As you may recall. last month Egyptian cartoonist Magdy El Shafee was arrested during a protest at Abdel Moneim Riyad Square in Cairo. El Shafee was freed after four days, but his arrest is a reminder of the difficulties with free speech and other basic civil liberties going on in Egypt right now.

El Shafee is perhaps best known as the author of Cairo, one of the first, if not the first Egyptian graphic novels, but he’s also a contributor to World War 3 magazine in the US, and to highlight his experiences, they’ve reprinted his first contribution to the magazine. :

WW3 is also organizing an event with El Shafee on Saturday, May 11 at 2pm NYC time. WW3 co-editor Ethan Heitner

We are going to do a live skype chat with him in the School of Visual Arts auditorium to talk not only about his recent arrest, but to talk more generally about the Egyptian comics scene, cartooning during the revolution and after, and his work as a citizen and artist participating in his country’s political debates. I hope the event will provide a more mainstream and accessible place for people to be introduced to the Egyptian and Arabic-language comics scene, which I think is a fascinating and undercovered (and largely undiscovered) creative world.

More info on the event here. It’s open to the public and free to attend.


  1. Thanks for helping spread the word, Heidi! I’d like to publicly thank the BFA Department of Illustration and Cartooning at SVA for co-sponsoring this event and providing support to make it happen. I think it’s really great that they are getting behind it and have done great work making SVA a comics institution in New York City.

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