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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Left behind!

The chief of a nomadic desert tribe asked his wife to ready the luggage for the next journey. He instructed his wife to leave behind his Alzheimer prone mother who lately mocked him in front of his followers and caused him great embarrassment.

“Leave her behind..” the chief said “she is now sick and has caused us a great deal of hurt and pain and we are not able to take care of her anymore”.. “let’s leave her here in the open perhaps other nomads will take her along when they pass by”… “or simply the desert heat will cause her hastened death!!”

The wife, prepared the luggage, and hoisted all the necessities atop the camels for the journey ahead. She put as much food and rations by the chief’s mother as she could before they left the elderly mother behind.

But the chief’s wife left her one year old son with the chief’s Mother. The child was the chief’s only son and the love of his adult life. Every time the chief rested under his tent he asked his wife to for bring his son for playful quality time with him.

As the caravan moved all morning, they rested midday and setup camp. The chief asked his wife to bring his son over as usual. The chief’s wife told him that she left his son with his mother… “we don’t need him” she said!

The chief shouted “why?” .. “why, are you crazy?”, he madly yelled.. The chief’s wife replied “am afraid your son will leave you in the open desert in your old age, as you did with your mother”.

His wife’s words landed on the chief like ton of bricks. He realized what he has done and remorse filled his heart. The chief then grappled his rifle and rode his horse as fast as he could towards his mother and child before desert beasts devoured them as prey.

The chief arrived at his mother’s site and found her surrounded by desert wild dogs. She held the child tightly to her chest in a protective grab while throwing rocks at the beasts as they run circles around her to snatch the child from her grip. The elderly mother held the child in one hand and and threw rocks with other and crying loudly “stay away … Shooo shooo!”

The chief fired multiple rounds from his rifle killing a few desert wild dogs and sending the rest fleeing into the desert’s mirage. The chief then ran towards his protective mother kissing her head and hands and penitently crying tears of remorse seeking his mother’s forgiveness.

The chief returned with his mother and child safely to his tribe.

It was said that the chief never left his mother’s site or sight and was forever dutiful to her. Whenever the tribe migrated anywhere, the chief always made sure his mother was on the best camel and rode behind her on his horse, guarding her from all harm.

When the umbilical cord is cut by the deliverer’s hands, a part of our mothers’ remains with us. Touch your bellybutton, your navel… see?.. she remains with you. Now make a prayer for your mom!

“وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا” الإسراء :٢٣

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. Quraan 17:23


Text of an email sent by a friend.

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The Baker

There was a baker in Baghdad who used to sell bread that was so good people used to come from all over to buy his bread. Some people would give him fake and unacceptable coins to buy the bread. He would take those coins and put them in a separate box and still give them the bread. He would never complain or call them fakers or go after them and always sold his bread with the same love.
When the baker was about to die, he made Du’aa to Allah saying: O Allah you know very well that i used to accept fake unacceptable coins from anyone and still gave them my good smelling good tasting heathy bread. Please accept my fake and unacceptable worship not the quality of worship that you wanted. O Allah my request to you is as I used to forgive your creatures, please forgive me also.
The wise old men say that after he’d died someone in their dream saw him in a high place (in jannah) as he’d been hopeful.

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The Legend of the White Bull: At Thawr il Abyadh

Once upon a time three bulls lived in the forest. One white, one brown and one black. They were brothers and lived together in harmony. In that forest also lived a tiger who had his eye on the bulls. But every time he attacked one of them the others came to his aid and together they drove the tiger away.

The tiger decided that he needed to change his strategy. So one day when the Black Bull was away, he went to the other two and said, “You know, the Black Bull is black and dirty and evil. Why do you keep him with you? His is a disgrace to you. You are beautiful and noble. If the Black Bull is no longer there, you will have all the grazing to yourself. He takes away your food and adds no value to you.” The two bulls listened to the tiger’s spiel and said, “Well, you know, he is our brother. What can we do?”

“You need not do anything at all,” said the tiger. “I am your friend. I will do what needs to be done. Just don’t come to the aid of the Black Bull when he calls you.” The others agreed.

The next day, they heard the voice of the Black Bull calling for help in anguish and fear. They listened to him and went back to their grazing. Gradually the calls stopped. The two brothers could not look each other in the eye but then, nice green grass wipes away memories and after a little while it was as if the Black Bull never existed.

Then one day the tiger came to the White Bull when he was alone and said, “So are you happy with the advise I gave you? Didn’t I advise you well? Now here is another advise. You are the real king of the forest. You are White and clean and pure and holy and beautiful. You are wise and good. You deserve to live in solitary splendor like a king. Not with some dirty brown trash who you have to share your food with. Why do you need him? He is a liability and an embarrassment to you.”

“Well, what should I do?”

“You know the score. Nothing at all. I am there to take care of everything for you. Just relax.”

Next day, the White Bull heard the dying screams of the Brown Bull and closed his ears and went back to his grazing.

The White Bull lived for a few days all by himself, grazing where he wanted and drinking from the clean streams of the forest. Then one morning the tiger came again. From the look in his eyes, the White Bull knew that this visit was different. All his life flashed before his eyes. He recalled the time when the three brothers stood together, shoulder to shoulder. Then he recalled all the incidents since then. As the tiger sat before him, not in any hurry, knowing that the result was pre-determined, the White Bull said to him, “I have one last wish. Will you grant it to me?”

“Anything at all my friend”, said the tiger.

The White Bull then climbed a hill and when he got to the top of it, he called out to the people of the forest, “O! People, I do not die today. I died the day the Black Bull died.”

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