South African Comics News Roundup: More Local Events, Political Drama, Sparko, Juvies, Jerm, And Throwback Thursday

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 23 October 2014
Category: News Comments View Comments


Comics season (part two) is in full swing in South Africa. Here's a roundup of new events taking place all over the country, as well as news of recent conventions in the UK, new comics in the works, and cartoonists tackling the courts. Plus, have a look at another batch of sketches, finished artworks, and a little Throwback Thursday fun.

South African Comics News Roundup: More Local Events, Political Drama, Sparko, Juvies, Jerm, And Throwback Thursday

The comics events just keep on coming! It's been a really exciting time for local comics and cartoonists in South Africa, and it's not over. We've got the latest update on more events happening all over the country and some news from various comics people who are now overseas, as well as showcases of new work and projects, lots of sketches, and a Throwback Thursday showcase for your amusement.

Event: Democrazy: A New Exhibition Celebrating 20 Years Of Work By Zapiro: Cape Town
The AVA Gallery in Cape Town is currently hosting an exhibition of Zapiro's work that spans the last 20 years of South Africa's democracy. The exhibition also includes a showcase of some of Zapiro's sketchbooks, which is particularly fascinating.

South African Comics News Roundup: More Local Events, Political Drama, Sparko, Juvies, Jerm, And Throwback Thursday

Fans can also buy copies of his two most recent books or order high-quality limited-edition prints of the cartoons and artworks on display.

South African Comics News Roundup: More Local Events, Political Drama, Sparko, Juvies, Jerm, And Throwback Thursday

Additionally, Zapiro will be hosting a walkabout this evening at the gallery, which will be an opportunity for fans to hear some anecdotes about the various cartoons and ask all the burning questions that have been on their minds.

Exhibition: runs until Thursday 30 October, The AVA Gallery, 35 Church Street, Cape Town, 10:00 to 17:00
Guided Walkabout: Thursday 23 October, The AVA Gallery, 35 Church Street, Cape Town, 18:00 for 18:30

The AVA Gallery: Official Site, Facebook, Twitter

Event: Halloween ComicFest: Cape Town And Johannesburg
South African Comics News Roundup: More Local Events, Political Drama, Sparko, Juvies, Jerm, And Throwback ThursdayThere's a new free comic book day in town - Halloween ComicFest - and comic shops in both Cape Town and Johannesburg will be celebrating with giveaways of free comics that have been produced for the event. In Johannesburg at Cosmic Comics you can get a selection of spooky free comics and win prizes for the best dressed. In Cape Town at Readers Den Comic Shop anyone spending over R200 will get a pack of seven free mini comics.
Readers Den Comic Shop Claremont: Saturday 25 October, Stadium On Main, Claremont, Cape Town, from 10:00
Readers Den Comic Shop Tyger Valley: Saturday 25 October, Tyger Valley Shopping Centre, Cape Town, from 10:00
Cosmic Comics: Saturday 25 October, 225 Beyers Naude Drive, Northcliff, Johannesburg, from 10:00

Halloween ComicFest: Official Site, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter
Readers Den Comic Shop: Official Site, Facebook
Cosmic Comics: Official Site, Facebook

Event: Kablam!: A Comic Art Exhibition And Book Sale: Durban
South African Comics News Roundup: More Local Events, Political Drama, Sparko, Juvies, Jerm, And Throwback ThursdayOpen Plan Studio will be hosting a group show by 20 South African comics creators, featuring original art, screen prints, and both framed and unframed panels.

The event will also include the Durban launch of a number of local comics, including Remember Emma by Luke Molver and Tomica by David Covas Lourenco and Deon de Lange, and copies of various publications by Cape Town comics creators will be for sale.
Thursday 30 October, Open Plan Studio, 39 Station Drive, Durban, 18:00

More Information: Event Details
Open Plan Studio: Official Site, Facebook

Event: Anatomy-Drawing Workshop At Kunjanimation: Cape Town
South African Comics News Roundup: More Local Events, Political Drama, Sparko, Juvies, Jerm, And Throwback ThursdayCartoonist Roberto and comics creator Su Opperman, who both recently hosted a workshop at the Open Book Comics Fest, will be hosting an anatomy-drawing workshop as part of the Kunjanimation animation festival's Pop The Culture initiative. Details are still sketchy (so to speak) but save the date if you are interested. We'll post an update on the event in a future news roundup once we know more.
Thursday 27 November, Cape Town

Kunjanimation: Official Site, Facebook

Rounding Up Recent Events
If you read the previous South African comics-news roundup you would have seen that quite a few events have already taken place. Here's a quick guide to some of the posts are articles you might have missed, as well as some social-media photos from the events:

Open Book Comics Fest:
The Cottonstar team has written an excellent picture-filled recap of the event. (The posts are still coming.)

