What got you interested in the Arab world?
I had this desire to understand Islam better and then focus on the beauty of Arabic and Islamic cultures. And one of the first things to emerge was Arabic calligraphy, which was instantly inspiring. I’m really interested in making a mark on a paper and letting that be cursive shorthand for an idea—that’s the origin of cartooning.
Does the book take place in the present?
It’s set in some other now. I knew I wanted the old world clashing with the new, but there were things I wanted to not draw. I didn’t want guns, I didn’t want it to be about warfare; it’s hard to talk about the real now without that. I wanted a sprawling fairy tale that took place in an imaginary Orientalist landscape but absorbed a lot of contemporary things. [Ολόκληρη η συνέντευξη εδώ]
Και εδώ στιγμιότυπα από τη δημιουργία του βιβλίου, όπως τα κατέγραψε ο Τόμσον στο μπλογκ του.