A real treat from the first day at this year’s Saudi Comic Con in Jeddah was a copy of the second volume of “Memory Card” volume 2, a zine produced by Khadija, who goes by the social-media name @dejayzjunk. For the uninitiated a zine, short for magazine or fanzine, is a self-published collection of original art and/or text by one or more writers or artists.
Drawn to pages on display, which featured several cartoonish illustrations of Michael Jackson in his leather Thriller outfit and dancing to Billy Jean, I couldn’t resist buying a copy for a closer look at the artist’s work.
I fell in love with her comical tales and fan art based on the US animated TV show Steven Universe, video games and horror-movie references, as well as the comedic portrayal of an Arab family and the stereotypes attached to elders, brothers and mothers.
Artistically, Khadija experiments with a variety of techniques. Some of her work is hand drawn and some is created digitally.
She also dabbles in water colors, challenging herself to try different styles for inktober, an annual art challenge designed to help artists improve their skills by producing a work every day during October.
While the text in her work is mostly in Arabic, there are usually subtitle-style translations to convey her stories and the Arabic humor to English speakers, and make her work accessible to as wide an audience as possible.