To create entertaining but meaningful stories with larger-than-life local heroes, Azcorp Entertainment has published comic books for Pakistani children.
Pioneers in comic book development in Pakistan, AzCorp Entertainment caters to children above the age of six.
They first launched Team Muhafiz in 2015, a comic series targeting teenagers that featured short and entertaining stories revolving around a group of teenage Pakistani superheroes fighting real-life issues of human trafficking, terrorism and child marriages.
“We created it with the objective that our local audience, youth and school-going kids should consume such stories to realize the heroes within them,” said programme director Madiha Rehman on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Wednesday.
She added that the team got the idea of comic books when they realized that the literature available in Pakistan for the past many years was all international and there basically were no local stories for kids to read and relate to.
“Our stories revolve around story lines that can help curb social evils,” said Rehman. “For sensitive issues like drug mafias, drug wars, child labour and child marriages, we integrated laws and articles from the Constitution into the stories.” She said that by reading these stories, it will help children become aware of their rights and how to avail them.
“Every book is for a different age group, and the story line is molded accordingly,” explained Rehman. “For grades six plus, we have incorporated maths and science components in the stories.”
She explained that the stories are being created on the basis of human-centric design methodology. This means that when you’re designing a story, your target audience is part of the design from the very beginning of the process.
“After developing a story we conduct audience research again to check the response,” said Rehman. “We don’t scale up our stories if we don’t complete the procedure of assessment and impact of that project.”
Since we are a very young organization, in order to increase our reach we are collaborating with different organizations, including semi-government and private organizations, she said. “Today more than 900 schools are using our books across Pakistan.”
Some of their memorable comics include The Private Detectives, Team Muhafiz, The Protectors, Lyari Guardians, Orangi Vanguard and Mein Hero. The comics are available in both Urdu and English.