More info on the MLK comic distributed in Egypt

A couple of weeks ago I reported that a 50+ year old comic about the life and non-violence movement of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been translated into Arabic and distributed among the Egyptian protestors in Tahir Square. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette picks up on how the comic book was found and it’s connection to the Toonseum in Pittsburgh. The history of the comic book is something like a Forrest Gump story – it has a hand in many of the notable civil rights movements around the world – lunch counter sit ins in the U.S., the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and of course the recent protests in Egypt.

Ms. Ziada told me that translating the comic book into Arabic seemed the best way to engage students in the Middle East.

“The young generations must learn that being young does not mean being weak and apathetic,” she said. “[Dr. King] was only 29 years old when he launched his campaign and motivated the whole Afro-American community. We have the power to turn our dreams into real tangible facts. Martin Luther King was an inspirational role model for me, and I was sure that it be so for the young people in my region of the world.”

Moving from inspiration to publication proved more problematic. Although the Arabic translation and graphic editing were relatively easy, getting past the restrictive censorship laws in Egypt was not.

2 thoughts on “More info on the MLK comic distributed in Egypt

  1. “The group hired the creators of the Li’l Abner comic strip to illustrate the book and Benton Resnick, a blacklisted comic book writer, to write the text, which included content that subtly skirted the authority’s guidelines.”

    There was only ONE creator of Li’l Abner – Al Capp – however, in the 50’s Frank Frazetta inked Al Capps pencils for the Sundays from 1954-1961… Also, a bunch of other talented artists – Andy Amato, Harvey Curtis, Walter Johnson – also assisted Al Capp, so it could have been any one of them who drew this historic effort…

    So which of these 4 artists knew Benton Resnick, that’s the question inquiring minds want to know… 😉

  2. Dear Daily Cartoonist as we are working on a new film about Human Rights Heroes Thich Nhat Hanh, Sister Chan Khong and Alfred Hassler (Who had the idea for the comic book while the executive director at the Fellowship Of Reconciliation) a Human Rights Superhero that many people never heard of we thought we would share this note below from Jim Forest former director at the F.O.R.

    A note about the Martin Luther King comic:

    The author of the text and the man who had the idea for the comic was Al Hassler, executive secretary of the Fellowship on Reconciliation. He convinced comic artist Al Capp of the value of the project. Capp’s studio did the drawings gratis.

    The original comic book is one of the treasures of our home library.

    friendly greetings,

    Jim Forest
    former director of publications for the Fellowship of Reconciliation (Go to middle of page)

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