interview Creator spotlight — Anas Abdulhak
This month's creator spotlight is on Anas Abdulhak, the creator of Eleutheromania.
I recently read a comic that was surreal yet grounded in something really fundamental to human nature — freedom. It was an Indie comic by Anas Abdulhak called Eleutheromania. That’s when I decided to interview him for this month’s spotlight.
Q: A Brief background about yourself and how you got into comics?
I’m originally from Damascus, Syria. And growing up I didn’t really have access to comic books around me. But I fell in love with superheroes watching the X-Men animated series from the late 90s. That show ignited my love for the medium and pushed me to want to read comic books and learn more about the cast!
Q: What are your favourite comic book characters, Indie and/or mainstream?
Moon Knight has always been a favourite of mine. The run that Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood did on that character is probably one of the best comic books I’ve ever read from the big two. I’m also an avid indie comics fan. Anything from Saga, Descender, Sex Criminals, Scott Pilgrim, Hilda. I just love comics, what can I say!
About your Creative Inspirations
Q: What kind of characters excite you in comics?
I always look for unique characters that represent something I haven’t seen in the medium before. Representation truly does matter. Growing up, I didn’t see many characters like myself in comics, so introducing characters like Ms. Marvel in 2014 was truly a turning point for me.
Q: What kind of stories should your audience expect from you?
My favourite thing to write about is deeply intricate character studies. I like to explore trauma and pain as evident by my work on Eleutheromania. I think no matter what I write, there will always be something there about the human condition and the struggles that come with it.
Q: What’s the last comic book you read?
I’ve been catching up on Die by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans. Brilliant book! Would highly recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy and TTRPGs
About your recent project
Q: Can you describe your project “Eleutheromania” without spoilers of course?
Eleutheromania is a story about freedom. And all the fear that comes with it. Leaving a bad place behind and moving forward can be very daunting because no matter how toxic that place is. It’s still familiar. So I really wanted to do something that would describe that pain of breaking free from the figurative chains that hold us back and adapting to a whole new environment.
Q: How did you develop the concept behind “Eleutheromania”?
The concept was initially inspired by my journey leaving my home country of Syria. And trying to adapt to a whole new world. And how despite the fact that I was leaving a war riddled home behind that I was yearning to be free from. I still found it very difficult to settle in a new country because it was so different from all I had ever known.
Q: How was your experience collaborating with the rest of the team “Eleutheromania”?
Well, I guess no first project comes out perfect. We faced some hurdles along the way but I’d say at the end of the day. I’m beyond glad the book turned out the way that it did. Working with incredible minds like Anton Mozhegov and Mattia Monaco really helped ease the process and their work is just beautiful and speaks for itself. I’m beyond grateful that they lent their talent to my voice to bring this story to life.
Q: What’s your next project, any ideas you’re working with?
My next project is a one-shot called Etheres. Currently in development and is being illustrated and coloured by the magnificent Dennis Menheere and edited by Michele Abounader. Etheres tells the story of a recently deceased woman who finds herself in a realm called Etheres. A place where souls go when they don’t belong anywhere else. And this time we’re mixing poetry and prose together to tell the story of Etheres and I’m hoping to have it out sometime this year!
Q: Where can people buy your books?
Eleutheromania is free to read on my website anasabdulhak.com BUT if anybody would like to support it further then that. Limited edition physical copies can be purchased on CWSbookstore.com!
Q: Any words for fellow creators?
Keep creating. That’s really the most important thing. Just keep making comics and keep following your passions because nobody will tell the stories that you’re passionate about except for you. And try to form a sense of community with other creators. Cultivating that small community is one of the most enjoyable parts of making comics.