We talk to Shanwar Badr and some dude known as Some Dude about their morbidly hilarious comic strip which has been flooding our newsfeed...
Comic culture is on the rise in Egypt and we're seeing the release of many new locally produced printed and digital comic book and strips, some of which instantly grab our attention. Once such Tumblr blog certainly piqued our interest; the witty sharp writing and cool minimalist illustrations of Coffee & Cigarettes Comics (C&C) was hard to go unnoticed. C&C is written both by Shanwar Badr and some dude who goes by the name Some Dude, as Badr takes care of the illustrations. If you're into a little sadism coupled with some black comedy you will enjoy these guys' super wit. We sat down with the superbly talented dudes to discuss their work.
We've really enjoyed your comic but how far can a comic of this sort get in Egypt? Do you believe there’s a big enough market?
Shanwar Badr: Thank you for noticing us this promptly, we literally just started posting up our comic strips so in a way we're still testing the waters so to speak. Stay tuned for updates...
Some Dude: I reckon it can get about as far as I can throw you, and let me tell you, you look like you're on the heavy side of chubby town. But we do it for the shits and giggles. Also, it's not a local comic.
How and why did you guys come up with the idea and what’s the concept or philosophy behind C&C?
Shanwar Badr: C&C Comics is a counterculture comic with a jolly but sneering attitude. We believe that comics should be completely hand-drawn and making fun of liberals is always funnier and we want to involve our readers to participate by sharing their stories or rants with us.
Some Dude: We thought we'd make fun of Egypt and Egyptians, but then somehow ended up making fun of cripples and fat people. It was very natural, almost a calling.
What do you guys do when you’re not writing C&C?
Shanwar Badr: Brooding over life decisions, barbequing, listening to underground music.
Just Some Dude: Engaging in anthropological affairs. Expressing genetic information and activating various other physiological processes. Interacting lightly in socio-economic models of mutually beneficial labour. The usual.
Do you have other comics that you look up to and can compete with locally?
Shanwar Badr: I was very impressed at how subversive the local magazine TokTok is when I started reading it and I still enjoy it till this day. However we can't compete with them because we don't consider ourselves a comic with an exclusive focus on local material.
Some Dude: No, comics are stupid.
What’s the next move or strategy for you guys?
Shanwar Badr: To quote the title of my favorite Frank Zappa album; "We're Only In It For The Money."
Some Dude: It's a 3 phase plan: 1) make comics 2) ????? 3) profit,
What’s the one thing you would change about Egypt or Egyptians to make C&C better?
Shanwar Badr: Join in on the freak scene, ditch the superhero and praise the anti-hero.
Some Dude: The only thing I would change about Egypt are Egyptians and the only thing I would change about Egyptians is Egypt. C&C can't get any better, it can only get worse. Stay tuned.
Do you have any advice for young people starting up their own comic?
Shanwar Badr: Have a sketch with you at all times, document random events, conversations and ideas; eventually you'll find a way to incorporate that into a comic strip. Learn to talk to strangers be it the homeless guy living under your building or the outcast no one ever talks to on the subway. Some of the best material will come to you where you least expected it.
Some Dude: It's gonna be tough, but the excessive amount of respect and money that web comic artists get if definitely worth it.
Check out their Tumblr account here.