Ilya and Aisha

Graphic Novel

Ilya and Aisha (Arabic: يليا وعائشة, ‘iilia waeayisha) is an contemporary rendition of the star-crossed lovers archetypical drama in the graphic novel format. While most people are familiar with the example of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, many are not aware that it has its origin in the account of Pyramus and Thisbe in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

People are living in an age where visual literacy is becoming increasingly important; visuals surround us and whether we want it or not, are forced to interact with them. This takes form in charts, graphs, illustrations and colors. They’re selected solely to create interest. The shifting balance between visuals and words calls for a change in how literacy is defined.

With the rise of e-readers, the popularity of printed books are suffering a gradual decline as the former have advantages over printed books. E-readers allow its owners to download ebooks almost instantaneously and start reading them without having to physically go elsewhere to buy a book nor wait for one to come in the mail. In addition, you can store dozens, if not hundreds to thousands of books in one storage device. Regardless of one’s feelings on print vs digital, digital hasn’t been around for long but it’s likely to stay and grow.

Having addressed both the significance of visual literacy and the rise of digital publications in the contemporary world, Ilya and Aisha is intended to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z-ers as both demographics are accustomed to reading visual-heavy texts and give them the same respect and potential for critical analysis as one would give a traditional word-only piece of literature. These two demographics, having been born knee deep into the Digital Revolution, are accustomed to reading books whether for school or pleasure from their device ranging from a cell phone to a tablet or laptop. My primary influences are Erving Goffman and Michel Foucalt.