See Inside The LEGO Certified Store In Sandton
What can LEGO fans expect to find in South Africa's first LEGO Certified Store? Here are some details, including pricing of the fan favourites: the Pick A Brick Wall and the Build A Minifigure Station. Plus, see some photographs from the opening day.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 1 August 2018  |  View Comments

The first LEGO Certified Store in South Africa opened in Sandton City Shopping Centre in Johannesburg on Saturday. South Africa is the 21st country (and the first in Africa) to have a LEGO Certified Store, which means that the store can offer exclusive sets and activities that other stores can't and that it has to adhere to The LEGO Group's high standards for shop fitting and store layouts.

There are five standout features of the Sandton LEGO Certified Store that you won't find anywhere else in South Africa: the Pick A Brick Wall, the Build A Minifigure Station, the 3D augmented reality displays, the Johannesburg and African themed LEGO art that was constructed especially for the store, and, to come, the monthly mini builds. Read on...

A Library In The USA Had A Stuffed-Animal Sleepover And It Was Adorable
The stuffed-animal sleepover, an endearing initiative that started in a library in the USA 11 years ago, has expanded to libraries and book stores across the world. It's an exercise that is proving to have a positive influence on children and their reading habits in a world dominated by screens.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 26 July 2018  |  View Comments

This past weekend Lake Forest Library in Illinois in the USA held a sleepover for the stuffed-animal friends of its young patrons. The children were instructed to drop off their toys on the Friday night and the library staff then spent the evening posting updates on Facebook and Instagram with photos of what the stuffed animals were "getting up to". The children could enjoy the events from home by sneaking a peek into the library with the help of social media. Read on...

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News: LEGO Certified Stores Are Coming To South Africa

Africa's first LEGO Certified Store will be opening in Sandton City Shopping Centre, in Johannesburg, later this month with more to follow in the rest of the country. This means that local LEGO fans will finally have access to a Pick A Brick Wall! Read on...
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 12 July 2018  |  View Comments

Film Review: Deadpool 2
Fourth-wall-breaking protagonist Deadpool has returned to the big screen in a sequel to his 2016 cinematic superhero caper. This time he assembles a group of mutants to neutralise the kind of threat that can only manifest due to the raging anger hormones and nonsensical brain thought patterns of a teenage boy in full bloom.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 1 June 2018  |  View Comments

If you read my review of the first Deadpool movie you'll know that I (contrary to popular opinion) didn't like it so you may be wondering why I subjected myself to watching, and writing a review of, the sequel.

It's all in the name of comics journalism, plus I thought I would give the franchise a second chance as, every once in a while, cinema offers surprises. Read on...

Theatre Review: Die Avonture Van Bal-Oog En Brommel: Moord In Ixiastraat
A murder may have been committed in Ixia Street. Teenagers Bal-Oog and Brommel are on the case to solve the mystery in a comedic theatrical adaptation of an Afrikaans graphic novel that was published last year.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 31 May 2018  |  View Comments

Die Avonture Van Bal-Oog & Brommel: Moord In Ixiastraat, an Afrikaans graphic novel by Sjaka S Septembir, Swart Streep, and Willem Samuel that was launched last year, has been adapted by Septembir into a stage production that has been touring arts festivals and theatres.

It stars De Klerk Oelofse and Richard September with Gertjie Besselsen providing the soundtrack (plus a few surprise moments on stage), as he did last week in Skop!, which also featured Septembir. Read on...

Gear: Han In Carbonite MimoPowerDeck Star Wars Power Bank
Whether you're fighting, fast talking, or sneaking your way through the galaxy you're going to need power to keep your personal communication device going during those unexpected outages or when you're stranded in an alien location with foreign charging ports.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 25 May 2018  |  View Comments

Unlike Fyre Festival attendees, who seemed to think power manifests out of the ether like their trust funds, South Africans know a lot about the need to conserve power and have an emergency supply on hand due to load shedding and holiday adventures out in the bush or off in the wilderness. Read on...

Theatre Review: Skop!
A live-performance artist, a musician, and an Afrikaans slam poet spend just under an hour crafting sound, playing with your attention, and offering you ruminations on life in the experimental theatre piece Skop!.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 24 May 2018  |  View Comments

I first saw Skop! last year when it debuted at the Cape Town Fringe Festival. It is one of the most interesting live theatre shows I've ever watched and I was thoroughly entertained even though I wasn't sure that I understood anything that was going on.

I've been waiting months to be able to watch it again - partly because it is so interesting and partly to see if I could derive more meaning and understanding upon a second viewing. Thankfully it has finally appeared at Alexander Upstairs, which gave me a chance to go deeper into the rabbit hole. Read on...

