Monday, July 3, 2023

It’s Iimi! Three Hours in Dubai

As Kismetta lands in Dubai, her friends—anxious for her—pray for her. Kismetta herself prays that any harmful plans against her will be thwarted. But when Sumeja asks her a question at the airport, how will Kismetta cope with… Three Hours in Dubai

Pre-Comic Notes:

It would be helpful to review issues 116, 117, 118, 131, 133, 166, and 173 to understand the background of Kismetta’s concerns about Dubai.

Post-Comic Notes:

Art Credits:

The Mustache/beard on Rajih Nour and the male police officer was designed by “Daiger1975.”

The mustache/beard on the angry man at the airport was designed by “internetulv.”

 The Arabic on the title page says (if Google Translate is accurate) “Arrest Report.”

 And, yes, Dubai Airport does have jail cells. So do most airports, including American ones (which I only recently learned when researching). In America, we call them Holding Areas. They’re not intended for extended stays.

 As Iimi mentioned in the comic, the Emirates—especially Dubai—seems to combine libertarianism and totalitarianism. It is tolerant of non-Muslims living in some ways contrary to Islam (consumption of pork and alcohol) but strict in others… and that brings us to the blasphemy charge.

 It is still considered a serious crime in the UAE and challenged by human rights activists.

 The tricky part is portraying the differences in laws between the United States and the UAE without bogging down the narrative or turning the Dubai police into a cartoon villain caricature.


Right now, what happened is still a mystery to those involved. So, some of the facts that I know about arrest and incarceration in Dubai can’t be revealed yet… you’ll need to be patient.

Now, let’s talk about the UAE and comic art. As I’ve said many times, I can’t draw. Using photographic backgrounds depends on what sort of permissions are required. So, I’m relying on assets from the Comipo and Clip Studio Paint programs and trying to make them look like they COULD be from the Emirates.

 One of the problems with creating Arabic characters is the skin color options, outfits, and facial hair don’t always fit with the real world. So, I do the best I can. I’m sure some of the characters look cringe. But they’re not intentionally designed to look that way.

 Dubai police officer uniforms are more of a khaki color. Unfortunately, this is the closest resource I could find to use. Female police officers in Dubai do wear a hijab as part of the uniform. Creating a female police officer was a challenge, as this uniform can only be used by male characters in Comipo. So, I had to start with a male model, increase the eye size, add and resize a hijab, cut away at the waist to make the character slimmer and add breasts. It’s not ideal, but it’s the best I could do.

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