Comic strips are the latest art in the arsenal of the Syrian revolution. The country has always had a strong tradition of highly metaphorical editorial cartoons in its heavily censored press. Recently a new generation of illustrators, graphic designers and animators, some with backgrounds in fine art or advertising, have been anonymously posting their responses to Syria‘s turmoil on the new Facebook page Comic4Syria.
One of them, Chase, celebrates the centrality of graffiti in the revolution and recounts the murder of the Spray Man of Damascus, Nour Hatem Zahra, by a member of the unofficial pro-regime militia, the Shabiha. Another cartoon captures a pivotal interview by pro-government Addounia TV reporter Micheline Azar – complete with her legendary manicure – in the immediate aftermath of a massacre in the capital’s suburb Daraya. « Who did this to your mum, my darling? » she coos to a child sitting beside a corpse.
Most Middle East comic strips, such as The 99 about Muslim superheroes from Kuwait, are aimed at children. Comic4Syria draws its strength and sophistication from the politically charged graphic novels Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Palestine by Joe Sacco.
Source: Malu Halasa