South African Comics News Roundup: Open Book Comics Fest, Batwoman, Tomica, And GrafLit

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 18 September 2014
Category: News Comments View Comments


It's September, which means it's time for the start of another round of comics-related events that will be happening all over South Africa for the next couple of months. It can become overwhelming so we've got the bulk of them listed here to help you keep track. Plus, local comics creators continue to work on their projects and post teasers on social media so we're sharing a few to get you excited for what's on the horizon.

South African Comics News Roundup: Open Book Comics Fest, Batwoman, Tomica, And GrafLit

What are you doing this weekend? If you're in Cape Town you're going to Open Book Comics Fest. If you're not in Cape Town, follow #OpenBook2014 on Twitter for all the highlights - at we'll specifically be tweeting photos from the comics festival.

Upcoming Event: Open Book Comics Fest 2014: Cape Town
South African Comics News Roundup: Open Book Comics Fest, Batwoman, Tomica, And GrafLitOpen Book Comics Fest is once again running in Cape Town as part of the 2014 Open Book Festival. The comics programme kicks off today with workshops at the Central Library until Friday, followed by the artists' marketplace and panel discussions at the Homecoming Centre (next to the Fugard Theatre) on Saturday and Sunday. All the events are free to attend, although some of the workshops require an RSVP.

Comics Fest Workshop: Parallel Lives: Andy Mason (ND Mazin) will be offering an introduction to cartooning for teenagers and young adults.
Central Library, Thursday 18 September, 10:00 to 12:00

Comics Fest Workshop: Draw Your Own Superhero: Roberto and Su Opperman will be hosting a beginners' class in drawing superheroes, which is suitable for teenagers.
Central Library, Thursday 18 September, 15:30 to 16:30

Comics Fest Workshop: Writing Masterclass: Sean Izaakse (an illustrator for Dynamite Entertainment and the co-creator of Stray) and Moray Rhoda (one of the publishers of Velocity Graphic Anthology) will be hosting a writing workshop.
Central Library, Friday 19 September, 16:00 to 18:00

Weekend Events: The Homecoming Centre will be hosting panel discussions, interviews, and live drawing sessions throughout Saturday and Sunday. See the programme PDF for details. Special guests include Mike Carey (Lucifer, The Sandman Presents: Petrefax, The Sandman Presents: The Furies, Hellblazer, among others, as well as contributions to 2000 AD) and Zapiro. There will also be a marketplace for local comics creators, where you can buy their work and meet the artists and writers in person, including Sean Izaakse, the Cottonstar team (see the link for a floorplan), Deon de Lange (Gofu), Ben Winfield, Kay Carmichael (Sophie, Giantslayer), Vincent Sammy (Echo Gear), and Jarred Cramer (Superdud).
The Homecoming Centre, Saturday 20 September, 10:00 to 21:00, and Sunday 21 September 10:00 to 18:00

Upcoming Event: GrafLit 2014: Urban Interiors: Cape Town
South African Comics News Roundup: Open Book Comics Fest, Batwoman, Tomica, And GrafLitRight after Open Book Comics Fest the 2014 edition of GrafLit will be launched at the Youngblood Gallery. Like last year, the event will include an art exhibition, featuring work by the book's contributors, that will run for a few weeks in the gallery space. The book is being printed in a limited edition of 100 copies using a risograph.

GrafLit 2014: Urban Interiors, which is a project of the CCIBA that is being managed by Roberto, Su Opperman, kEda Gomes, and Andy Mason, includes new work by another great selection of local artists, comics creators, and cartoonists, including Gerhard Human, Sergio Rinquist, Rayaan Cassiem, and Hannah Ruth Wallis and Lwazi Kunene, and Daniël Hugo. All are welcome at the launch and you can find all the event details on Facebook.
Tuesday 23 September, Youngblood Gallery, 70 Bree Street, Cape Town, 18:30

Upcoming Event: Graphic Radicals At The Cutting Edge Of Comic Art At AMAK: Azania Mania Art Kolektiv: Muizenberg, Cape Town
South African Comics News Roundup: Open Book Comics Fest, Batwoman, Tomica, And GrafLitAndy Mason, the creator of Blue Mamba, has taken over a studio/gallery/shop space in the Alivé Cafe in Muizenberg that he will be devoting to comics, pop art, and skate/surf/street art. The space will regularly be holding related exhibitions and the shop will be stocked with local comics, as well as a selection of rare and pre-owned comics and anthologies from around the world.

AMAK's launch event, Graphic Radicals At The Cutting Edge Of Comic Art, will include an art exhibition and a gathering of comics fans, as well as an opening speech by Zapiro, music courtesy of Texas Radio, live art, and live doodling. The participating artists have been announced as being: Anwar Davids, Brandan Reynolds, Bruce Mackay, Chip Snaddon, Claire Homewood, Daniël Hugo, Daniel du Plessis, Gerhard Human, Jean de Wet, Keda Gomes, Marti Lund, Mike Scott, ND Mazin, Pete Woo, Rayaan Cassiem, Serge One Love, Stephanie Simpson, and Su Opperman.
Friday 3 October, Alivé Cafe, 11 Atlantic Road, Muizenberg, 18:30

Upcoming Event: Launch Of Jerm's New Book, Comedy Club: Cape Town

[ YouTube link ]

Political cartoonist Jerm will be launching his second book, Comedy Club, at The Book Lounge in October. The evening will include a special guest, comedian Nik Rabinowitz, who will be opening the launch with a stand-up routine. You can find more information at the Facebook event page.
Thursday 9 October, The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town, 17:30

