One of the projects I’m currently working on is a second picture book called It’s Hard to be a Filipino in Hebrew. It’s the story of Charlie, a Filipino kid growing up in the Central Station area of Tel Aviv. Charlie wants to be a superhero… while having to come to terms to living in a society which doesn’t accept him as part of it.
I’m working with Israeli artist Adi Elkin, who I think is fantastic, and she is able to work from real life, going around the Central Station area (the setting of my current SF project of linked short stories as well) to really capture the setting, I think.
As a taster, here is the finished page 18, with some accompanying text.
Eran wants to be an air force pilot when he grows up. His dad was a mechanic in the air force. He and Charlie play at being pilot, outside the Kingdom of Pork store, next to the shawarma place where suicide bombers twice blew themselves up.
‘No, idiot, that’s a race car!’
They fly over the borders and bomb targets in Syria and Lebanon. When you’re a pilot, you can go anywhere. You can fly. Charlie wants to fly, but he doesn’t want to be a pilot.
He wants to be a superhero.
But who ever heard of a Filipino superhero?
No one’s even heard of an Israeli-Filipino.