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Announcing: Get a Free copy of our next book on Rumi!

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Yes, you’ve heard it right! How will I get a free copy of  Sufi Comics: Rumi book, I hear you ask?

You’ve been enjoying updates on Sufi Comics – Rumi, you’ll know that the journey and process of creating the book has been an exciting and an a fruitful one to say the least!

So far in our updates we’ve revealed to you:

  • Behind the Scene Sketches
  • Process Thumbnails to illustrations
  • Excerpt of a story
  • Interview with the Artists & Authors
  • Designing the cover page illustration

We’ve  completed around 70% of the book, which will go to print this August with the official launch in September.

There is an exciting opportunity for interested readers like yourself to join an “early-bird” Pre Launch list.

Before the book is released to the public, a digital version of the book will be made available to read online exclusively to those on the list.

That’s not all. Get 1 Copy Free!

By joining the Pre-Launch list, not only would you be the first to read the book, as a special gift you could receive 1 signed physical copy of the book anywhere in the World!

This offer is now closed

Thank you to all you who’ve participated! You still view 3 chapters from the book for free.

Click here to view 3 Chapters from the book

 

Making the Cover Page for Rumi Book. What? How? and Why?

So far in our behind the scenes journey you’ve viewed snippets of the final pages, met multi-faceted researcher and member of the team Tanzil Rahman, and explored the process of selecting and illustrating the comics. What to explore now?

Yes the wait is over. It is time now to reveal to you the illustration of the cover page!

For this I delve into the creative mind of Rahil Mohsin to uncover the inspiration, symbolism and process behind the design of the cover page. I ask Rahil to share some of his artistic imagination and talent with us by revealing the illustration, the process of creating it, and the inspiration behind it.

As always, the posts would not be complete without the sneak peeks just for you – so scroll down and enjoy as Rahil reveals all this: what, how and why?

What is the process of creating the illustration? Can you share with us the rough/draft sketches?

Much to the chagrin of a lot of people I know, I am a purist. Most of my artworks, including the ones I’d done for Wise Fool of Baghdad and more recently, Rumi, are done by hand. Which means, the process of making an artwork is slower compared to work on a digital software (with all its fancy tools). That, and a mild doze of OCD. The processes I am talking about are the penciling and the inking stages (inside the book). Ali Bhai and Gaffur bhai bring life into the otherwise mundane and achromatic artwork by adding colours to them.

While I’ve vehemently professed my love to the process that gets my hands stained with graphite and blackened by ink, there are
however a few shortcomings when these hand-made art works are printed.

Even if a small part of the said artwork is neglected (inspite of the OCD) and printed right away, the flaw, however small will stand out and ruin the artwork. I did not want to take such a huge risk while designing the cover page.

I initially made a rough sketch of what I’d in my mind on a sheet of paper. Given below is a scanned copy of the sketch.

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Get Behind the Scenes and View the Final Pages of Sufi Comics Rumi!

It’s an exciting time in our journey of Sufi Comics Rumi. It’s time to reveal some sneak previews of the final pages, and get some exclusive insights from the members of the Sufi Comics team. This month we go behind the scenes on the production of the pages…

So who works on the production of the pages? Well, brother Mohammed Ali Vakil creates the template design of the page and selects the colors of the comics, then brother Abdul Gafur prepares all the pages based on the template designs and colors of the comics. Thereafter, brother Rahil will do the cover and back page of the book. The pages are created with Photoshop and also Corel Draw for the lettering of the text.

I had a chat with brother Ali about the process of production, why this style was selected, and any challenges or changes that may have gone into the process. From this, I learnt a lot about what goes into the process of production, and even learnt some interesting ideas about comics from different regions acquiring their own unique style!

So what inspired the style of Sufi Comics Rumi? How will the final pages look? Read on as we reveal sneak preview of the pages and more!

What is the process of production? How do you develop from each stage and are there any challenges involved? 

“After the thumbnails, pencils & Inks, Rahil sends us the final Inks of the pages via Dropbox.

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Meet Tanzil Rahman from Sufi Comics: Rumi

With his range of impressive studies and creative talents, to being an avid member of the Rumi fan club, Tanzil Rahman is an interesting member of the hardworking team behind Sufi Comics: Rumi. 

From being involved in livelihood support for communities living in urban slums, acting in various plays, to writing powerful poetry on the idea of social justice, Tanzil’s contribution to the new project is inspired and invaluable.

His work with Sufi Comics: Rumi has been around the selection and research behind the poems, as well as sourcing the original Farsi text for the short-listed poems.

Tanzil reveals how the collaboration came about, dispells the view that you can’t be a spiritual activist, as well as us why we should stay tuned for Sufi Comics: Rumi!

