Joumana Medlej

A Lebanese comic author (against all odds)

I've been deeply attracted to sequential art since childhood. More than the mere telling of a story in pictures, I'm fascinated by the language and art of bande dessinée, the myriad ways in which the visual and the verbal add up for a result that's more than the sum of its parts. Comics share part of their language with literature, illustration and the cinema, but look closer and you'll find a narrow path where comics are uniquely themselves and speak a language that can't be translated into any other medium. That is the path I aim to explore, though by no means do I dismiss the simple, straightforward comic strips that are a joy to both draw and read. If I had to make an artist's statement about my graphic novel work, it would be that the making of comics, and the constant improvement of my craft, are the goal, neither a faddish hobby nor a means to another form of gain.

Begun in 2006, Malaak:Angel of Peace is my debut series and so far counts 4 volumes in print, with a French version available as ebooks, and 2 more volumes in the making. It is Lebanon's first adventure comic and the only one of its scope. It owes much to my own experience of life during war, my history with martial arts, and my ongoing research in local history and mythology. My work in comics is not, however, limited to it, neither in style nor in subject matter: you can see other approaches in my other comics, and the full range of styles and mediums I explore is visible in my illustration work.

Please don't hesitate to send questions if you're an aspiring comic author and feel something in my experience can help you – or even if you're just curious (my email address is at the bottom of the page) . I share some tips on the blog, and also have a page of Resources for Comickers with the best guides I found online and in print. And if you're interested in what comics I read myself, browse my reviews.

For the rest of my work: calligraphy, design, illustration, photography, children's books, globetrotting and Lebanon, see
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