India Makes Very Good Single Malt Whiskies - Learn More About Paul John
India is the world's largest producer of whisky, though it's not considered as such by connoisseurs as most of what's produced is molasses based. Enter Paul John - a single malt brand made from organic barley grown at the foot of the Himalayas.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 18 May 2018  |  View Comments

One of the most interesting brands represented at this year's Whisky Live Celebration, which I attended in Cape Town last month, was Paul John, a brand of single-malt whiskies from India.

The whiskies are produced at a distillery in Goa, India, owned by John Distilleries, a distilled beverages company that was founded by Paul P John. The brand was introduced to the market in 2012 after the distillery was built in 2004 and started the single malt process in 2008. The company had previously produced only blended whiskies. Read on...

News: Whisky Live Heads To Cape Town, Pretoria, And Durban

The Whisky Live Celebration, a boutique festival experience for whisky lovers, will be touring three cities during autumn/winter 2018. Here's a list of some highlights to seek out, as well as ticketing information. Read on...
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 10 April 2018  |  View Comments

South African Comics News Roundup: FanCon Teasers, Johannesburg Gets Comic Con Africa, And A Crowdfunding Update

Here's a quick news update from the world of South African comics, with a special focus on news from some of the creators who will be appearing at FanCon Cape Town Comic Con later this month. Read on...
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 6 April 2018  |  View Comments

Game Review: Injustice 2
Injustice 2 is a stand-out example of what fighting games should be and offers an interesting feature in the form of gear pieces that you can use to customise your fighters, as well as a single-player mode that continues to offer new challenges every day.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 29 March 2018  |  View Comments

Fighting game Injustice 2 is a sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us, which was released in 2013. The game was developed by NetherRealm Studios, which is the same development house that created Mortal Kombat X (in between the two Injustice games, in fact). It was released last year and now the "ultimate", presumably final, edition, Injustice 2: Legendary Edition has been launching this week for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. If you've yet to buy the game this review is to help you decide whether this is one that's finally worth adding to your collection. Read on...

News: With Two Weeks To Go, The Defenders Of Eden Crowdfunding Campaign Is Already Into Stretch Goals

It's been a long, long wait but the comics project Defenders Of Eden is finally on Kickstarter with a tangible offering - Issue #1 of the comics series - that's ready to be printed and shipped. Read on...
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 23 March 2018  |  View Comments

Film Review: Tomb Raider
In a reboot of yet another film franchise we are presented with a new origin story for Lara Croft, one of the few female action heroes in both video games and cinema who offers the possibility of being a role model for young women. The result presents a question: is this reboot good enough to be the definitive version or will we be subjected to another reboot (after a sequel or two) in a few years?
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 16 March 2018  |  View Comments

British businessman and widower Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West) leaves his barely teenage daughter, Lara (Alicia Vikander), behind when he heads off on a mysterious trip from which he does not return.

Fast forward seven years to 2018 and Lara, unable to come to terms with the fact that he has likely died, is working as a bicycle delivery person in east London and avoiding all connection to her wealthy origins.

After a mishap Ana Miller (Kristin Scott Thomas), Lara's (somewhat) guardian who has been running the Croft business empire in Richard's absence, convinces Lara that she has to accept the truth and sign the legal papers so she can take over custodianship of the Croft manor and inherit the Croft fortune and business empire. Read on...

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Behind The Scenes: Tomb Raider: Becoming Lara Croft.

Film Review: Black Panther
Black Panther is a modern day science-fiction superhero escapist fantasy set in a world in which we ask the question: what if there was a country in Africa that had not been colonised and instead it had secretly become the most technologically advanced nation in the world? This is the answer.
By: Bill Masuku  |  Posted: 13 March 2018  |  View Comments

Black Panther, which takes place one week after the events of Captain America: Civil War, wastes no time at all to jump into the action and is a quick reminder of why T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), who assumes the mantle of Black Panther, a chosen warrior protector of his country Wakanda, was so well received in the aforementioned film. The action reintroduces us to his super reflexes and swift savagery in close combat as he goes to meet his love interest Nakia (lupita Nyong'o) to inform her of the passing of his father, King T'Chaka (John Kani), and the inevitable ascension to the throne that awaits him. Read on...

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The Illusionists: Krendl On The "Water Torture Cell": Escapologist Krendl talks about the physical challenges he faces when performing his signature routine, the "Water Torture Cell", and his changing relationship with water that was triggered by Cape Town's #DayZero warnings.

