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CBY EXCLUSIVE: Humanoids to Publish Ancient 12th-Century Persian Poem as Award-Winning Graphic Novel


Discover The World’s Oldest Story of Tragic Love From Acclaimed Illustrator & Scholars In November 2023

Internationally renowned publisher Humanoids announced today (RIGHT HERE!) MAJNUN AND LAYLA: SONGS FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE, from the highly acclaimed illustrator and cartoonist Yann Damezin, translated by Thomas Harrison and Aqsa Ijaz, bringing the original tale of tragic love to life in a beautifully illustrated and lushly detailed graphic novel, available in stores November 2023.

It is a story known around the world. Born of an Arabic tale, it has been interpreted hundreds of times in Persian, Turkish, and Indian languages. It has influenced playwrights, composers, filmmakers, scholars, modern popular language, the first opera of Islamic origin, and individuals as varied as Aleister Crowley and Eric Clapton. The tragic tale of love unfulfilled: Majnun and Layla.

Qays and Layla were madly in love. So in love, it has been said, that the young man could not contain his passion for his beloved, singing to the winds with such fervor he was given the nickname “Majnun” — The Madman. But their love could not be, as the lovers were separated by fate and man, leading to a tragic end for these star-crossed souls.

Experience the classic Persian poem as painted in the lush palette of artist Yann Damezin. Through his brush, we see a decadent and sensorial world, one as raw and vulnerable as the love between the Majnun and his Layla.

And for you, dear readers, please enjoy this 7-page preview, courtesy of HUMANOIDS:


Born in 1991, Yann Damezin is passionate about literature and classical music. After his baccalaureate, he joined the prestigious Émile Cohl school in Lyon in order to realize his dream: to become an illustrator. He has released several graphic novels in France to great acclaim, including Majnun et Leili, winner of the prestigious Prix Orange de la bandes dessinées in 2023.

Thomas Harrison, Ph.D., is the Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of European Languages & Transcultural Studies at UCLA, where he teaches literature, translation, aesthetic theory, and Italian film. His most recent book is Of Bridges: A Poetic and Philosophical Account. He is also the author of Essayism: Conrad, Musil and Pirandello and 1910: The Emancipation of Dissonance, a study of European expressionism across the arts.

Aqsa Ijaz works on classical Persian poetry and studies its reception in medieval and early modern North India. Born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan – she is trained in classical music and specializes in the vocal forms of thumri and ghazal. As a scholar of Persian, Urdu, and Punjabi, her doctoral research focuses on the reception of the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi and examines the formative role of Nizami’s poetry in shaping the language of emotion in premodern North India. Besides her academic work, Aqsa is an essayist and a translator and writes for various international publications such as The World Literature Today, The Herald, and the Marginalia Review of Books. She is committed to sharing academic research with audiences across the globe and serves on the editorial board of The Marginalia Review of Books in Los Angeles. Currently, she teaches Urdu and Persian at the Department of Language Studies, and co-manages the The Global Past Research Initiative at the University of Toronto Mississauga.


MAJNUN AND LAYLA: SONGS FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE will be available in bookstores everywhere ( and in comic shops ( in November 2023. Digital copies can be purchased from comiXology and other digital platforms.


HUMANOIDS is a global entertainment media company dedicated to bringing to life innovative and elevated content with stunning visuals. Grounded by a fiercely independent spirit, the company is passionate about creating content that explores the power of art beyond boundaries, while focusing on the imaginative depth of fandom. Headquartered in Los Angeles and led by CEO Fabrice Giger and Group COO Matthieu Coppet, HUMANOIDS is a major content provider in the expansive entertainment industry, recognized for its multi-genre catalogue — from science-fiction, fantasy and thriller to comedy, adventure and children’s tales. Above all else, creators have always been the heart of HUMANOIDS as it continues to attract leading talents as collaborators and true auteurs of the iconic brand.

For continuing news on Humanoids, visit and follow @HumanoidsInc on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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