He is not an artist in the direct meaning of this word, but his idea is revolutionary and extraordinary artistic. Creator of the Islamic Comic Book 99 – Naif Al Mutawa, at the present moment is a most famous Kuwaiti creator of visual arts in the world. Mentioned by President Obama in his speech ( see video below) and now on the cover of FORBES – Middle East.
Naif Al-Mutawa Kuwaiti psychologist and dad of five sons, has personally tasked himself with constructing a kids’ entertainment franchise that can compete in a global market—with the plainly stated mission of secularizing Islamic art and culture in order to save it.- Article
FORBES- Comic Artist Re-Draws Islam With Secular Superheroes in “The 99”
Personally I think its a shame that the heroes from an Islamic culture never seem to go anywhere near a mosque! … Is such normal and proper activity seen as too “extreme”?
I am also a little puzzled by the “mission statement” “… of secularizing Islamic art and culture in order to save it.” To begin with Islamic art and culture has great strengths, values and vibrancy and is far from a precarious state. The inspiration which comes from Allah and the love of Allah will always enrich our Art and Culture.
99 may have an excellent business plan but it certainly adds little to the great art and culture it pompously sets out to “save”!
No doubt there are young western readers who will be intrigued by an “Islamic Comic” and will be comforted by its recognisably western comic genre conventions, but they will learn little if anything significant about Islam… maybe the publicity will legitimise the comic and encourage Muslim parents (who might reasonably ban the western style comics from their homes because of the underlining “messages” they convey filled with western materialism and violently jingoistic attitudes which are the antipathy of Islam) to allow it into their homes because of its supposedly Islamic credentials. Its a clever business idea but hardly the significant piece of publishing history it is marketed to be.