Here’s a smashing comics project from the Comics for Youth Refugees Incorporated Collective, a US-based non-profit organisation that produces and delivers free comic books for refugee children, based on the folklore from their own homes. Working in conjunction with mental health professionals and on-site experts, the tales are adapted for their potential healing content.
Their latest project is a Syrian all-ages comic, Haawiyat— named for the ships that bring supplies overseas for refugees — a title filled with well-known Syrian folktales that was created to give comfort and something tangible to refugee children who have lost everything.
Creators include Belgium-based cartoonist Rob Croonenborghs (who’s also the colorist on A Wave New World’s Kismet, Man of Fate), Sajad Shah, illustrator Jim Shaw, Spanish artist Joseba Morales and cartoonist and author of The Lions of Valletta, Ursula Murray Husted.
Taylor Hastings’ Ghost Glyph Studios handled the lettering and Farrah Hamza translated for phase one; both are remaining on the team for the next phase.
NuDay Syria handled delivery of the first batch of comics to refugee children in Turkey last month, which were enthusiastically received.
At just eight pages, with black and white interiors, it was a proof of concept project that has turned wildly successful, with copies now being distributed in the Middle East, including Turkey. Now CYRIC has begun Phase Two with a crowdfunding campaign on Razoo.
“For phase one, all production and services were donated or volunteered,” explains project leader, A. David Lewis. “In phase two, we hope the expanded incarnation of the title will have more stories, be in full colour, and go out to many more deserving children!”
Costs of production and distribution for phase two will be the ultimate goal of the Razoo campaign.
• Are you a creator interested in participating in Haawiyat? Email mainATsyriacomic.com with your interest and any links to a portfolio