The illustrator based in the USA UU Sara Alfageeh was not impressed with Marvel Comic's description of a fictional woman Niqabi, one of the few Muslim characters in the comic world.
"From a design perspective, it looked terribly boring!
"It felt like a lot of recycled tropes used to represent Muslim women, which was exhausting as a reader and a fanatic," the Jordanian-American told SBS News.
But Mrs. Alfageeh says it was the "overly sexualized" wardrobe of X-Men character Dust the turning point.
"[It’s] a problem that is not new to comics at all and that's what he did for me: it was comical. Dust is a minor character, but that does not excuse the lack of inspiration and effort, especially as one of the few visibly Muslim women in the universe of wonders, "he said.
As a comic book fan, I expected something better.
She launched the idea of giving it a makeover, she even joked on Twitter that she would redesign it.
And when he could not shake off the frustration, he decided to move on.
"Just because I remembered that I could, if you want something to be done well, do it yourself," he said.
"I could not stop thinking about what I wanted to see differently, so I had to sketch it out, sometimes you have certain ideas that you have to visualize, they do not wait for you."
And then, Dust 2.0 was born and with it, a wave of support arrived.
"I knew I would get a good response, but I felt overwhelmed by the huge amount of support from each corner, I had the Marvel professionals sharing the work, I had both the hardcore X Men fans and the more casual fans that were there. They were enthusiastic about art. "
But the most rewarding thing, says Mrs. Alfageeh, was how it resonated with other Muslim women.
"I had Muslim women who did not know anything about the comics that they thanked me for describing a fictional character niqabi woman.
Many approached her and made comments such as "I want to dress like her" or "I want to be as pretty as her".
"Honestly, it was one of the most valuable comments I got."
& # 39; The right to feel seen & # 39;
For Mrs. Alfageeh, it is crucial that those who design diverse characters such as Dust understand what they are representing.
"This is a fundamentally recurring theme in entertainment, not just in comics." Several creators are needed behind the scenes who know their stories and experiences better to bring them to life We need diverse teams of decision makers, directors, writers, artists and editors. "
That was certainly the mantra that followed in his creation of Dust.
"A lot of my inspiration came from looking for modest Pinterest Instagram tags and I wanted to see how Muslim women chose to show up, and especially street fashion has an incredible sense of agency, I wanted to channel that attitude."
"Cape comics are fantasies of power and everyone has the right to feel seen."
Ms. Alfageeh says that the comments only reaffirmed the idea that audiences respond well to the sincerity and informed investigation of the characters.
"[That] Honestly, it's the only thing I did differently. People can tell when you care about the work you are doing. "