Theatre Review: The Illusionists
The Illusionists, a grand spectacular featuring a cast of international magicians, illusionists, and escapologists, has opened in Cape Town at GrandWest, where it will complete a run of seven shows before moving to Johannesburg, to the Teatro at Montecasino, for a month.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 9 February 2018  |  View Comments

Seven international performers (plus an eighth - but I'll get to that in a moment) are in Cape Town to present The Illusionists, an arena spectacle of magic and illusion. The show tours the world with different performers who have particular specialities so you won't see the same show if you watch this in another country.

The South African presentation is a mix of sleight of hand, mentalism, grand illusion, escapology, and comedy that's a good overview, for people who have never seen a show like this before, of the different forms of entertainment that live magic can comprise. We are privileged to have a lineup visit us that comprises particularly interesting performers. Read on...

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News: Apply For The Comics Residence 2018 In Sweden

The Swedish Comics Association has put out a call to comics creators all over the world to apply for its four week 2018 residency in Malmö. This is a perfect opportunity for African comic creators to get out of their comfort zones, meet likeminded individuals from around the world, and make better comics. Read on...
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 30 January 2018  |  View Comments

South African Comics News Roundup: Brandan Reynolds, Captain South Africa, And Sector 9

Learn more about political cartoonist Brandan Reynolds, get a sneak peek of Captain South Africa, order the last issues of Stray, and find out more about some of the new South African comics coming out this year. There are also lots of fascinating news snippets and quick highlights of major events happening in the next couple of weeks. Read on...
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 26 January 2018  |  View Comments

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LEGO City Advent Calendar 2017 (Set 60155): Daily unboxings and reviews of each mini build for 2017.

Intro, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Day 24

The Cape Town Magic Club Steps Into The Spotlight For The Holidays
The Cape Town Magic Club, which shortly will be celebrating its two year anniversary, has emerged from its entrancing, secret city-centre locations to enthral tourists in one of the country's most accessible and recognisable spots.
By: Mandy J Watson  |  Posted: 8 December 2017  |  View Comments

Cape Town is magical in more ways than just the magnificent views and world class facilities - it is, of course, home to the College Of Magic, a unique school, which opened nearly 40 years ago, that has been imparting life skills to young people that they attain as they learn and perfect the performance art of magic. Consequently the city has a rather large and diverse magic community and professional entertainers from all sorts of backgrounds and with all sorts of skill levels, interests, and performance styles. Read on...

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Justice League Character Profiles: Learn more about the superheroes who comprise the Justice League.

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South African Comics
• All The Coverage: Reviews, art showcases, and news from the world of South African (and occasionally Southern African) comics.
  • News Roundup: April 2018
  • News: Defenders Of Eden
  • News: Comics Residency In Sweden
  • News Roundup: January 2018
  • News Roundup: October 2017
  • #sacomics Cast Episode #5
  • News Roundup: July 2017
  • News Roundup: June 2017
  • Older Posts

• Calendar Of Events: Find out what's happening in August and beyond.
  • 4 August: Bazinga Day 2018
  • 4 August: Open Art Sketch Meet
  • 10-12 August: Fan Expo Boston
  • 11-12 August: Asylum 2018
  • 11 August: Open Art Sketch Meet
  • 16 August: Mistique Launch
  • Until 23 August: New Dawn
  • 25 August: Open Art Sketch Meet

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Awards, Nominations, And Highlights
★ 2013: Syndicated In The South African
E-Book Editions Of The Shining Girls By
Lauren Beukes

(ISBN: 9781415205044 (ePub))
(ISBN: 9781415205051 (PDF))
"Designing The Shining Girls Covers: We Go Behind The Scenes With Joey Hi-Fi"

★ 2011: Excerpts Syndicated In The South African Re-Release Edition Of Moxyland By Lauren Beukes
(ISBN: 9781431401864)
"Interview: Lauren Beukes, South African Author Of Moxyland"

★ 2011: Featured On Neatorama
"10 Classic Fictional Music Videos From TV's Past (And Present)"Neatorama Link ]

★ 2010: Featured On Neatorama
"10 Classic Speculative-Fiction Works Reinterpreted As Word Clouds"Neatorama Link ]

★ 2010 South African Blog Awards
Winner, Best Post On A South African Blog, for "Marketing District 9: The Web"

★ 2010: Mentioned On io9
"Bid On The Zoo City Bares"io9 Link ]

★ 2010: Syndicated In The South African Edition Of Zoo City By Lauren Beukes
(ISBN: 9781770098183)
"Designing The Zoo City Cover"

★ 2009 South African Blog Awards
Runner up, Best Post On A South African Blog, for "The Anti-Connoisseur's Guide To A Walk In The African Bush"

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