South African Comics News Roundup: Tomica, Teasers, And Free Comic Book Day

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 22 April 2014
Category: News Comments View Comments


There is a whole lot going on in comics in South Africa at the moment, especially in the runup to Free Comic Book Day, so here is a very large roundup of local comics news, including sneak peeks, sketches, upcoming exhibitions, launches to look out for, and comics you can read online right now.

South African Comics News Roundup: Tomica, Teasers, And Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day 2014: Cape Town
It will come as no surprise to any local comics fans that the biggest event in South Africa this year will once again be held at Readers Den at its Claremont, Cape Town, branch in Stadium On Main on 3 May 2014.

The number keeps changing but it is estimated that around 15 new comics will be launched at the event and some creators are travelling from other parts of the country to be there, including Deon de Lange, who will be launching Part 2 of Gofu. He posted some teaser art a few days ago:

He will also have a limited edition mini Tomica comic for sale. (See below for more on Tomica.) There are only 50 copies so you'll have to be fast if you want one. Plus, if you missed the first issue of Gofu you can buy a second edition. Find more info here and see the Gofu Part 2 cover teaser art here.

Kay Carmichael will be launching Sophie Giantslayer #1, which has been highly anticipated after the success of the 12-page Sophie, Giantslayer prequel, which Kay produced for Free Comic Book Day 2013 just for fun and then was caught off guard when it quickly gained a fan base. (You can read our review of the prequel here.)

Vincent Sammy will be launching Echo Gear #1 and you can also get copies of the Echo Gear prequel that he launched at the Open Book Comics Festival last year. (There's more Vincent Sammy news later in this roundup.)

Chris Beukes will be launching Wrath Chapter Two and you will be able to buy copies of the first issue as well. (You can read our review of Wrath Chapter One here. There's also more Wrath news later in this roundup.)

The new Lil' 5 adventure: The Lil' 5 And The Journal Of Lightning Jack is also finally going to be launched. The previous comic came out a few years ago so it's been a while since we've been able to continue with the adventures of Leo, Hoofer, Ellie, Rocko, and Kitty.

Velocity: Darker Forces, the ambitious new Velocity project that saw around 34 artists tackle a page each of a story written by Moray Rhoda and Neville Howard, will finally be launched in South Africa. The Australian launch was earlier this year so it's been a long wait for the rest of us.

Other launches include:
• Super-Dud by Jarred Cramer,
• Crimson #2 by Alistair Brauns,
• Run! There's Dinosaurs In The City by Gina Viglietti,
• The Baby Killer by Clinton Jones,
• The Way Of The Tao And Zen by Luis Tolosana,
• The Souvenir by Daniël Hugo and Jayson Geland,
• The Cat Lady by Shameema Dharsey,
• Crimson #2 by Alastair Brauns,
• and The Tree Of Life Trilogy - Book 1: Ma by Mark McKeown and Andre Human, based on Credo Mutwa's Indaba My Children, which has been available online but will now be in print for the first time.

Other exhibitors will include kEda Gomes and Wesley Harris of Creamy Cheese Ninjas fame; Archie Birch, the creator of The Number 1 Game; Pete Woodbridge, who will have a new book showcasing recent sketches and doodles; Mamba Media, which will be showcasing Soccer Warrior and other work; and Andy Mason, who published The Legend Of Blue Mamba last year and also organised the GrafLit anthology project.

Finally, the Cottonstar creators will be launching Chapter 3 of Cottonstar and have registered for Snapscan, which allows you to pay via credit card (VISA or Mastercard) using just the app on your phone. It's likely that some of the other creators will also try it out but make sure you have cash on hand for the rest.

Bookmark Readers Den's FCBD page, which is updated regularly, to keep track of what to expect on the day and the floorplan to memorise what will be where. The place is going to be packed so it's best to have a game plan organised ahead of time.

Free Comic Book Day 2014: Johannesburg
Smallville Comics in Alberton City Shopping Centre will be giving away lots of loot to early and loyal customers, including a comic signed by Stan Lee to the first three customers who spend R3 500 or more. Find out more here.

