Exclusive: Preview The First Three Pages Of Siri Watu #5 Ahead Of Comic Con Africa

It's another brainwavez.org exclusive! Preview the first three pages of Awali Comics' Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa Issue #5, which also contains a cool Easter egg, and find out how you can help the first volume of the comics get printed in time for Comic Con Africa.

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 27 July 2019
Updated: 22 August 2019
Category: Feature
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Opener graphic for the Siri Watu series and the crowdfunding campaign

Ziyaad Rahman of Awali Comics, who is the creator of the afro-manga comics series Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa, has kindly offered brainwavez.org a preview of the fifth issue in the series. If you've been following you'll know that the third and fourth issues made it to print last year just in time for Open Book Comics Fest and a week before the inaugural Comic Con Africa.

The series follows a group of young South Africans who have untamed super powers who seem to have been chosen by a mysterious group to become "The Descendants", a team that will protect the world from evil. The first few issues dive right into the action and then backtrack to explain how the four friends - Dialo, Ayanda, Senzo, and Zita - met and began their training.

(If you want to learn more you can download the first issue via Gumroad for free.)

The first few issues were a collaboration between Rahman and Duvan Botha, who helped out with the art, and now Rahman, who originally conceived the characters and storyline over 10 years ago, is working on the series as a solo creator.

The fifth and sixth issues are almost complete, with the intention of them being ready for this year's Comic Con Africa in September - more on that after the preview - and here are the first three pages of Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa Issue #5.

Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa Issue #5 page 1

Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa Issue #5 page 2

Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa Issue #5 page 3

If you attended FanCon Cape Town Comic Con this year you'll note that one panel on page three is an Inception-level meta Easter egg. It features Dialo, one of the protagonists of Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa, sitting in a wheelchair with a broken foot. He's holding some comics and is surrounded by three friends.

Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa Issue #5 page 3 Easter egg

Close up view of the comics in the Easter egg graphicHere's what's actually going on. I'm not sure why the Comic Con Africa logo is in the background, except perhaps as a hint that this is where this comic will make its debut, but at FanCon Cape Town Comic Con this year Ziyaad Rahman was manning his stand in a wheelchair due to an accident he'd recently had. In the artwork for issue five he's substituted himself with his star character, Dialo, who is holding two comics.

The first comic is a sneak peek at a future cover of Captain South Africa by Bill Masuku, who is also the guy in the striped shirt on the right-hand side of the picture. This cover is going to debut at this year's Comic Con Africa, likely for Captain South Africa Part 1: Origins (the first volume comprising, I would assume, the first four issues of Captain South Africa so that new readers can get up to speed and existing fans will have more of the story to read as well as all the issues in the new A4 format that Masuku debuted with the third issue at FanCon Cape Town Comic Con).

The second comic is the cover of Afro Tokyo's The Grim Reaper's Reaper Volume 1 - Death Is Born: Betrayal Of Blood Chapter 002, which was available at FanCon Cape Town Comic Con and will likely also be for sale at Comic Con Africa as the Afro Tokyo team, which is also from Zimbabwe, will be at the convention this year too. (It's online at Webtoon as Chapter 01, Episode 04 to Episode 06 but, obviously, it'll make more sense if you start reading from the beginning. Also note that it's in Japanese manga format (bar a few mistakes) so read it from right to left.) The comic's creators, Kudzai "TaNyaKu" Ngundu and Elisha Ngundu, are the other two people standing behind Dialo.

You'll also see a little Post-It Note in the image, ostensibly from Bill Masuku, that references jumping castles. There's more truth in that than most people will realise.

Let's Get This Comic Printed!

Update: The crowdfunding campaign described below was cancelled after about six weeks and the existing backers were reimbursed on or around 19 August 2019.

Now that the issue five teaser has whet your appetite, here's how you can help. Issues five and six complete the first volume (story arc) of Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa. Most of the art and production for these issues is complete but they need to be printed, preferably in time for Comic Con Africa so that fans can buy the new issues. Rahman has decided to run a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to make this happen.

The covers of all six issues comprising the first volume of Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa
Above: The covers of all six issues comprising the first volume of Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa.
The campaign is a little confusing so I'm going to explain what's going on in the hope that it'll make it more understandable. The crowdfunding goal has been set at US$1250 (around R17 500), which will enable Rahman to print issues five and six as single issues. If this occurs then people who have backed the campaign to receive the full volume (Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa Volume #1) in print form will receive all six issues that comprise the volume as printed singles housed in a specially designed box for the set.

They will also receive the Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa Volume #1 PDF, which contains updated art and extra scenes in issues one, two, three, and four, which have previously been printed and needed a little updating as Rahman's art and storytelling abilities have improved, as well as issues five and six, which are brand new. The volume also contains guest art and cameos from creators such as Clyde Beech, Stephen Spinas, the Afro Tokyo team, and Bill Masuku.

Of course, if you don't want the printed version, or can't afford the postage, which costs extra on top of the pledge, then you can opt just to get the Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa Volume #1 PDF, which will include all six issues, the updated art, and the guest art.

Rahman's ultimate goal, however, is to print the first volume as a full 156 page book, rather than print issues five and six as singles, but for this the campaign needs to earn US$3800 (around R54 000), which is essentially an unlisted stretch goal. It's going to be difficult for the campaign to reach that goal but it's not impossible.

The campaign is also offering merchandise perks for fans, including mugs, key rings, posters, and T-shirts, at higher tiers and for those who will be attending Comic Con Africa this year there are a few options to allow you to pick up your stuff in person from Rahman and not pay for shipping.

Let's support local - help the campaign out. The series has been Rahman's labour of love for over two years of active creation and he's worked hard to build a fan base, as well as improve his art skills, in that time. The PDF option is a really good deal if you can't afford to spend too much and every bit will help to make this campaign a success.

You have until Sunday, 8 September 2019 to back the project via Indiegogo.

Ziyaad Rahman: Twitter

Ziyaad Rahman and Awali Comics will be at Comic Con Africa in Johannesburg from 21 to 24 September 2019 in the Artists' Alley at Stand AA68.

This post was updated on 22 August 2019 to reflect that the crowdfunding project has been cancelled.

Tags: Comics, South African Comics/#sacomics, Speculative Fiction

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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.
  • BIC Competition
  • Werewolves Versus Crowdfunding
  • Siri Watu #5 Exclusive
  • 5 Zombie Questions: Zapiro
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