Hosted by Sandstorm Comics, the inaugural edition of Storm the Block is scheduled to take place from 8 to 10 December.
It was last year, at the tenth Middle East Film and Comic Con, that a brand-new regional comics studio was first teased: Sandstorm Comics. It went on to make its first American appearance at Comic-Con International in San Diego this summer, where it began recruiting talent for its first-ever event, Storm the Block.
Led by Mohammed Abedin, an Emirati industry leader and lifelong comic book creator, Sandstorm will contribute to Abu Dhabi’s growing reputation as a centre for creative content production, helping to build the region’s comics ecosystem by nurturing local talent and providing local and global career opportunities. The studio has kicked off these efforts with the announcement of Storm the Block, which is scheduled to take place at Yas Creative Hub in Abu Dhabi from 8 to 10 December.
“When we set out to create our own event, we knew it had to be something that represents not only the vibrance of the region today, but provides an early look into the convergence of culture and art as we see it tomorrow, through the lens of our aspirations for Sandstorm,” says Abedin. “We believe that Storm the Block will be something that is not only unlike anything people have seen before here in Abu Dhabi, but the world at large; a true cross-section of the greatest talent in comics, influencers of global culture, and art from anywhere and everywhere.”
Those who wish to submit a comic book project for consideration for development, in partnership with Sandstorm’s international pool of talent, can apply by visiting the Sandstorm Comics website. The inaugural Storm the Block will feature comics talent, animators, influencers and creatives from around the world.
Currently confirmed are appearances by multiple artists from Superani, the world-renowned artist studio and collective; Saroush Barazesh (Kings of Nowhere); Marvel and DC artist Bernard Chang; artist and director Chase Conley (The Boondocks, X-Men 97); Riccardo Federici; Sean “Cheeks” Galloway; Coran Kizer Stone (Kizerilla); Ron Marz Green Lantern); Belén Ortega (Batman, The Joker); Gabriel Picolo (Teen Titans: Beast Boy); and Whyt Manga (Apple Black).
US-based publishers attending include Cryptozoic, DSTLRY, Mad Cave, Massive Publishing, Top Cow, and Webtoon. Elsewhere, world-renowned Japanese retailer Kinokuniya will be offering a specially curated selection of books, stationery and more. Sandstorm will also be releasing preview issues of their first 13 comic books, created with local authors and renowned international artists. Further guest announcements and details will be made weekly going forward.