Cosmic Comics will also be celebrating Free Comic Book Day, although it's unclear as to how, bar some specials. Keep an eye on the store's Facebook page for more info. Hopefully something will be posted closer to the time.

Art Exhibitions
Rayaan Cassiem has posted a teaser of one of the pieces he will be exhibiting as part of the Media Monster exhibition, a collaboration between himself and Nic Hooper.

Media Monster opens on Thursday at Two By Two Art Studio at 41 Gwigwi Mrwebi (formerly Pim) Street, Johannesburg. You can see more art teasers on the event page.

Gerhard Human has a new piece, entitled Disorder & Disarray, on display at Erdmann Contemporary at 84 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town. It is available as a signed limited edition (of 20) giclée print.

You can see it in more detail on Gerhard's Behance page.

Web Comic Tomica Launches
South African Comics News Roundup: Tomica, Teasers, And Free Comic Book Day

Deon de Lange, the creator of Gofu, launched a web comic earlier this month called Tomica. He produces it in collaboration with David Covas Lourenco. It seems to be on a pretty robust publishing schedule of two a week (Monday and Friday) so hopefully they can keep that pace going. Tomica is a "sci-fi adventure following Tomica Twim's quest through ancient temples, disintegrating space ports, and steamy jungles across the universe".

Start reading Tomica from the beginning here.

"Wetenskapsfiksiestrokiesprenteboek!" Say that three times fast and a cheap housing project in China collapses. Loosely translated (for our international readers - and probably half our South African readers too), that word (apparently it's a word) means "science fiction story picture book". We aim to educate, as well as entertain and inform.

eNews flighted a story earlier this month on local comics, featuring Moray Rhoda, Mahdi Abrahams, the interior of Readers Den in Claremont - and that word. Time may have stood still for two-and-a-half minutes, especially while they made Mahdi speak Afrikaans.

[ YouTube link ]

Stray Teaser (That We Can't Show You)
Backers of issue one of the comic Stray, which is created by Vito Delsante (words) from New York and Sean Izaakse (art) from South Africa, were treated to an exclusive art teaser earlier this month of the first 10 pages of the comic - inked but not coloured and without the text. Backers were asked not to distribute the PDF so we can't show you any of the art but it's looking good.

Jerm In Progress
Political cartoonist Jerm (Jeremy Nell) has posted a time-lapse video showing the creation of his DA election ad cartoon.

[ YouTube link ]

You can see the finished cartoon on his web site here.

Chris Beukes, Wrath, Loot, And Apocalypse Chef

On the back of that good news for Chris Beukes was some good news for us: he has posted chapter one of Wrath online at Taptastic, where you can read it for free (either there or right below):

Chris has also posted his cyberpunk-inspired mini comic Loot, which was published in the first issue of Velocity:

Get Your Vincent Sammy Merchandise At Society6
Vincent Sammy has uploaded three designs from Echo Gear to Society6: "In Frequency I Drown", "Seasons In The Dirt", and "Immediate History". The designs are available as T-shirts, art prints, iPhone and iPod cases and skins, stretched canvasses, and stationery, among other items.

Sketches, Concepts, And Work In Progress

Some art from Ben Winfield and Deon de Lange (with direct links, because the Instagram embed doesn't work in all browsers):
[ Instagram link ]

[ Instagram link ]

[ Instagram link ]

[ Instagram link ]

[ Instagram link ]

Speculative Fiction In Obrigado Issue 34
Finally, to end off this very long roundup I have some news of my own. I wrote an article on local speculative fiction for the current issue (number 34, autumn 2014) of Obrigado, which you can grab for free at Vida e Caffè or read here. From the comics world I interviewed Diorgo Jonkers of GEP, Lauren Beukes, and Moray Rhoda of Velocity, and Moray was asked to illustrate the article. There are zombies!

Tags: #arts_and_culture, #books, #cape_town, #comics, #lauren_beukes, #speculative_fiction, #team_scripticon

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