Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Beloved Ones


By Cathy Khampoor and Timothy Batiuk

It's kind of crazy when four hundred something reviews into this site I still discover things I've never seen before. In this case it's a zine that reads right to left, and instead of the Japanese influence you might expect from such a thing (I've read a lot or manga that reads that way) it's actually a collection of terrible puns based on some Arabic words.

Well, it starts off reasonably enough explaining what "habiibatii" and "habiibii" mean using illustrations. Though, oddly, they don't really explain the gendered versions very well. Which one does a gay man or woman call their beloved?

After that it becomes a series of jokes, some of which are pretty ridiculous. However the first time I was reading this I didn't catch on that these weren't real words until about the half way mark (around "habobbl'hedtii"). I mean, they have things written in Arabic right there! Clearly it was a completely true illustrated dictionary.

Most of the jokes are amusing (and there's a ghost!), though a few of them took me a while to sound out exactly what they were referencing. Though that was more a problem with my comprehension skills than anything else.

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