Qatari manga writer Jassim Al Mohannadi considers himself a manga reader before a writer. He has been writing his own manga/comic for a year and a half now, and so far has published 18 chapters, all available on WEBTOON—a website/app designed for comic creators—under the title Justice in the Wasteland.
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team got in touch with Jassim to get to know a little bit about him, his work, and what got him into writing mangas. Let's find out!
Jassim: To begin with, I consider myself as an entertainer who picked the genre of comics in order to convey a message of joy (not always) to the public. Besides that, I am a person who is interested in fitness and all the scientific facts and theories that support it.
Jassim: Comics. Manga is the term given by the Japanese when addressing their own comic books. And what distinguishes Japanese comics from their Western counterpart is that manga is mostly published in black & white.
A manga writer, however, is like any other writer in the field of literature — the only difference is that the manga writer tends to be more "over the top".
Jassim: Frankly, I never imagined myself stepping into the writing field — let alone writing comics. But there was this one story, The Fist of the North Star (Hokuto no Ken), that made me fall in love with the medium.
It's about this one man, Kenshiro, who lost the love of his life, yet it didn't stop him from wandering the wasteland to seek peace while punishing the wrongdoers. I loved everything about that story, from the writing style to the art. The Fist of the North Star was my gateway to the comic book industry.
Jassim: I've always considered comics as the "music video" for stories. It just makes things much easier for the reader to follow without putting any effort into "what a certain character or city looks like".
Jassim: Dedication. The readers expect you to release a chapter on a certain date, and if you can’t provide that, then you'd want to redouble the effort to achieve readers' satisfaction in future chapters. Of course, there are exceptions — we're not robots, are we? But the general idea is to deliver a certain number of pages to the public continuously. This, in my view, is the key to building and increasing a writer's fanbase.
Jassim: Although it is not very common among manga authors to not draw their own stories, there are tons of outstanding stories that have been published as a result of a collaboration between a writer and an artist.
Since I personally am not good at drawing, I tend to shift my focus more on developing my writing skills. Being unable to draw in this day and age, with technology and stuff, is not an obstacle at all.
Jassim: First thing that comes into my mind is movies. Being a fan of entertainment, I see movies as my number 1 entertainment source — mainly classic action movies where a single man can take out an entire army with his bare hands. This is one of several other factors that help me build a strong and independent character.
Jassim: If I were asked this question three months ago, I'd have probably said "I am not quite sure". But after living the experience myself, precisely at the 2021 Geekdom event, I can confirm that the number of manga readers in Qatar is beyond my wildest imagination.
Jassim: I appreciate the hard work done by the ILoveQatar.net team in contributing towards highlighting the existing talent in Qatar and trying to bring it out among the community. Thank you.
Cover image credit: Jassim Al Mohannadi
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