My name is Amirak and I'm a self-published comic book creator and artist currently based in Montreal, Canada.
I was born in Algeria and immigrated to Canada as a kid. I grew up watching all of Disney’s movies from the 90’s and reading The Adventures of Tintin. Very early on, I knew that my dream was to become a comic book artist. Although I adapted well in my new home country, I always felt like I was deracinated – the odd ball, the weirdo. I started making comics when I was 10. Drawing and creating characters became my refuge as a little girl struggling with bullying in school. I drew these characters because I connected with them – They were odd balls like me, just a little bit more badass I guess. Years later and here I am, still drawing comics but this time, I do it professionally. My dream come true!
So what’s WORDS AND SAND? This project started 2 years ago – As I watched the beautiful documentary ALGERIE VUE DU CIEL by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, I was struck by a vision: A road trip in the Saharan desert of Algeria. I knew, then, that I had to write and draw this comic. I came up with the plot for the 1st volume:
Cedric Levy is an audio technician with a mysterious hearing condition, travels all the way from New York to Algeria to find his missing grandfather, an Indiana Jones-like character. But the country is in the midst of a civil war and strange phenomenon start to occur as he and his friends Odile and Hocine, cross the dangerous desert.
Why Words and Sand?
The themes of my comic are family, self-acceptance, travel and courage. My characters are based on myself and people in my life, with many aspects inspired by my childhood memories in Algeria or my own life story, like my struggle with being myself and accepting who I am. The story of WORDS AND SAND is basically an allegory on the devastation of narcissistic abuse on a person. Writing this story helps me reconcile the pain of childhood trauma and the feeling of alienation that result from it.
It is more than just an adventure comic – all characters have good and bad in them, and they are all trying their best to make sense of the world they live in. I wanted to write this story because I felt compelled to, because I know many people lived something painful in the past and they want to make sense of it all. That’s the purpose of WORDS AND SAND.
The purpose of this website is not to motivate myself to continue this comic – I am already so emotionally involved in this story that I can self-sustain my motivation. Instead, writing and drawing the story of WORDS AND SAND has moved me to the core and I feel like NOT sharing this amazing journey with others would be a CRIME.
So here we are – I hope this gives a good idea or who I am and what this project is about. If you love the series, please consider subscribing to my mailing list. You will be notified every time there’s an update on the progress of the series as well as every time a new issue comes out.