American University of Beirut

Workshops And Lectures

The Initiative organizes several workshops on comics addressing students and professionals from all over Lebanon:

Mehdi Annassi (Morocco, 1988) is a self-taught digital artist from Casablanca. He has been working in the professional area of computer games, animation and comic books for nine years and was named ‘Creative of the year’ at the Maroc Web Awards.He founded the Brain Oil Factory collective, and contributes to many exhibitions, jams and workshops. In 2013, he co-founded Skefkef, a comic fanzine in dialectal Arabic. The year 2016 marked the beginning of his career in street art, through his participation in several street art festivals such as Street Art Caravane, Jidar and Sbagha Bagha. His accomplished frescos have won him the admiration of festival organizers and he has since gone on to working on ever-bigger surfaces and collaborating with international artists.

Presentation of Skekfef by Salah Malouli​​
Salah Malouli (Casablanca, 1978), is a cultural producer, translator and independent researcher specialized in developing projects that explore the connections between art, digital culture and cultural activism. He is currently the director of two public-space art festivals in Morocco: the Sbagha Bagha Casablanca Street Art Festival, since 2013, and the Jidar Rabat Street Art Festival, since 2015. He is also a founding member of Skefkef and the comic fanzine Golojamzine. In 2015, he curated the project Rosoum. Strategies for an Independent Arab Comic, inside the framework of the programme Barcelona Producció, La Capella.

Mathieu Sapin is a specialist in BD reportage (Comics journalism), famously having followed Hollande, and Gerard depardieu, among other works. The clarity of his drawings and the humor and comedy of his comics appeal to young and old audiences alike. He is the Creator of the Supermurgeman, a parody French hero in red underpants. Mathieu Sapin was born in 1974 in Dijon,  and After training at the prestigious School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg in illustration, he joined Je Bouquine editions to work on eight monthly magazines intended for young people.  Early on in his career he joined the CNBDI (national center for comics) in Angoulême, where he took care of workshops for children until 1998. 
He was then hired by the Bayard, Nathan and Bréal editions (publishers) to use his talents as an illustrator in L'Archéologie, c'est zero! And Hands off, pirate !. With more than one pencil in his bag, he worked for the adult magazine Psikopat, then created the character of Supermurgeman, a parody French hero in red underpants and decked out with a mug of beer "that Holland and the Americans envy us" . This series acquires great success which allows its author to launch 3 volumes  in 2006. In 2012, after following candidate-future president Hollande for six months, he published Presidential Campaign - 200 days in the footsteps of candidate François Hollande ... In 2015, he published Le château. A year behind the scenes at the Elysée Palace, an exceptional report, produced from the inside, on the functioning of the Elysee Palace and the eventful life of its famous occupant. In 2018, Supermurgeman made his comeback in a new adventure called "Operation Sheila" (Dargaud). Mathieu Sapin wears many hats and is also the director of a feature film comedy on the political scene, "Le Poulain" (2018). 

Helene Becqulin is a graphic designer, illustrator and cartoonist, who lives and works in Lausanne. She joined the graphic design section at the beaux -arts, at the ecole d'art de Lausanne, and in the next decade worked in various advertising agencies and had two children.  In 2006, she created the blog angry mother in which she depicted the daily life of a mother of two and the blog was then the subject of two comics albums published by glénat, thereby officially returning to comics. In 2016 she completed an  autobiographical graphic​ novel of her childhood memories, "adieu les enfants". Hélène becquelin participates in collective works, such as webtripe (2013), héro (ïne) s (which consists in creating a female version of famous characters from comics. And she collaborated with femina, with her comics about a high school girl named lina. 
One of her most recent works is 1979 set in an atmosphere of the end of the seventies, it tells about her lonely adolescence. The character’s discovery of punk rock and other cultural and geographical horizons which "incidentally" save the character’s life! Helene  also started exhibiting drawings and fabric art pieces in carded wool in galleries.Her works draws on her life, based on personal experiences and at times autobiographical. Bequlin shifts easily from bright colored clear lined cartoon drawings, to atmospheric textured and dark, monochromatic comics- while keeping a distinct and authentic voice. 

The Drawn Line in Comics by Eszter Szép​ | October 2021
Eszter Szép is a researcher, educator, and curator from Budapest, Hungary. She is the author of Comics and the Body: Drawing, Reading, and Vulnerability (Ohio State University Press, 2020). She is co-host of a podcast on comics (in Hungarian) and she is the director of the International Comics Festival Budapest. This term she is teaching comics at the Moholy-Nagy University of the Arts in Budapest. More info at

Oral History of Ras Beirut Fishermen | October 2019
In collaboration with the Neigborhood Initaitive at AUB, the Arab Comics Initiative is working on publishing a graphic novel (comics) book on the Oral history of the Ras Beirut Fishermen. The 3-day workshop gave the participants a chance to talk to and interview the fishermen as well as record their stories, sketch, draw and take pictures of them
Partcipants: Seif Neshi, Walid Taher, George Khoury JAD, Rawand Issa, Twins Cartoon and Tracy Chahwan​​​

Cairo Comix: Lina Ghaibeh & Fouad Mezher/in Cairo | November 2018
AUB students field trip ​and workshop to Cairo Comix Festival in Egypt with the class of "Story telling in Comics" under Graphic Design program, Architeture and Design Department.

Farid Nagy: Comics and the City | October 2018
Farid Nagy is an Egyptian comic artist and graduate of Fine Arts. Initially he made his bread as a caricaturist for newspapers and magazines but has since gone on to create comics for more specialist publications, aimed at both children (Samir and Nour) and adults (Garage). Farid Nagy particularly enjoys the emotive potential of the comic strip form. He has participated in several international comics events. His experimental aquarelle comic Adam was shown at the 2016 Fumetto Comix Festival in Luzern, Switzerland and in 2017 his War 1 2 3 was exhibited as part of the World War III exhibition in Malmö, Sweden. His comics are inspired by curiosity for the city, the people, the street, and draw on his own experience of modern life. His comics address political and social issues while expressing his intimate questioning and his experience of life.​​

Twins Cartoon: Comix 4 A Cause | January 2018
A one-week workshop on activism in comics, led by Twins Cartoon Mohamed and Haitham ElSeht co-founders of CairoComix festival, and Garage Magazine, from Cairo Egypt, offered to professionals and students. The workshop culminated in an exhibition and a fanzine publication.

University of Washington, Michael Dean: Comics Collab | October 2016
A one month long collaborative workshop between Beirut and Seattle, in collaboration with Professor Michael Dean, University of Washington, and founder of The Comics Journal, and Lina Ghaibeh, AUB, assisted by Comics artist Fouad Mezher.The workshop explored the potential for comics, graphic novels and cartooning to bridge language barriers and spark cultural communication across global borders. Participating students (UW students in Seattle and students in Beirut from LAU, ALBA, AUST, and AUB) learned about the development of comics as an art form in different countries, and as a tool for reporting about and better understanding important global topics.

Lina Ghaibeh: Youth Poetry & Sexuality​ ​/Samandal | September 2016
One-week workshop led by Lina Ghaibeh, Comics artist and Associate professor of design at AUB. The workshop and the comics produced explored youth and sexuality as it fringes with poetry and issues of censorship. The final Work was exhibited at Gallery Tanit, published as Fanzines and some in Samandal’s 15th issue.

Max Anderson: Alternative comics | ​October 2015
Max Anderson, Swiss artist residing in Berlin.

Barrack Rima: Editorial Comics | March 2015
Barrak Rima, Lebanese comics artist residing in Belgium and an editorial board member of Samandal.


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