By Zeeshan Shah, founder of Metal Seinen
Storytelling and Imagination
Storytelling is an activity which has captured the imagination of humans throughout the centuries. From the cave paintings made approximately 34,000 years ago, to the modern day comic, storytelling has been a form of communication, a method of sharing culture and knowledge. 'The comic' method was chosen by the team behind Zindan as a way to tell a story set during the Mughal rule of the subcontinent.
Khurram Mehtabdin, co-creator and writer of Zindan, was invited to talk about this experience by Metal Seinen, a Pakistan based non-profit which works on cultural exposure and mentorship programs. The session was organized with help from the local US consulate’s cultural center at the Nest I/O in Karachi, which is a startup incubator.
Let's tell our story
The session discussed Zindan, the process of creating a comic, and why it is important to have a South Asian comic in the United States. Khurram discussed various topics with the attendees and guided individuals who were looking to tell their own stories through comics. He spoke about the process of writing the story, the development of the characters, and the logistics of getting a comic book penciled, inked, colored, lettered, edited and printed.
One of these attendees was Imran. He was greatly inspired by the dedication of the Zindan team and their devotion to tell their story. Since Metal Seinen offers a mentorship program, Imran and Khurram got together to create a one page comic strip, sharing a short story. This short story will be part of the content that the Zindan team will be placing in Issue #2 which will be released in October 2016 at New York Comic Con.
Metal Seinen plans to connect more mentors with individuals in Pakistan in the future. It is also working on creating digital visual novels which tell local stories from the subcontinent with the aim that it will help people understand culture better globally.
More information about Khurram Mehtabdin's talk in Pakistan can be found here.
Metal Seinen is a start-up based out of Karachi, Pakistan which was created by Zeeshan Shah in May 2006. The firm provides a social network for people who share an interest in learning about and experiencing international cultures such as Japan. It provides free and premium artistic collaboration opportunities for its members. These ventures currently include digital art, literary and music. It organizes events and activities for its members as well as participating in larger cultural events. The social network is maintained through its online presence and its offline events.