Facebook albums: Cottonstar: day one, Cottonstar: day two, Kwezi: album one, Kwezi: album two, Velocity.

Erin and Masa's #graphicnovel #openbook2014 #miyuki

A photo posted by Tracy Lee (@meisietracy) on

GrafLit 2014: Urban Interiors Launch And Exhibition: posted a recap of the GrafLit event earlier this month and the CCIBA posted a fantastic selection of exhibition photographs, which I think were taken by kEda Gomes.


'A smile within a rose'. This illustration was part of the Graflit Exhibition and is now on show at AMAK Gallery in Muizenburg at Alive Cafe...#photooftheday #instagramhub #capetown #southafricanartists #drawing #instaart #creative #artist #art #illustration #ink #colour #watercolours #microns #instahub #instadaily #faces #portrait #flowers #patterns #creativeinstagrammers #instaweb #igerscapetown #instagram #blackpen #lineart #lines #patterns

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Graphic Radicals Exhibition And The Launch Of AMAK:
AMAK has posted a small Facebook album of the event and another small album. (The post is still coming.)


An #illustration for an upcoming exhibition in #capetown. #graphicradicals #southafrica #drawing #comic

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'Behind the Mask'...This illustration is on show at AMAK Gallery in Muizenburg at Alive Cafe...#photooftheday #instagramhub #capetown #southafricanartists #drawing #instaart #detail #sureal #instadaily #patterns #creativeinstagrammers #instaweb #microns #watercolours #paint #detail #sureal #portrait #mask #lines #lineart #portrait#artist #art #illustration #ink #face #greenmarket

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'A carnival of dreams" ...This illustration is on show at AMAK Gallery in Muizenburg at Alive Cafe #photooftheday #instagramhub #capetown #southafricanartists #blackandwhite #doodle #artist #art #illustration #ink #face #instadaily #instahub #instagram #instaart #creativeinstagrammers #instaweb #microns #watercolours #paint #detail #patterns #sureal #weird #portrait #coons

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rAge 2014:

Rage before the lights are on... Soon the chaos starts.

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Artists Alley at rage is pumping! #sacomics #rageexpo2014

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Sketches, Concepts, And Work In Progress

Next UO character introduction coming soon! #makecomics #comicart #scifi

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Thin lines. Can't wait to introduce Maiwo. Haven't drawn him for years! #comicsart #creatorowned #preview

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Some ballpoint pen scribblings, getting back into the werewolf drawing vibe again.

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Found in me skerchbook

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Tatsu oil painting in progress #oilpainting #comicart

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Underpainting done! Gofu and Tomica oil painting! Uugghh the fumes... Durban comics event announcement coming soon! #comicshow #comicart #originalart #forsale

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Madam & Eve Tackles Zuma...
Stephen Francis and Rico have had lots to comment on in the wake of what seems to be a never ending barrage of Zuma scandals - the spy tapes, the Russian nuclear deal, Nkandla, ....

Here's a showcase of some recent cartoons:

...While Other Cartoonists Tackle The Courts (And The Court Of Public Oponion)
Towards the end of the Oscar Pistorius trial Jerm ran a social-media experiment, connected to one of his cartoons, to determine the health of the nation's psyche. The cartoon is below - click through to see some of the amusing responses from his Twitter followers.

That trial is now - thankfully - over but, unfortunately, the Shrien Dewani trial is just beginning. Unlike the Pistorius circus, in which cameras were allowed into the court to capture every dramatic moment, the judge has barred cameras from the Dewani trial so the BBC has commissioned Pete Woodbridge to sketch the daily proceedings. He is well known for his caricatures and has previously been hired by technology brands to do live sketching on their tablets and phones at media functions to showcase the devices' abilities. He is also known for his series of anthropomorphic monkeys, which were the subject of an exhibition earlier this year.

