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The Atlas is proud to be partnering with the Hay Festival's Beirut39 contest, celebrating Beirut's year as UNESCO World Book Capital, to find the hottest authors under 40 of Arabic origin. Nominations are open until August 24th, 2009.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Arab Superheroes Translate Well to DC

The Guardian reports today that Teshkeel Media's halal superheroes The 99 will be appearing in a crossover mini-series (to hit shops within a year) with the classic American heroes of DC Comics, including Superman and Wonder Woman. The 99 is the first superhero comic published in the Arab world, and its heroes and storylines fall within Islamic parameters (magic isn't allowed, for example). It has a heavyweight art team -- comic book stalwarts Fabian Nicieza, Stuart Moore, June Brigman, Dan Panosian, and John McCrea, who have all worked at DC Comics and Marvel -- and you can see some of their art in this gallery or at Teshkeel's site, where you can buy issues (in English) as downloadable PDFs. Current headline: "The Justice League of America to Stand Cape to Shoulder with The 99." Kapow!

And 99 creator Dr. Naif al-Mutawa appears on BBC Radio 4's It's My Story tonight at 2000 BST, talking to DJ Bobby Friction about why the opening of The 99's first theme park, and his quest to become known as 'the Walt Disney of the Arabic world'.

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