Sunday, June 26, 2022

It’s Iimi! Nadir

Mid-season finale…

Post Comic Comments: Normally, I give a lede for the comic on the title page. I did not want to do that this time because I felt I would unavoidably give away the plot if I did so.

The comic is titled Nadir because the mid-season finale marks the lowest point in the yearlong plot I’ve been working on. The story will continue of course.

Nina’s death was envisioned since I began the Paula’s Abortion Arc [Season 2 Episodes 27-35]. The tricky part was how to avoid either rushing it or dragging it out for so long that it became boring. You, the reader, will have to decide whether I succeeded or failed.

See you in July. 

Friday, June 24, 2022

It’s Iimi! Interpretations and Misinterpretations

When Kismetta has her dream again, Sumeja takes her to the mosque to have it interpreted by Imam Hamdan, who has studied the topic. Will Kismetta get an accurate explanation? Or will it be a mixture of… Interpretations and Misinterpretations

Preliminary Notes: The “Aunties” (which you can see a mild version of in the second episode of the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel), along with the “Uncles” are a cultural phenomenon in American communities with South Asian (especially Urdu speaking) roots. It’s not just a “Muslim thing.” As I understand it, it can be found in the Hindu communities as well. The behavior of the three “aunties” is based on anecdotes I found online. It is certainly not intended to imply “All middle-aged Muslim women are this way.” 

Post Comic Notes: I must strongly urge against Catholic and other Christian readers dabbling in other religions for “secret wisdom.” But. As Muslims do believe that God can give dreams, it makes sense that Kismetta would seek out a meaning to hers. Some former Muslims converted to Christianity (such as the late Nabeel Qureshi) have claimed that God gave them dreams to help them realize they needed to convert. Did God give them a special grace not needed by Christians with the fullness of revelation? I don’t know. I don’t think the dreams in the Bible were of this type, however.

The interpretations given by Imam Hamdan in this story are found in Muslim dream interpretation manuals. There are other interpretations of the individual symbols… frequently contradictory ones. I’ve researched this for the purpose of the story but I do not make use of them for any other purpose. I urge that you don’t either.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

It’s Iimi! Struggles in a Sandstorm

When a Sandstorm hits Dubai, Kismetta’s Father is left stranded in Saudi Arabia while Kismetta and Zara need to ride out the storm in their condo; both bored out of their minds and irritable with cabin fever. Inevitably, Kismetta’s issues with the Emirates and religion, combined with memories of her dream pop up in inconvenient moments. And so Kismetta finds herself facing… Struggles in a Sandstorm!

Pre-Comic Notes: There actually was a sandstorm like this affecting the Persian Gulf in May of 2022. It inspired the backdrop of the story

Post Comic Notes: In Islam, some Muslims (in the story, this includes Kismetta) hold that symbolic dreams (or visions) can be granted by God. Apparently, there are all sorts of Islamic books on interpreting them. I’m not advocating that people should start assuming dreams they have must be visions of course. We certainly should not dabble in other religions, seeking to find “secret truths.” But, since Kismetta’s Muslim beliefs do include this, it is something she would consider.

al’ama” literally means “blindness.” It’s used in the same way we tend to use “damn” in English. 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

It’s Iimi: Dubai-ous!

Arriving in Dubai after a fifteen-hour flight, Kismetta arrives in the United Arab Emirates. Her parents hope she’ll be enamored by the glamour and opulence. Zara hopes they can get along. Kismetta is initially hopeful that she might be able to enjoy herself in the glamour. But after an ominous dream and an encounter with some foreign workers, she begins to feel… Dubai-ous.

Pre-Comic notes: This comic contains some characters using stereotypes of other groups (Emirati citizens and guest workers). As always, I don’t use these with approval, but to reflect certain beliefs that exist. Nor am I using the Fallacy of Composition (assuming of the whole what exists in individual parts).

Post Comic notes: The conditions of foreign “guest” workers in Dubai has been widely commented on. Every country has its own blind spots and vicious customs of course. So, I’m not portraying this as “the UAE is the worst place in the world” or “Muslims don’t care about others.” Rather, this is a case of Kismetta becoming aware of things that trouble her which were previously blind spots. 

What’s up with the dream? Well, you’ll have to wait and see.