Comic artist fired for secret anti-Ahok signals
Comic book giant Marvel has sacked Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf after the illustrator was found to have snuck anti-Christian references into the first issue of the X-Men Gold comic series. The two hidden messages – a reference to a verse in the Qur’an widely used to discredit outgoing Jakarta governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama and a nod to an infamous rally against the embattled incumbent – were spotted by keen-eyed Indonesian X-Men enthusiasts after the comic’s release in early April. Syaf, who attended the anti-Ahok rally last December, has denied being anti-Christian and said that he was only trying to commemorate the mass protest in his work. Last month, Ahok lost his position to Muslim challenger Anies Baswedan in a bitterly fought election that focused on the governor’s race and religion.