(MENAFN Press) Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Middle East's surging interest in fantasy based on regional mythology and popular culture has paved the way for the arrival of a new comic book series: Jinnrise. According to its creator Jabal Entertainment, Jinnrise is set to land on news agent shelves in early 2013.
There may be as many as 100 million potential comic book enthusiasts across the Arab world, a staggering figure that has not gone unnoticed by the series' publisher, IDW Publishing, the world's fourth largest “ and fastest growing “ comic book publisher in a global industry worth as much as 5 billion USD annually.
Jabal Entertainment, with its commitment to truly international, collaborative work, was created to deliver on the mandate "bridge-building through storytelling". Its management team believes that, through projects like the Jinnrise series, they have created something that will resonate with international readers while stylistically embracing the artistic bent of Western fantasy and science fiction.
"We want to tell stories about this region's myths, but we also want to usher in an era of pop culture creativity here as well," said US-based Sohaib Awan, Founder and CEO of Jabal Entertainment and creator of the Jinnrise series.
Regional enthusiasts of the comic book industry got a first taste of the greatly-anticipated Jinnrise series earlier this year at April's hugely-successful inaugural Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai. A primary focus at the event, Jinnrise and Jabal Entertainment received much attention and acclaim from attendees and industry leaders.
The 2012 Comic Con event in Dubai not only allowed comic book fans to meet celebrities and artists, watch exclusive previews, purchase limited edition merchandise, and take part in exciting competitions “ it was the ideal opportunity for genre enthusiasts to connect and make friends with thousands of other fans from across the region. It also gave Jabal Entertainment the chance to attract the attention of IDW Publishing.
"There is no question that Comic Con in Dubai served as a global platform for Jinnrise to be seen by an enormous audience, including IDW Publishing," added Awan. "The comic book industry is tremendously rich. We believe Jinnrise, with its emphasis on loyalty, friendship, and the global family, will only serve to uplift the spirits of regional readers, many of whom seek a much-needed element of escapism in their own lives."
Industry executives agree that every conceivable vampire, zombie, and magic-centric story has seemingly been told, and they are actively looking for something new. Jinnrise is Jabal Entertainment's response to this stagnation.
For his part, Chris Ryall, IDW Publishing's chief creative officer and editor-in-chief, believes Jinnrise feels original, with its unique blend of old-world Middle Eastern myths and cutting-edge science fiction. This combination is not typically seen in comics.
Jabal's Awan agrees: "The Middle East has so much culture and perspective to offer the world. Hopefully, Jinnrise will tap into the spirit of the modern Arab world's thirst for triumph over oppression, informing and enlightening while entertaining."
The Jinnrise series (www.jinnrise.com) will be available online and in regional shops in early January 2013. Later in the year, Jabal Entertainment will take part in the Second Annual Middle East Film and Comic Con event being held in Dubai, April 5 and 6, 2013.