Shazleen Khan is an award-winning, London-based illustrator and comic maker, creator of the web comic Buuza!!, who’s been self publishing comics since 2011, who works as a full-time freelance illustrator.
Right now, Shazleen is working on BUUZA!!, a free to read, urban fantasy webcomic with a wide-ranging LGBTQ+ POC cast, available to read on Tapas and Webtoon, and is seeking reader support through Patreon, where the creator posts behind the scenes sketchbook stuff as well as worldbuilding bits and early page updates for the higher tier.
“It’s been my dream to work on this comic for absolutely years,” says Shazleen. “Any support you can give is hugely appreciated.”
“Buuza!! is a story about diaspora, spirituality and found family,” Shazleen told Broken Frontier’s Andy Oliver last year during a wide-ranging interview earlier this year. “It’s about Sam and Zach, two twenty-somethings in a ’90s fantasy Middle East, where half the people around (including both of them) are magical beings called Rasul (messengers). Along the way they fall in with Musa, the youngest child of the esteemed Faris family, and his siblings; Miriam the current head of the family who works a pretty high power government job, and Zhen, their estranged half-brother who incidentally is in a long-distance relationship with Zach.
“I don’t know if I’d call it magical realism as much as like, a very soft/low fantasy, where the fantasy aspect reflects experiences of culture and religion,” they continued. “The whole comic is deeply rooted in Islamic mysticism, since half the main cast are essentially jinns living amongst normal people (shout-out to Muslim readers who just shook reading this).”
Shazleen was winner of the Broken Frontier Award for Best Colourist and Best Webcomic last year. Their clients include Bloomsbury, the BBC, TimeOut, Glasgow Comicon, the RAF Museum Hendon and The Poetry Society.
Shazleen’s work, the subject of several exhibitions, has been published by by BHP, 404 Ink, Khidre Comix Lab, Sweatdrop Studios, Neo Magazine, MCM Comicon, Edinburgh University and Postscript Magazine.
If getting more support on Patreon, Shazleen is also looking to start regular streams, creating more frequent comic updates and even some patreon exclusive comics.
Backing the Patreon is also all the more important right now, as personal circumstances mean Shazleen has been having a hard time recently and seeking a new place to live in London, which, if you have ever lived in London, is not easy, and not cheap.
Like many other comic creators using the service, Shazleen offers a range of support levels, with the aim of earning more toward monthly living expenses and continuing to create more great comics.
If you can, check out Shazleen’s work, and the Patreon, and consider supporting this comic creator in their endeavours if you can.