This Comic Book Aims To Introduce Pakistani Trans Community To A Wider Audience And We Love It

By Momina Mindeel | 22 Aug, 2017

The Supreme Court of Pakistan recognized transgender people as equal citizens of the country, back in 2009. But societal acceptance for the community has been slower. Slowly, but surely, steps are being taken by the government to help integrate the trans community within mainstream society.


Recently, Pakistan was in the news for issuing its first ever passport with “trans” being a gender identification

It was hailed as major step toward helping the trans community become more visible and be formally recognized.

Source: Qamar Naveed


And now this comic book aims to help bring Pakistan’s trans community’s lives to a wider audience

AZ Corp Entertainment is an organization that works on creating meaningful content regarding social issues and gender equality and they recently came out with a new comic book that will bring the issues of the transgender community to light.

Source: Anain Shaikh

“I started working here more than a year ago as an intern. Back then we only had Basila, the main character of the book, developed. In one of the subsequent meetings, we sort of came up with a very rough line up of around five more characters, three of them being transgender. Since the organisation stands for gender equality we really wanted to include transgender characters in our story. Our aim when planning out the transgender characters was to make them as normal and human as possible because that’s what we want the audience to take from this; to treat the transgender community as people,” told Anain Sheikh, the  co-creator/co-writer/illustrator of the book, while talking to MangoBaaz.


The comic book named ‘Basila and the Street Crew’ is about a young girl, Basila from Sindh whose life is riddled with some of the biggest issues plaguing our society

“So Basila and the street crew is about all the issues you face on the streets of Karachi. We’re trying to tackle all the difficulties big or small that we as citizens face in the city. Some of these issues are targeted through the characters; through Saad (one of the characters) we’re exploring the difficulties of the lives of housemaids as his mother is one. With Jalebi (the cat) we’ll sort of explore the condition of animals in the city especially strays. Each issue has two story arcs. One is the basic plot that changes in every issue and the other is the larger story arc exploring Basila’s life and her past. For issue one of the series, we’re tackling the problem of child kidnapping that’s been happening in the city,” continues Anain while explaining the impetus behind creating the characters.

Source: AZ Corp Entertainment


The Art Book has already been launched, while the first issue is scheduled to be released by the end of this year 

“The team mainly consists of three people. Imran Azher, Noman Ansari and myself. Imran came up with the concept, Noman is the lead writer he has mainly written the script. I have created all the characters and am the illustrator.” tells Anain.

Source: AZ Corp Entertainment


Anain and her team got help in understanding the trans experience from transgender model and activist, Kami Sid

Source: Anain Shaikh

“Like many comic books, Basila and the Street Crew begins in tragedy. After a vicious attack, our hero is left a vulnerable orphan in a dangerous world. Here, coming to her aid is the transgender community, who raise her with the love and training she needs to survive”, said Noman Ansari, the lead writer of the series.

According to the team, “the aspect at large that Basila and the Street Crew aims to highlight though, is active citizenship and civic participation. Through this series, the idea that any citizen regardless of his/her social status, ethnicity, gender, race, or religion, can volunteer to make a difference. Targeted at teens and young adults, the comic book aims to invoke a sense of responsibility within its readers, so the future of this country can collectively work towards its betterment, with the resources they have.”

What do you think of the upcoming comic book and its story line? Let us know in the comments.


Cover Image Via: AZ Corp Entertainment 

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