Posted by on May 07, 2012 in Blog

By Merik Tadros

April 2012 in Dubai will go down in history, for an amazing event has taken place. American Superheroes found their way to the Arabian Peninsula & were welcomed with open arms. I had the great honor of being a part of this momentous occasion as I debuted my graphic novel, River Jordan, in Arabic. It was first introduced in English in my hometown of Chicago at C2E2 around the same time last year. The book was well received, even though to my surprise, Arabs themselves prefer to read comics in English. Ben Caddy, Nisrine Mehdi, Somaya Soeryadiredja, Arafaat Ali Khan, and the Extra Cake PRA crew were the true heroes in this story, having fought hard to bring like minds together, truly bridging gaps of difference, to align our unique sameness on a universal level. I love Dubai. It was the perfect setting for the 1st Middle East Film & Comic Con, for their vision of the future is one of great promise in the region. It allows writers like myself to feel like we have an outlet to express ourselves.

River Jordan is a cross-cultural Arab American graphic novel set in Chicago, USA and Amman, Jordan. A nine year-old boy is on the path of discovering his roots, by becoming an artist, to cope with his father’s tragic death. Two families lose their fathers through direct and indirect consequences. The conflict tears the families apart and creates a fresh battlefield at home. The heart of the story is about a young boy named Rami who learns to overcome his father's death with the help of an artist named Nabil, in becoming a true artist. Nabil, a longtime friend of Rami’s father Malik, loses his eyesight at the very moment his friend is murdered. A spiritual covenant is formed between a fallen father and his youngest son. With this, they seek peace and truth in forgiveness, by creating and sharing art...

I started writing this story in short form, followed by a screenplay to be adapted into a live action film, to first be conceptualized into a black & white pen & ink graphic novel. I approached it like a filmmaker, having come from a Hollywood background. I took the 92-page script and pre-visualized 750 illustrations with a storyboard artist. Then I hired the brilliant professional illustrator by the name of Greg Houston to create what is now River Jordan: A Graphic Novel.

Because I wanted to keep complete creative control, this being a story so close to home, one inspired by true events from my childhood, I became a publisher by default. This was a happy accident, because I now have the means and capability not only to publish my own future work, but that of others. My publishing company World Revealed Ink signed an exclusive distribution deal with IPG in the North American book trade, and is in talks with Diamond Comic Distributors for the worldwide Comic Book market. Having a positive reception in Dubai this April at MEFCC, I am also in talks with a great Animation Studio in the UAE to develop River Jordan into a feature film. So all in all, Arab American dreams do come true.

Merik Tadros - World Revealed Ink

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