Khabar Khair (Only Good News) – Fatima Rashad
Jedaria Foundation for development and information, in collaboration with the German Goethe Institute, held a training workshop in the art of (comics) within the draft comic preparation training in Aden, where 12 participants who are interested in this art were trained. This work highlights Adeni cultural heritage, customs and traditions that are known in Aden.
Their choice of comics was due to the great cultural importance of this art in spreading culture, awareness, and freedom of expression among the various sectors of society. It is a way to express ideas using pictures and paintings and presenting events in a sequential manner There is a consensus among historians and organizers on the definition of comics, some of them define it as a combination of images and texts, and some define it as a Sequential relationship between image sets.
Yasser Abdel-Baqi (head of the Jedaria foundation) told Khabar Khair (Only Good News)-: ” (Aden Comics) project aims at disseminating the culture of heritage, customs and traditions of Aden in innovative artistic ways by engaging and encouraging artists to produce comics within the Adeni context.”
Abdul Baqi added, “The project believes in the importance of Aden having a comic magazine that represents the country’s cultural front, through which people learn about the customs and traditions of Aden and its diverse heritage.
He pointed out that this project is being implemented for the first time in Aden, which lacks comics magazines, although there are creative artists in this art, unfortunately this art has been neglected.
Yasser continues to Khabar Khair (Only Good News): “Six story writers and six painters were qualified to find a new style in the Yemeni comic, and to create a new character for Yemeni comics in order to raise society’s awareness about the heritage, customs and traditions of the city of Aden, so we seek through our project to produce a comics magazine 2,000 copies will be printed, to educate the community about the Adeni identity and its unique heritage.
Yasser said: “We held several activities for the project, in which we reviewed the history of comics, presented by the visual artist specialized in the art of comics, Adnan Juman, and the course lasted for 10 days. An initial meeting was also held for the trainees from story writers and painters, in which researcher Najmi Abdel Majid introduced them to the Adeni heritage.”
He pointed out that the project includes distributing a magazine that will be printed on cultural institutions, as well as creating a website for comics and its artists in Yemen and abroad, but the initial goal is to revive Aden with this art again as it was before.
Comics character in Adeni style
On his part, the comic artist Adnan Juman told Khabar Khair (Only Good News): “We want the art of comics to create an Adani character that we present to children through a magazine that deals with comic strips art known as comics.”
Juman stated : “Our goal for the practical program that we did with the painters was to train them on how to draw the comic, because some of them see that this art is new to them, because this art is a partnership between the writer of the story and the painter, where the painter works on developing the script and tries to introduce Dialogue circles, here the painter strives to create a dialogue, and I tried to help the trainee painters as much as possible, as we received narrative texts in which there is no dialogue.
Juman goes on saying: “The beginning of preparing for the comic, we prepare the script and then make the visualization to draw it, then we draw with a pencil, go over the story, then do it, modify it, ink it, and color it, there are many ways for coloring comics either by Photoshop or direct coloring through paper or electronic board this is according to the painter’s inclination and the way that is the easiest for him.”
The artist, Juman, called on the competent authorities to pay attention to this kind of art, which has had a presence in Yemen, especially in the governorate of Aden, since the eighties, there were many magazines that focused on the art of comics, such as Al-Baraem, Nashwan, Waddah, and others.
From the middle of the training hall, the painter Ikram Nofal tells Khabar Khair (Only Good News): “The art of comics or comics is a field that I love very much. I studied it and began to specialize in it. I have read many manga stories and Japanese comics, and because of my great love for them, I was influenced by their style of drawing, narration, and story direction.”.
Ikram added: “The art of comics in Yemen is still in its infancy. There are many readers and connoisseurs of the comic, but as a field there is still a lot to be done to become part of the country’s culture.”
Her colleague Zina Ahmed said: “The art of comics, with its beautiful, subtle and simple details, is an art very close to everyone’s hearts and linked to childhood memories.”
Zeina told Khabar Khair (Only Good News)-: “The training atmosphere in the workshop was enthusiastic, very fun and unconventional, in which I gained new information and methods from the artist and father, Adnan Jamman, as well as from very friendly colleagues, and I hope that such workshops will always be held.”
The comics project needs support and attention from competent authorities that will determine whether this project will continue with its outputs or not. Its outputs need support so that this art gets the attention it deserves, and carries the cultural specificity of Yemeni identity, whether it deals with issues concerning children or adults.