EILEEN KAUR ALDEN ON SUPER SIKH, THE TALIBAN-FIGHTING, GIRLS-SCHOOL-DEFENDING, ELVIS-LOVING SUPER SPY FROM THE PUNJAB NOW STARRING IN HIS OWN COMIC BOOK (MF GALAXY 132)
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Super Sikh! That's right. He's a Sikh. And he's a secret agent. He's a Punjabi 007 who fights for girls' education and loves the music of Elvis Presley, while holding down a fake I.T. job to convince his parents that he's not risking his life for truth, justice, and the five Ks of the Sikh religion.
Super Sikh is the co-creation of Supreet Singh Manchanda, artist Amit Tayal, and writer Eileen Kaur Alden. While Alden was working on a career in screenwriting, her friend Manchanda approached her about creating a family-friendly Sikh action hero for comic books. They went to Kickstarter looking for $5000 to create their first issue. They got more than $22,000 in pledges, and in 2015 began publishing. Now they're up to issue number four and their fans love the comic enough that several issues have gone into reprints.
The comic has done more than thrill readers with great stories and inspire Sikh kids. Background research for the comic and its title character led its writer, Eileen Kaur Alden, to change her life in one of the most profound ways possible.
On June 17, 2017, I spoke with Alden by Skype. You'll be able to hear her dog yipping in the background of her Oakland home. We discussed:
- Her work in various creative fields including filmmaking before she began making comics
- Why Super Sikh loves Elvis but isn't an Elvis impersonator
- The potential to turn Super Sikh into a movie
- The degree to which the Super Sikh comic will be historical or political
- How real-life atrocities in Pakistan mirrored events she'd just written in the comic
- How readers, especially Sikh readers, have reacted to the comic, and what she hopes they'll do now that Super Sikh is in print.
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