Founders of Sufi Studios and well-known creators of the famous comic books ‘40 Sufi Comics’ and ‘The Wise Fool of Baghdad’, Mohammed Ali Vakil and Mohammed Arif Vakil are now working on their latest graphic novel which revolves around the famous poems of Sufi Poet ‘Rumi’.
Published by Sufi Studios, and slated for an early 2014 release, this 300 plus page graphic novel’s editing and compilation is handled completely by Mohammed Ali Vakil and Mohammed Arif Vakil. The Storyboarding and concept art work being taken care of by Rahil Mohsin and Research brought out by Tanzil Rahman.
According to Vakil Brothers, their passion and love for Rumi’s verses are the prime motivators behind creating this graphic novel. Speaking to AnimationXpress.com’s Zeenia Boatwala about the idea behind creating this graphic novel, Mohammed Arif Vakil, shares, “It was several months ago that my brother and I had our first discussion on the book our way to Friday prayers. Although Rumi’s poems are several years old, they are simply timeless. His poem mainly deals with the theme of becoming one with the creator of the universe.” Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi had written these poems about 700 years ago and theSufi Brothers have made exquisite choices from Rumi’s poem gallery, which would deliver the teachings of four varied stages of coming more close to the Almighty.
Arif adds that, “the path to union with the Lord is not an easy one. One has to go through four stages. The first one being, The Call – Being Called by God , second one is, The Lover – Falling in Love with God, the third would be, Ordeal – Sacrificing one’s ego in the path of God and the fourth is the Union – Finally being one with God.”
The look and feel of this graphic novel orbits around a fusion of Islamic miniature paintings along with comic art. To carry out the mood of this book, the team went through extensive research by studying enormous miniature arts. Arif adds further, “Tanzil had to understand the original as well as several translations of Rumi’s poems indifferent languages to ensure we bring about the right tone for the poems when being illustrated.”
The graphic novel is presently in its pre-production stages and as the Vakil Brothers are ardent followers of Rumi’s poems, they already had shortlisted the poems which they wanted to instill in the book. But, they do consider the storyboarding for this novel as a tricky task
Arif informs, “Rahil has been creating the storyboards and preparing storyboards of the more mystical poems of Rumi has been the most challenging aspect till now.”
When asked Arif about the targeted audience of this book, he gives an interesting insight by making a statement that “Anyone who feels frustrated the world, anyone who is constantly questioning ‘Why’? Anyone who asks, “What does it all mean?” anyone and everyone who want to find peace and solace should read this book.”
For Vakil Brothers, the interesting stand point of working on this graphic novel is going through various processes of creating this book and they take this project as a path of enlightenment.