While off in Beirut, I had the great chance on saturday to take part to the live 24/24 hours comics marathon Grand Papier. I was in Hatem’s cosy flat in Hamra, West Beirut. Hatem is one of the artists who have founded Samandal, the Lebanese comics magazine (online and hardcopy) that is released under Creative Commons license.
This was the great atmosphere I’ve found over there:
The marathon featured online contributions from different cities in the world, like Beirut, Brussels, Paris, Montreal, even Papetee. Everybody was connected thru a webcam
Everybody was invited to write his/her own story starting from a common picture posted online, and everybody worked out something according to his/her style and fantasy.
Samandal‘s folks are not new to these extravangances. They are the first ones who organised a remix party, encouraging the invited artists to play with their works released under Creative Commons, doing cut up and re-publishing the stuff.
The comics feature different Arab artists, who write stories both in Arabic and French or English. Great strips can be found from countries that you would never have imagined, like the Dubai hyppie series, coming from UAE and describing in an hilarious way the daily life of a young Emirati; or like the manga strips, Japanese way, perfectly re-designed by young veiled ladies living in Lebanese refugee camps.
Samandal can be found on the Internet and it is also distributed in a very cool hardcopy edition available all over the places in Beirut (including the airport) and some other Arab countries. The team is very open to submissions coming from all across the Arab world. Next deadline is on 31st may.