Close

Comic Relief

They say laughter is the best medicine, and no one needs that medicine more these days than the people of Pakistan. At a time when chaos prevails somewhat like a bad habit and luxuries like entertainment is harder on the pocket than it ideally should be, the only solution we’re left with is to kindle and nurture an asset that delivers generously and costs virtually nothing: our sense of humour.
And that’s exactly what a bunch of young Pakistani comic artists, who’ve emerged as potential cartooning superstars over the last one year, are doing. These guys might be your everyday students and young professionals grinding away in corporate-y jobs during the day, but on Facebook, each one of them has become somewhat of a celebrity for spreading smiles by immortalizing everyday situations, breaking news, annoying celebrities and political gags in their own distinct, funny, and highly addictive style.
Here’s a roundup of a few of these emerging comic artists along with some of their most popular strips…

ALID ART
Creator: Adil Hussain
Based in: Birmingham, UK
Profession: Student
Majorly inspired by: “The local news & current events. I started off with the political satire theme now along with that I make comics on whatever I find funny and amusing.”
Future plans: “Just making more comics and sharing the artwork with my fans.”
What, according to Adil, is the importance of sitting back and having a good laugh for Pakistanis these days: “I believe it’s extremely important to have a bit of humour in our lives, especially because of the situation that our country is going through currently. But then again, whichever country you’re from, we all need to sit back, relax and have a good laugh once in a while.”
Facebook page release date: December 2011
Facebook fans since then: 36,775
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/alid.comics

COMICS BY ARSALAN
Creator: Arsalan Nasir
Based in: Islamabad, Pakistan
Profession: Social Development Consultant
Majorly inspired by: “The need to spread smiles, my real life experiences, and my dogs Atom and Bruno, who’re two of the funniest ‘people’ I know. They crack me up all the time!”
Future plans: “The website, which hopefully I will be launching as soon as I get some time off from my day job!”
What, according to Arsalan, is the importance of sitting back and having a good laugh for Pakistanis these days: “With so much misery shown in the mainstream media, I think Pakistan as a nation is in dire need of sitting back and having a good laugh! Until a few years ago, despite all the inflation, corruption, unemployment and load shedding, Pakistanis still knew how to laugh. 10 years ago we used to see Lollywood actresses arguing on silly things like which one of them was actually No.1! Now, all I see is news channels fighting over who broke the bad news first! And now we have this trend of depressing status updates and videos on Facebook too. I wanted to counter that and spread smiles instead… and that’s probably what compelled me to start Comics By Arslan!
Facebook page release date: June 2011
Facebook fans since then: 42,917
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/comics.by.arslan
Web: http://www.comicsbyarsalan.com/

JAY’S TOONS
Creator: Jahanzaib Haque
Based in: Karachi, Pakistan
Profession: Journalist; Web Editor, The Express Tribune
Majorly inspired by: “I’m a journalist on a 24/7 news desk, I’ve got an unending stream of ideas every hour! I usually try and present a counter narrative to whatever is mainstream thought — or I just try to piss people off. Both are sort of the same thing.”
Future plans: “I try to toon whenever there is an issue I wish to raise awareness about. I toon for free and all the material is available for people to steal so no monetary plans involved.”
What, according to Adil, is the importance of sitting back and having a good laugh for Pakistanis these days: “I believe it’s extremely important to have a bit of humour in our lives, especially because of the situation that our country is going through currently. But then again, whichever country you’re from, we all need to sit back, relax and have a good laugh once in a while.”
Facebook page release date: April 2010
Facebook fans since then: 8,251
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Jaystoons
HS COMICS
Creator: Hassan Sohail Siddiqui
Based in: Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Profession: Student
Majorly Inspired by: “My ideas and inspiration are mostly derived from the things I read and watch. I also get a lot of inspiration from Hollywood movies and current events. My friends also constantly provide me with interesting ideas for new comics.”
Future plans: “I would like to see the readership of HS comics increase. My aim is to reach at a level where I can look into publishing my comics. I’d love to further develop a character called “Pakistanman” who is a superhero. I would also like to make short cartoons in the future as there aren’t many Pakistani cartoons on TV yet.”
What, according to Hassan, is the importance of sitting back and having a good laugh for Pakistanis these days: “I think it’s very encouraging to see new Pakistani artists coming online and sharing their comics and pages with humorous material. It shows that Pakistan people, despite all their problems, still have a great sense of humor. It’s very important to have humor in your life and it’s great that people here nowadays can forget about their troubles for a while and just have a good laugh and enjoy the work by the artists from their own country.”
Facebook page release date: June 2011
Facebook fans since then: 5,142
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HScomics
THE SARRI-ALIST MOVEMENT
Artists: Various (Sarri-alist Movement Facebook page is an open forum for comic/meme artists to post their works)
Facebook mission: To provide and to promote the spread of 100%, annoyingly awesome yet makes-you-want-to-punch-the-guy level sarris in a safe and protected environment since, quite frankly, punches do sometimes end up getting thrown.
Facebook fans: 35,245
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sarri-alist-Movement/114371668638154