Intermediate VI

And this is the end of Chapter 2 (or rather this is the end of the Istanbul half of the story).

I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and thanks for reading! It’s been a pleasure spending time with these characters (I love them like my own children), and doing the research for the artistic/historical aspects of 17th century Istanbul. I apologise if I’ve made any blunders throughout the writing, and I won’t hesitate to admit that I may have missed a few things here and there. But in the end, both in the act of storytelling and living to our greater principles, we’re all just flawed people trying our best.
What I do hope for, though, is a representation that is closer to the complex, living, amazing, and sometimes mundane reality of a people who happen to belong to a certain faith. Basically, something more reflective of my life as a citizen of a Muslim-majority country – where the adhan is my alarm clock, where nearly everything I eat is halal, and where our diversity is celebrated as a national pride on a grassroots level. This is the truth that I wish to convey and hope is made evident.
The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya is intentionally focused on compassion, love and gentleness – all things that are part of the core message of the Quran, if one actually reads it, and in context. I did this because elsewhere we’ve more than enough misinformed, ignorant narratives of Islam devoid of context and first-person sources, and if we’re going to counter this narrative, we need to give ourselves knowledge and understanding. Plus I personally felt there isn’t enough mention of this side of Islam (or any other religion) in webcomics – the side that can provide comfort and solace in the heart of its believers, and show them that there can be hope even in the face of personal/external tragedy, because of their belief that God will always take care of them.
I apologise for not having the space or the time to explore the other aspects I’ve left out. But that’s alright anyway, since those aspects are not essential or in service to the narrative, and – this is obvious – it is impossible for one story and one person to do this (also: don’t expect minorities to somehow depict EVERY SINGLE EXPERIENCE of a minority race/religion/etc that somehow also miraculously satisfies everyone, including you). Besides, there are already stories by Muslims out there that tackle a variety of experiences and aspects of their diverse community in ways that may even surprise you, and I highly recommend that you actively seek and support such material.

Below, I’m providing a list of journals, books, courses, materials, as well as names of the Turkish art forms that I’ve featured in this comic. As well as 1-0-1 introductions to the study of religion, which is important in providing vital analytical tools for understanding any religion in the context of history, culture, geography etc, especially if you’ve coming from a non-emic perspective. I’ll also slip in primers about the basics of Islam and its history.

I also want to feature comics, books, and movies made by Muslims, and featuring Muslims (not exhaustive, just what I can remember atm)!

Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 are planned for this year and will return shortly. This final half will deal with the plot threads I’ve left untied, the philosophical/moral/personal consequences of Zeynel’s actions, and of course, Mora Strigoi.

13 thoughts on “Intermediate VI

  1. I felt what you defend in this story, and this is part of why I loved it. I do agree, as a religious but non-catholic person, on what you say about religion in webcomics. Sometimes I got the feeling that everyone think that religion means christianism to everyone, and that they only see it as a stupid, obsolete and biased way of thinking. But being a believer is more than that, and I must say that reading this part of the comic felt really heartwarming. (But this is also because your drawings and story are heartwarming by themselves). Anyway, sorry for the approximative English, and let me finish with a little unicode heart 😀 ♥

    1. Yeah, I’m spiritual but not religious, and I don’t belong to any religious group, but having grown up in a multifaith environment and seeing how spirituality is essential and so woven into the daily fabric of ordinary people’s lives, I generally don’t agree with the modern take on religion as useless and stupid. Yes, it can be obstructive, backwards, lazy and violent, but the same can be said of anything else – socioeconomic theory, history, political ideology, individual opinions on things – and religion can also be healing, uniting and empowering. It’s so dynamic and complex; if only people read up on it more instead of speaking from misconceptions! But thank you Eno!! < 333333

  2. I really loved these two chapters – your art is beautiful, and your story telling and writing is masterful, and very enjoyable to read 🙂 I am definitely planning on reading the rest of TWIDI soon, and being totally captivated once again – it’s not very often I read 300 pages of a webcomic in one sitting! You also gave me a lot of insight into a culture I don’t know much about, the amount of research you have done is very impressive, and I will be sure to look into the links you’ve provided too.
    Thank you so much for making this!!

  3. This entire story was amazing, both in content and looks!!! I’ve never seen anything quite like it and I am utterly in love. I think I am going to reread the whole thing soon and DEFINITELY gonna support the kickstarter!!! I would love to be able to hold your beautiful artwork with my own hands and read this story a lot more often!!!! Thank you for making this!!!

  4. Gosh I just read this in one sitting and…it was an emotional rollercoaster ride, I don’t think I’ve cried this much at a webcomic before. You did an amazing job with the characters and the art and I will def support the kickstarter! I’ve already followed you on twitter for quite a while but it took me forever to read your comic and I’m so glad I did!! Keep up the awesome work! ; v ;

  5. I came across this after someone reblogged some of your work on Tumblr. The art alone is gorgeous, and I was thrilled to find such a well done tale to go with it. I will keep an eye out for the kickstarter, as I would love to have this in print!

  6. I started reading this yesterday and I was sucked into your story that I had to finish it today. I absolutely love your use of colours and the way you paced and laid out your story. I never knew much about Muslim faith, but reading your story really makes me want to learn on what their faith consists of. Thank you for making me interested in a faith I never considered learning more about before and I look forward to reading your next volume! Keep up the wonderful work.

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