Tanzilur Rahman is  researcher for Sufi Comics: Rumi, poet and social activist
Tanzilur Rahman is researcher for Sufi Comics: Rumi, poet and social activist

Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your educational/professional background?

“I come from a village in Darbhanga district of North Bihar. My family later settled in Aligarh in UP. I have studied Electronics Engineering at Aligarh Muslim University and General Management  at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

Professionally my expertise is in the area of Human Resource strategy primarily advising organizations on how to leverage technology for HR transformation. I am currently employed with software major SAP.”

How did you meet Arif and Ali?

“I met Arif and Ali bhai for the first time at the Quran Study circle of Dr. Taha Mateen in Bangalore. We connected in very first  interactions. I liked their progressive and pragmatic approach to issues and things while adhering to the basics.”

 How did the collaboration with Sufi Comics : Rumi come about?

“I had known and read  Sufi Comics’ earlier editions. Arif bhai has discussed these a few times to get my feedback and reaction as a reader. It was while discussing “The  Wise Fool of Baghdad” that he mentioned about his plans to do next edition of Sufi Comics on Maualana Rum’s poems. He also mentioned that he has short listed some poems from a translation that I had gifted him earlier. Having been an avid member of Rumi fan club , I jumped on the opportunity and requested that I would like to collaborate which he accepted warmly.”

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Illustrating the Poems of Rumi: Keep your Dragon in the snow

Anyone here enjoy…the Poems of Rumi? 🙂

Sufi Studios is buzzing with creative and spiritual inspiration, in its journey of it’s next book, titled, “Sufi Comics: Rumi”!

So far, 7 pencils and inks have been completed, and more than 30 thumbnails.

One story that’s stood out for me, is the intriguing: “Keep your Dragon in the snow”.  These verses take us on an incredible journey of self-awareness; a universal lesson of how to tame our Dragon.

It’s powerful, thought provoking and visually exciting.

Here’s an excerpt from the poem:

A self-styled “dragon hunter” went into the mountains to trap a dragon.

He searched all over the mountain,

And at last discovered the frozen body of an enormous dragon in a cave high up
on one of the tallest peak.

The hunter brought the body to Baghdad.

He claimed that he had slaughtered it single-handedly & exhibited it on the
banks of Euphrates.

Thousands of people turned out to see the dragon.

The heat of the Baghdad sun started to warm up the dragons body and it began to
stir, slowly awakening from its winter hibernation…”

Before Rahil sketches out the poem, he creates a storyboard in thumbnails.  Sometimes there are changes to the storyboard.  Many times the storyboard is approved as is.  Then Rahil gets down to drawing the final pencils and then inks.

Have a look at the complete thumbnails of “Keep your Dragon in the snow.”

[Rumi] Keep your Dragon in the snow
[Rumi] Keep your Dragon in the snow

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Finally, our next book… Everyone make room for Rumi!

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As a boy…

As a boy, whenever I heard of a quote by Rumi, though I never understood it, instinctively I knew that there is more to the saying than what meets the ear.  Rumi’s poems are not to be read with the eyes or even the mind.

They are matters of the heart.

And then one day…
As mine and Ali’s religious studies progressed and one day we were explained what it means to love God.  What it means to be Lovers of God.  Oh, Gosh, it’s as if another dimension of our soul had opened its eyes, blinked twice and gazed first time into the bright beautiful world.

The universe… it seemed so different.

Oh God, the universe, it’s alive.  Breathing.  Pulsating.  Trying to reach out.  To humanity, to mankind, to me.

It’s speaking, shouting, even screaming.  Am I listening?

From then on, when I read or heard the poems of Rumi, Hafiz, Iqbal, Saadi, I got a glimpse of the beauty that they saw.  A strand of the emotion that they experienced.

A moment of the ecstasy that they thrived in.

Since then on…
Ali and myself had always been fascinated with stories and poems by the Lovers of God.  Specially the poems of the greatest of all lovers… Rumi.

I had even taken up learning farsi for a while so that I could envelop myself in the authentic verses of Maulana.  Sadly, my learnings of the language were short lived, however, little did we realise that our love for the verses of maulana would manifest itself in another way.

Finally…
We knew what our next book should be on.  You see, since our last book, Wise Fool of Baghdad, we were always contemplating what should we work on next.  Six months ago, on our way to Jummu’ah (Friday prayers), Ali mentioned hearing a lecture of the great Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr and that he spoke of Rumi.  At that instant we both knew that our next book has to be a dedication to the great Maulana.

Returning from Jummu’ah  that afternoon, we scanned our libraries and deshelved all the books on Rumiand Sufism that we had.  We began shortlisting the poems that we would later have sketched to comics.

Over the past six months, God has been infinitely merciful to us.  Alhumdulillah we have made amazing progress on our book.

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