Friday, February 23, 2007

The Adventures of Iman: a Children's Book

After the Graphic Novels of Persepolis (a set of 4 published between 2000-2003: the first 3 are available in English 2004-2005) came out by Marjane Satrapi, I was eagerly looking for other kinds of graphic novels and comics about Iran and Middle East.

Parts of my hunger for other graphic novels, I think, originates from Satrapi’s honest and smart portrayal of an educated middleclass family (her own family) in the peak of the great change in Iran, the Islamic Revolution. However I feel it is not only Satrapi’s honesty in narration but also the medium itself - graphic novels and comic books - has a narrative potential that permits a creation of a reliable and at the same time a fun story. One should note that I honor the power of imagination and the value of a creative mind of any artist or novelist in any expressive medium and I don’t always look for a truth to be told by them, so when here, I say reliable or honest I don’t mean it in a duty-wise concept. It is not hard to imagine that my interest in finding other graphic novels doubled, when I found out about The Adventures of Iman; Although it is a children’s book and not a graphic novel, it made me interested

“The Adventures of Iman” by Rima K is a children’s book about another modern Superhero; this time the superhero is a Moslem (Muslim) girl who gets her magical power when she holds her pendant, an Allah medallion, in her hand and says Bismellah (in the name of God). She wears modern clothing and she only puts her veil on when she prays.

Her adventures are limited to rescuing her classmates from their daily troubles, for example from a group of gang-like teenagers who are teasing one of Iman's classmates. After the rescue the gang become Iman’s friends and of course they start to behaving themselves and don’t tease people especially for being different.

Why I liked Rima’s book, although is slightly different from my reasons for liking Satrapi’s book, has a shared approach to it. Here I like Rima’s, not because of its honesty but because it helps the westerners catching a glance of a friendlier side of other cultures, in this case culture(s) of the Middle East. (Middle East, itself is a geopolitical word referring to a combination of different countries, cultures and traditions. Countries who want to be distinguished from one another.) So my hope is that little by little by production of such books, Islam becomes a casual religion, like other religions. Moreover I believe it helps moderate Moslems, who these days suffer from a double-discrimination: both by outsiders to their cultures and by Moslem Fundamentalists, to be recognized by both groups.

I also found out about Nylon Road by Parsua Bashi another Iranian Cartoonist. But the book is not out yet in English.

The Adventures of Iman, 2007

1 comment:

desderostockgradconamor said...

Dear Tameshk,

First of all, I really like your post and the blog :)

I want to ask you if you know any way to get "The adventures of Iman". I would be very thakful if you provide me any information. The website doesn't exist anymore.
Thank you in advance