Divine was delighted to recently interview the creators of a new super-hero comic book series called Crestar and the Knight Stallion. Issue #2 released on August 23rd and has already sold out at most comic stores nationwide after the success of the first issue in July. Welcome to the creators, comedian Abdallah Jasim and filmmaker Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad.
‘In a Detroit teetering on the edge of destruction – Crestar – a battle worn vigilante discover a young man with superhuman abilities. Coming to be known as the Knight Stallion, this new hero fears only one thing – his Arab mother.’
Here at Divine, we love to hear a little bit about people up front and personal, so we’d love it if you could answer the questions below – take it in turns, or both answer each one individually, we’re not fussy – and give us a glimpse into the lives behind the creation.
Of course, the first one has to be asked:
If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
Abdallah Jasim – Great question! I’d most definitely want the power to wield fire and teleport. I think that would cover most bases for me. I could vanquish my enemies and get to my favorite pizza joint in a blink of an eye. Ajmal Zaheer
Ahmad – That’s one I haven’t given much thought to before. But I think the ability to fly and be invulnerable would be pretty awesome. I have a feeling, though, that that’s just an instinctual response to loving Chris Reeves Superman so much.
Do you have a cherished childhood teddy-bear or stuffed animal at home?
Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad – I have a Masters of the Universe He-Man which my oldest brother gave to me when I was five. He would kill any and all teddy bears.
Abdallah Jasim – No.
If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
Abdallah Jasim and Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad – We both agree if we could go back in time, we’d spend more time with our moms before they passed away.
What’s your favorite Milkshake flavor?
Abdallah Jasim – Mint Chocolate Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad – Vanilla made with Häagen-Dazs
If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature, what new animal would you create?
Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad – A “Tragon”. A tiger mom and a dragon dad. Go big or go home. Abdallah Jasim – A “Ligle” An eagle crossed with a lion. Why not?
Do you know the dance steps to an annoying, cheesy pop song?
Abdallah Jasim – Yes
Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad – I have one move. A pelvic thrust. It matches up with all songs and none at the same time. It’s my real superpower.
Now let’s get serious and tell the readers everything they need to know about this issue
This comic book is a mixture of rip-roaring action, bromance, humor and realism, and it certainly seems to appeal to the wider audience. How did this collaboration start between you all?
Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad – It’s a simple yet divine meeting of the minds and imaginations. Both myself and abdallah have a unique sense of humor that allows the other to see the genuine funny in each other’s ideas. Mine is very dry and low key. His is very pure, sincere and in your face. It was the perfect starting point for two heroes that are best friends.
Abdallah Jasim – Aj and I met and immediately thought we could make something great together. That’s what a lot of collaborators imagine and hope for, but in this case I feel we really did it. The scope, the inventiveness and the genuineness comes from our shared love for all the genres that are encapsulated in this one idea.
We’re loving the family dynamics in the series, because nearly everyone can relate to family, and Iman certainly seems to have Ali under her thumb. The family theme exists across a myriad of other superhero fictions and is something that fans love seeing in there. Is it fairly easy to bring your culture and heritage into a story, so it resonates with anyone outside of it?
Abdallah Jasim – Actually this is our favorite part of the idea and yes, my mom was the actual basis for the mom in the comic. I’ve been making content about our family now for many years, and it was a smooth but challenging transition to adapt those stories to comic format. Myself and Ajmal have similar family backgrounds, so we really both leaned into this part and have worked hard to make sure it’s authentic, touching and entertaining. We’re so excited you enjoyed it.
Darick Robertson, co-creator of THE BOYS, serves as creative producer on the project. How did you two manage to get such a renowned mentor on board for your project?
Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad – Easy. I bribed him with a black series 6 inch action figure of Boba Fett. (True story)
We’ve seen a recent interview where you both say you put a lot of yourselves into the characters. Ajmal, you love toys and tech and Abdallah, given your remark in the interview, ‘with decent/good storytelling comes great responsibility’ we assume you’re a Spiderman fan 😊 You’ve both made it clear you love the whole superhero franchise, so how do you see your specific project of love playing out in the bigger scheme of things as this market section continues to grow? Is there perhaps a TV series or film in the making?
Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad – Let’s put it this way. There may not be another property where the two creators made the live action as well as the comic version…and also acted and produced everything. We’re doing this out of love. Nothing else. Our hope is to build something great that lasts well after us.
Abdallah Jasim – hmmm…series or movie? That’s a great idea. 😉 Actually, sit tight, you might be hearing something soon.
As with the wonderful tradition of having a valued partner in heroism in the guise of a car, Firebreather certainly brings his own personality into being. Is he modelled on someone specific as well, or is he truly one of a kind?
Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad – The answer is simple. He’s the car/best friend every teenage boy wishes they have. Take one part Knight Rider, one part R2D2, one part Optimus Prime, and one part your best friend’s sarcastic younger brother…and you’ve got “the Firebreather”.
You can watch this trailer below, with Ajmal and Abdallah playing the Arab / South Asian / American heroes themselves.
Issue 3 is due out September 27th so be sure to make sure you’re up to date before then, to enjoy every minute this series has to offer.
Thanks so much to Ajmal and Abdallah for answering our questions and telling them more about themselves and the project. We wish you all the best going forward.
Crestar and the Knight Stallion is a project currently in development. Which streaming platform would you like to see it on? If you want to see a show with the first Arab/desi superhero duo, share the trailer and hash tag #CrestarAndTheKnightStallion
Imagine if you could leap tall buildings in a single bound, fly through the air, and save people on a daily basis…but you have to be home by ten because you live with your overbearing Arabic/Desi mom. A mom by the way who’s just a little more scary than your arch nemesis.
Crestar and the Knight Stallion may be the only two superheroes out there that battle the forces of evil while still having to deal with curfews, immigrant values, and arranged marriages.
These two besties might just become legends…if they don’t get each other killed first.
Director/Producer – Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad
Executive Producer – Najam Syed
Produced by Exxodus Pictures
Media inquiries – [email protected]
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