THE 99 are the flagship property of Teshkeel Media Group, the company I ran from 2006-2008. THE 99 are Muslim superheroes from around the world. Each hero represents a different aspect of Allah and they join together to save the world.
How did a good Irish Christian get involved in creating the world's first Muslim superheroes. While working at CRACKED, I met Naif Al-Mutawa, the Kuwaiti psychology professor who had come up with the basic concept of THE 99. He outlined his vision to me and asked me to help him make it a reality. That began a three year adventure that involved me moving to Kuwait, running a children's media company and learning more about Islam than I ever thought I would.
While Naif came up with the basic concept it was up to me and editor Marie Javins to put meat on those bones. We worked on everything from character design and writers handbook (don't say bible!) to trade dress to actual character creation ("Naif says we need a character with logistics powers" "Huh?"). We also sourced creative teams, created comic books, comic strips, style guides, artwork for licensing, built the company website and a whole lot more.
I was also handling all operational details for the company and helping Naif sell the concept to potential investors.
It was an exciting project and the concept of THE 99 captured the attention of press around the world.
We even got a shout out from President Obama!
While I ultimately would move on to pursue other opportunities, helping to create THE 99 remains one of the most rewarding challenges of my career.