third annual CairoComix Festival to showcase their superheroes and honour a rich history of Arab comic books.
Dozens of comic enthusiasts attended the three-day vibrant festival that displayed anime, books and new artistic projects from local and international artists, in the capital city of Cairo.
A new addition to the festival this year was a live projection of an artist at work, that demonstrated the process and style behind developing storytelling comics.
It is a great future however we already have a rich past with comics. You can see 'Samir' comic here from the 1960's.
CairoComix also shed light on Spanish comics, displaying the work of ten of its most prominent comics artists from different generations with one artist, Alfonso Zapico, in attendance.
A comic artist Dina Mohamed said she believes the future and past of comics are both honoured in the festival.
“It is a great future however we already have a rich past with comics. You can see ‘Samir’ comic here from the 1960’s. We do have heritage in comics and he has a website called Arab Comics which documents the history of comics in Arab nations from the 1920’s, maybe 1923,” she added.
The festival aims to bring together underground artists and provide a platform for a growing trend in Egypt and the Middle East. Palestinian comics artists were also part of the festival and Amer Al Shomaly’s book ‘Zan Alan’ in particular sold many copies.
“This culture has been increasing significantly in Egypt lately. I decided that I wanted to author stories and at the same time be responsible for its outcome. I wanted to show people my vision for my stories so I found that comics are the best medium to deliver my own stories,” Mohamed said.
This year’s edition provided prizes such as Best Published Graphic Novel in Arabic and created discussions, workshops and the chance for upcoming artists to meet experts.
One artist, Youssef Shabana, highlighted the importance of having a comic book culture, saying It reflects the world that we live in or the culture.
“It reflects the world that we live in or the culture. It is a documentation of a time it represents. It is a medium which talks to people. It is also easy for readers because of the drawings within and the words,” he said.
Other awards presented included “Best Printed Magazine” and “Best Electronic Post that was never printed.”