Telling stories via comics

Being able to tell a story in drawing (and writing) is a remarkable skill. I see a lot of talented artists tell memorable stories in the comics medium which is a unique art form. It combines drawings & writings in a coherent way to tell stories in a way that writing alone could not accomplish. I have so many stories to tell. I can imagine telling them in my head. But I want to make them available in drawn (and written) format for my readers to enjoy.

My drawing skills are next to nothing. I know almost nothing about drawing. I did take drawing classes in school but they were rudimentary and I didn’t seem to have a natural inclination toward drawing. I still don’t think I have any drawing skills to speak of. Yet I find drawings fascinating. I particularly enjoy comic strips and graphic novels and the skill with which the artists sometimes are able to convey almost anything through their drawings.

The comics medium is a fascinating one because one can actually tell stories way more effectively than with writing alone. I don’t really want to draw people or animals in a realistic manner because I believe that that is not allowed in the religion. But I want to be able to tell a story in a comic strip or a graphic novel without having to draw elaborate facial features on comic characters.

I have always been fond of writing. I kept almost a regular journal throughout my school years growing up. I used to love to write and found it to be soothing and calming exercise to put my feelings into written words. Later in life, I started blogging. I’ve been blogging on and off for almost twenty years now.

There was a time I used to blog daily, as I do now. But then I stopped because life was happening too fast and furious, I guess. Now I’ve rediscovered writing so to speak and the calming affects that it has on me. I don’t consider myself a writer per se. But I do love to write. I think about writing a lot and want to capture ideas that I like quickly before they are gone from my imagination.

There are a lot of comic strip artists showcasing their amazing artwork on social media such as Instagram and Facebook. Also, there are a lot of accomplished artists who have shown us non-artists how to draw comics on YouTube. Time to learn me some art :p

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The Deserted Station

I never pass up a chance to watch a persian movie even though my persian is still at the beginners level after going through a rigorous course and a dozens of persian movies. Urdu has a lot of the same vocabulary as Farsi but the grammar is quite different hence it’s not an easy language to learn for speakers of Urdu in my opinion. But there is a certain beauty in Farsi that is absent (or different, I should say) in Urdu. Besides a lot of the really good Urdu poetry is littered with Farsi. So even as the learning curve is steep, there is a huge reward for learning the language in the abundance of farsi literature which is totally beyond our reach without a command of the language. Deserted Station is a story by Abbas Kiarostami, directed by Alireza Raisian starring Leila Hatami and Nezam Manouchehri about a childless couple’s pilgrimage to a saint to grant them a child (this is totally against Islam and I’m glad they never made it to the saint in the movie). The wife is a primary school teacher who starts teaching the kids in the village (just for a day). The husband is a photographer who is in search of a great shot when their sight an unlikely deer in the desert and hit an embankment which renders their car out of commission. They find that they are stranded near a small village of mostly women and children, they get a glimpse of a life that they would never have imagined. This powerful movie transports you instantly into rural Iran with a pull no one can resist. I thoroughly enjoyed subtle poetry in the dialogue, the cutting humor and the sheer humanity in the life of the simple villagers. Oh and the landscape, the strangely surreal Iranian landscape, it just draws you in. It is an unforgettable story.

Strangely, the mechanic slash teacher slash poet philosopher slash politician in the movie reminded me of an Iranian mechanic I used to know in Houston. One of his remarks I remember most is “…the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know…”

Here’s a trailer to entice you to watch this movie:

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