Upcoming Event: rAge 2014: Johannesburg
South African Comics News Roundup: Open Book Comics Fest, Batwoman, Tomica, And GrafLitVarious illustrators and comics creators, including Deon de Lange, will be setting up shop in the Artist Alley at this year's rAge gaming expo in Johannesburg. The space is once again being managed by LegionInk. Tickets for rAge visitors are available via Computicket and can also be purchased at the door.
Friday 10 October to Sunday 12 October, The Dome, corner of Northumberland Road and Olievenhout Avenue, Northgate, North Riding, Johannesburg

Upcoming Event: Comics Event At Open Plan Studio: Durban
Durban locals Deon de Lange (Gofu and Tomica) and Luke Molver (Nero) are in the process of organising a comics event for Durban, which will be held towards the end of October at the Open Plan Studio. The event will feature local comics, art prints, original comic art, and comics merchandise, as well as a themed installation. It's intended to give Durban comics fans, who are generally left out of all the annual comics events, a chance to meet some of the local comics creators and get their hands on some of the publications from the rest of the country. We'll update everyone on the event in a future news roundup once the details have been finalised but in the meantime, if you're in Durban, make a mental note that the event is coming up.
End of October, Open Place Studio, 39 Station Drive, Durban

Sketches, Concepts, And Work In Progress

New Cover Art By Vincent Sammy, Plus Open Book Comics Fest Teasers
Vincent Sammy is the artist behind this incredible cover below for the new horror novel The Death Of A Horror Writer by Ty Schwamberger. The book is limited to 125 hardcover copies and will never be released as a paperback, e-book, or as a second printing - in other words, this is it. You can pre order the book at the Short, Scary Tales Publications web site or find out more at Horror Society.

Vincent has also been posting teasers for a new Echo Gear artifact - the "Passportjournal" of Dr Andriana Sakel - on both Facebook and Twitter, and it looks amazing.

Vincent has described the journal as "not a new issue, but the first item in the world of Echo Gear, in the form of a passport journal. About the same size as a passport, with a mix of passport content and journal visual image content" in response to a fan query as to whether he was launching a new publication in the series. Naturally, it's as cryptic as ever, and both adds to the Echo Gear puzzle and deepens the mystery. I can't wait to find out more.

Batwoman: Futures End #1: "Blood Sisters" Is Out And Features Art By Jason Masters
Jason Masters is the artist (both pencils and inks) behind Batwoman: Futures End #1: "Blood Sisters", a new one-shot comic from DC, written by Marc Andreyko with a cover by Rafael Albuquerque and colours by Guy Major. The comic was released yesterday. You can see a full-clour preview at Comic Book Resources and read more about the comic at Comicosity and USA Today.

After the comic was announced Jason posted the first six pages of his original inked art on Twitter:

Web Comic Tomica Is Heading To The Printers - And Pre-Ordering Fans Can Expect A Surprise In The Mail Soon
There is lots of news from the world of Tomica, the web comic by Deon de Lange and David Covas Lourenco that is set in Deon's Unknown Origins universe.

After launching a successful printed teaser of Tomica at Free Comic Book Day this year the team members decided to plan their work around producing a printed quarterly mini comic edition of the web comic. Advance copies of the first issue were sent to San Diego Comic-Con with the Velocity team and fans were encouraged to pre buy their copies, which will be launched at this year's Open Book Comics Fest.

The pre orders, plus the advertising space, allowed the team to print an issue that contains 18 strips, as well as a colour centrefold featuring special content and bonus-content pages at the end of the book. It also helped to keep the cover price low and allowed for free shipping anywhere in the world. I have been given a sneak peak of the issue and it's looking good - the full-colour centre bonus pages, in particular, contain some cool content that expands the technical knowledge of the world.

Issue 2 is now open for pre orders and it will be launched within the next two months. Fans who pre order will also receive a gift, and Deon posted a teaser this week on Twitter:

You can visit the UO Comics shop to find out more about pre ordering future issues of Tomica (all of which will be signed by both Deon and Dave) and you can also buy copies of Gofu there. If you're attending the Open Book Comics Fest you can speak to Deon directly about pre ordering future issues of Tomica. He will also have both issues of Gofu for sale, as well as merchandise and art prints.

Deon de Lange: Official Site, Blog, UO Comics

Superbalist Hosts An Online Exhibition Of Gerhard Human's Work
Gerhard Human, whose illustration was used for the poster design for Graphic Radicals (see above), has participated quite prolifically in exhibitions in the past few months. If you missed any of his work and/or still want to acquire a piece you can peruse the online exhibition that Superbalist is hosting of his work.

Open Book Comics Fest Teasers
We couldn't end this news roundup without some (more) Open Book Comics Fest teasers, so here they are.

GrafLit 2014: Urban Interiors Teasers
... nor could we forget about GrafLit.

South African Comics News Roundup: Open Book Comics Fest, Batwoman, Tomica, And GrafLit

South African Comics News Roundup: Open Book Comics Fest, Batwoman, Tomica, And GrafLit

Where In The World Is Lauren Beukes?
In July at the Broken Monsters launch at The Book Lounge in Cape Town Lauren Beukes mentioned in passing to the crowd that she's working on a new comic but, for the moment, that's on hold while she's busy being a famous author on her book tour of the US to promote the new novel.

Also, levitating at Pixar:
(Some people have all the luck.)

Tags: #arts_and_culture, #books, #cape_town, #comics, #lauren_beukes, #open_book, #sacomics, #speculative_fiction, #team_scripticon, #vampires

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