Showing posts with label fear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fear. Show all posts

Monday, November 6, 2023

It's Iimi! International Intrigue!

When Bahrudin brought his wives to Malta with a scheme to get them all European citizenship, he hoped for a peaceful and simple trip. But Sumeja realized this was her one hope of setting up an escape hatch. But is she being followed? And if so, by whom? From the Emirates to Malta, from Malta to Zurich, from Zurich to Lisbon, how will Sumeja handle being caught up in the middle of… International Intrigue

Post-Comic Notes:

This was indeed a story aimed at providing background information for future stories. So, our heroines don't appear much in this story. But Iimi's point is a good one to frame the story in. We should pray for people to protect them from harm or to mitigate inevitable harm.

And, of course, when looking for heroes and villains, it would be good to remember that Kismetta's family is dysfunctional.

Between the rough draft and the publishing date, the EU requirements for a UAE passport holder changed. When the story was being prepared, an Emirati passport holder needed a Visa to visit the EU nations. It now allows visa-free travel for 90 days (It still needs a Visa for the United States). The American passport, beginning in 2025, will require an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) to travel Visa-free for 90 days in the Schengen zone countries of Europe.

That change required a rewrite of some pages. But the long and the short of it is that Sumeja wants Kismetta to live with her, and Bahrudin's polygamy means Zara can't apply for permanent residency in the United States. Therefore Europe. 

Art Credits:

The Cover was designed by "Bree Orlock" and Stardust Publications. Used with permission.

All page wallpapers by Figu Design.

Most of the panel backgrounds were done through AI. I wanted to capture the feel of these countries without risking violating the photography rights of those providing actual photos in the size and resolution I needed. (You can get free photos, and you can get high-quality photos. But the two categories seldom intersect.)

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.

Monday, May 15, 2023

It’s Iimi! Don’t Panic!

Krysta and Daryl are fighting again (what else is new?) and rope Iimi into their dispute over the state of the Church. So grab your towel and crank up “Journey of the Sorcerer” as Iimi explains why she’s telling us, Don’t Panic!

Preliminary Notes: The cover is an homage to the computer graphics in the 1980s BBC version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Once I had the title of the comic, I knew that the cover would have to go this way.

Post-Comic Notes:

Since one reader has already asked me: No, Iimi’s NOT gay. This is the residue of the rumor that emerged in Issue 108. It will probably remain with her throughout high school and pop up at the worst possible times.

Normally, I don’t give away the secrets. But since at least one reader was troubled by that, maybe others are as well. I’d rather not lose readers over a misconception.