Student from Rugby illustrates a graphic novel based on an Azerbajanian award-winning writer’s story devoted to children with Autism

A young artist working in partnership with the publishing-house, Hertfordshire Press (UK), has published the “Elish and the Wicker Tale” comic book, intended to support children with autism.

What unites people from all over the world in spite of the nationality, religion and the language? The fact that we all were children and we all have some memories from childhood, that will be in our hearts forever. Maybe that is the reason why we say “Children are flowers sown by god in the garden of life”, because children always take and will take important places in our lives. And it doesn’t matter whether the child is a little bit different.

The comic book “Elish and the Wicker Tale” was created by a student from the London Film Academy, Timur Akhmedjanov. It is based on the original book of Azerbaijanian writer and child psychiatrist, Kamran Salayev. The main feature of the comic, as well as the book, is that it is dedicated to children with autism and highlights their social problems. 

“For many suffering ASD, the biggest problems are often not being understood – and not understanding yourself. That’s why ‘Elish’ is such an amazing project. This series of comics, based on the children’s book, ‘Elish and the Wicker Tales’ by Kamran Salayev, uses the simplicity and visual impact of cartoons to break through the barriers that often confront autistic children when faced with a sea of words” the 12th Earl of Portland, actor, Tim Bentinck. 

The project’s main aim is to attract the community’s attention to children with autism. The publishing of the comic became possible due to a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. More than 220 people from 25 countries supported the project, among these people are musicians, writers, public figures, diplomats from Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other kind hearted people.

The comic book is now available for pre-orders on the online bookshop. A part of the proceeds from book sales will go to support organizations, which help children with autism.

“And so we bring you to the story of Elish, a boy who spends all his spare time making wickerwork baskets. He is an artisan in the true original sense of the word, yet not always appreciated by the wider society. It is always important for your life to serve a higher purpose as you grow up. And I hope that more people continue to adopt the ways of Elish as the world continues to change and these skills are needed more than ever”-   jazz musician Matt Savage.

To gain more readers and supporters, during upcoming months there will be roadshow in different countries and online-presentations of the comic and the original book as well. One of the presentations will be on November 29th 2020.  As well as this,  the Hertfordshire Press publishing house is now working on the translation of the comic to Russian, Kyrgyz, Kazakh and Azerbaijanian languages to introduce more people  to the work and to important social problems.


Pre-order on Discovery Bookshop


Timur Akhmedjanov is a student of London Film Academy, originally from Uzbekistan. Currently he lives with his family in Rugby, Warwickshire. Growing up in a creative and well-travelled family has inspired him to become a member of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London), as well as a volunteer for the Open Eurasia Literature Festival and Book Forum. Timur graduated from Rugby School Thailand as a Visual Arts Fellow. The biggest influence on his creative life is owed to his grandmother, Maria Akhmedjanova (Shevel), who was a prominent architect in Uzbekistan. 

Timur also  translated other books, including the children’s tale “Menik” by the Yakut writer Ogdo,   “A Hundred Years on the Steppe” by the Kazakh writer Bayangali Alimzhanov and “Mouse Leia” by the Russian writer Arina Chunaeva.

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