While guest appearances in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and SAVAGE DRAGON, among many other comics, helped President Obama become as sure-fire a sales enhancement as a variant cover by Jim Lee, an actual comic book publisher has done them all one better by getting a real life shout-out from el presidente: Dr. Naif al-Mutawa, founder of Teshkeel Comics, was praised in a speech at Monday’s Summit on Entrepreneurship conference:
“I have to say, perhaps the most innovative response was from Dr. Naif al-Mutawa of Kuwait, who joins us here tonight. … His comic books have captured the imagination of so many young people with superheroes who embody the teachings and tolerance of Islam. After my speech in Cairo, he had a similar idea. So in his comic books, Superman and Batman reached out to their Muslim counterparts. And I hear they’re making progress, too.”
According to CNN, Mutawa was “treated like a rock star” with people lining up for his comic book like business cards.
THE 99, an Islamic-themed superhero group is Teshkeel’s best known project, published in several countries in the Middle East and planned for a cartoon and theme park spin-offs.
While this was the closest encounter comics have recently had at the White House, NPR reporter Ari Shapiro was simultaneously trying to stir up comment by passing along a copy of Devil’s Dues’ BARACK THE BARBARIAN to White House spokesman Bill Burton who responded:
“I liked it because it had few words and lots of pictures, which made it easy to understand.”