The Little Self-Published San Diego Graphic Novel Making a Run for the Comic Book Throne
There’s something special about independent publishing, a passion that drives creators to share their stories with the world. And sometimes, despite facing rejection, a little perseverance can go a long way. That’s the case with Ameen Beydoun’s “Habibti Pada” series, a self-published graphic novel following a young African girl who immigrates to a new place.
The Frustration of Rejection
Initially, Beydoun pitched his story as a children’s television show but didn’t get much interest. He then turned to writing graphic novels, but the first book didn’t generate many sales. Despite this, he persisted and worked on the second book, which ended up being named a finalist in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year awards. The recognition positioned him alongside more established independent publishers, vindicating his efforts and passion.
Beydoun’s story shows that rejection can be overcome with determination and creativity. Just because an opportunity doesn’t work out initially doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road.
Creating a Story About Feeling Like an Outsider
“Habibti Pada” is personal for Beydoun. As the child of parents who immigrated from Lebanon, his own experiences align with his protagonist’s at times but also diverge. The story is a way of exploring what it feels like to be an outsider in a new place, with Pada struggling to navigate her new home, where a single magical event breaks the realism in each episode. Beydoun also incorporates Arabic language and mythology into the tale, making it a fun and educational experience for young readers.
What this shows is that there are stories that need to be told, experiences that need to be shared. There’s value in bringing lesser-known cultures and mythology to readers, especially children who are still forming their worldview.
Exploring the World Through San Diego
Beydoun currently resides in North Park and loves all that San Diego has to offer. He spends his time skateboarding and biking, and often visits Mexico, which is just 20 minutes away. Being surrounded by a diverse, vibrant community has helped shape his perspective and inspired his creative work.
This highlights the importance of being open to new experiences, cultures, and people. Life is full of inspiration, and sometimes it’s right in our own backyard.
- Self-publishing can be a challenging yet rewarding venture, as it allows creators to maintain full control of their work.
- The Foreword INDIES Book of the Year awards recognize the best indie books from across the publishing industry, with categories ranging from fiction to non-fiction to poetry to graphic novels.
- Diverse representation in literature and media is becoming increasingly important, as readers seek to see themselves and their experiences reflected in the stories they consume.
Rejection is a part of the creative process, but don’t let it stop you from pursuing your passions. Personal experiences can often make for compelling storytelling. Exploring the world around us can offer endless inspiration. And diversity and representation are crucial in shaping the stories of tomorrow.
Ameen Beydoun and “Habibti Pada” show the power of determination, personal experience, and cultural diversity in creative work. His passion for storytelling and love of San Diego are factors that have helped him find success as an independent publisher.