The magnetic draw of manga and anime stickers at SIBF 2022
Schoolchildren flock to the Artist Alley at the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair to take home an affordable souvenir.
Sharjah, November 03, 2022
“Excuse me, can you guide me to the stall selling manga stickers?” two teenaged schoolgirls asked a passerby as school children trooped in on the opening day of the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair, being held from November 2- 13 at Expo Centre Sharjah under the theme Spread the Word.
Among the most popular stalls at SIBF 2022 is the stall in the Artist Alley corner selling stickers, keychains, brooches and tote bags displaying cutesy Manga and Anime characters. While Manga refers to Japanese comics, Anime stand for Japanese animations, both of which are insanely popular with girls and boys in their early teens and span genres ranging from pure kid-friendly material to horror and violence. Illustrated and read in a distinctive style, manga characters have exaggerated physical features including large eyes, small face with pointed chin and voluminous hair with bangs.
On display are the Chainsaw Man from Manga, Jinx from Netflix series Arcane and characters from Saiki K, Komi-san, Mob psycho and Spy x Family animes. Keychains of Anya from Spy x Family, the quintessential anime heroine with big wide eyes and strawberry hair, are a big draw.
The fact that the exhibits are moderately priced – from AED 5 to 30, save for the bag selling at AED 65 – makes it easy on the purse for the visiting students.
The two Emirati artists selling the stickers are Khulood Nasser, a Business Studies student at Zayed University, and Nader Mohammed Al Darwish, a freelance illustrator whose works have figured in Arabic magazines. For Khulood, the part-time hobby – drawing the Japanese characters digitally and printing them out using special printers – has taken her to various events like SIBF. Her Instagram page snaiilart has been steadily gaining followers. Nader, who has an Instagram handle called sh3sh3studio, said she has done illustrations for Dubai Police.
For as little as AED 5, pick up a manga souvenir from the lady entrepreneurs and gift it to a Manga-Anime fan.