Today is JUKEBOX‘s book birthday!
Please join me to celebrate the virtual launch tonight at 7pm PST with Hicklebees bookstore. I will read from the book, share a drawing demo and answer questions!
I’ve waited years for today. I pitched the story in 2016, signed the contract in 2017 and submitted final art in 2020. I set out to create a story featuring two desi girls who go on a time traveling adventure. Years ago, I promised to my very good friend and artist, Faheema Chaudhury, that I would make a book with a Bangladeshi Muslim main character because it’s so underrepresented. That promise helped me find Shaheen (Shahi) and Tannaz (Naz). I spent years living with the characters in my head and then drawing them on the page. There were countless hours spent researching albums, history, watching documentaries and historical footage. I made a conscious decision to feature Black musicians because they’re the foundation of American music. My hands hurt as I inked the pages and I learned to ice them at the end of the day. JUKEBOX brought me to new places in panelling, pacing and color. I loved the process. As I finished the book, I thought about this lyric from the song What Light by Wilco “Just remember what was yours, is everyone’s from now on.”
As JUKEBOX enters the world, I know it’s no longer mine. It belongs to everyone.
Thank you for reading, sharing and supporting, always.