Journalist Marianne Thamm has written a piece for Daily Maverick highlighting Pete Woodbridge's new role as the eyes of the nation at the trial. The story includes courtroom artwork and some of Woodbridge's observations, so far, of the personal quirks of the various players in the trial.

In our new age of instant news beamed straight from cameras and cellular phones to our televisions and connected devices, it's great to see that an old-school technique is still alive and well.

Local Comics Make An Appearance On A Santa Shoebox
The Santa Shoebox Project is an annual project that distributes thousands of Christmas gifts to underprivileged kids in South Africa and Namibia. Participants can pledge a box and then are assigned a recipient (they are told the child's age, name, and gender). They have to decorate a shoe box and fill it with a specified list of items, including toothpaste and a toothbrush, soap, an outfit of clothing, and a toy, and then drop the box off so that it can be distributed to the child closer to Christmas.

Comic fan Yvonne Kamp recently put together her box and decorated it with a flyer from Christ Beukes's comic Wrath, which, if I remember correctly, directs people to the comic on Tapastic, as well as an illustration by Cape Town artist and illustrator Jade Klara, among others:

If you have time consider helping out this year or, if you don't, you can still make a donation that will help the project achieve its goals.

Santa Shoebox: Official Site

New On Tapastic
Speaking of Tapastic, a number of new (and old) comics and previews have found their way to the platform, starting with Willem Samuel, who has posted a preview of issue number 2 of Mengelmoes.

[ Tapastic link ]

A preview of the first issue is already online:

[ Tapastic link ]

The first four strips of Tomica, the speculative-fiction web comic by Deon de Lange and David Covas Lourenco, are also now on the site. I quite like the four-strip format that they chose. (I can't embed it because they have disabled embedding.)

The most exciting news, however, is that Karl Stephan's Sparko has now found a new home online. The graphic novel was published in 2012 by SLG Publishing but hasn't widely been seen in South Africa so it's great that Stephan is now publishing it as a web comic:

[ Tapastic link ]

Sally Thompson Goes To Tallin, Nottingham, And Cumbria
Sally Thompson is a comics creator who was born in South Africa but has since moved to the UK. She is a prolific sketcher who regularly posts items on social media (see some of's previous South African comics news roundups for more of her work). She has also produced a large selection of indie comics and mini comics and has been featured in numerous anthologies.

Thompson spent most of September in Tallin, Estonia, as part of the CUNE Comics-In-Residence programme, and was hosted there by the Estonian Comics Society. She says, in the first of three blog posts about the experience [post two, post three], that "My proposal to the CUNE programme was that I would research the folktales/fairy tales of whichever country I was in, and use that as a springboard for a contemporary story set in the city, so I could draw from real locations. Lucky for me, the city I ended up in is both extremely draw-o-genic, and has provided me with the most fantastic raw fairy tale material."

After returning from the residency Thompson immediately fell into the run of comics festivals that have been taking place in various locations in the UK and participated in Nottingham Comic Con and The Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, Cumbria, where she continued to sketch prolifically while meeting fans and selling her comics.

Here's a showcase from both of those events:

The Tallin blog posts are fascinating summaries of Thompson's time in the city, as well as the work on her project. Unfortunately the residency programme is only open to citizens of various European countries but, hopefully, South African comics creators will be able to participate in similar programmes soon.

Sally Thompson: Official Site, Blog, Twitter

Recent-Work Showcase


A still unnamed inhabitant of my #illustration. #capetown #southafrica #amak #ink #drawing

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New episode of Squeers in the October issue of the Pink Tongue. Dedicated to all the Muscle Marys and gym queens. You know who you are. #twerkitofftoworkitoff #thepoint #squirgensactive

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News In Brief
• Jerm is leaving He has been a regular editorial cartoonist for the site for about a year but is now moving on to other things. Chip, who, controversially, was recently fired from the Cape Argus newspaper, will be taking on the job.

• Danelle Malan has left DeviantArt. She posted a final blog entry on the site to explain why and has moved her work to Behance.

• Joe Daly has been releasing strips from his new work, Highbone Theatre, online.

• Jarred Cramer has been working on a new series of Juvies strips, which are currently being collected in a Facebook album. (You can see a work-in-progress screenshot above in this news roundup.) He has already reached a milestone - 25 completed - so if he keeps the pace going it looks like we can expect a new compilation book within a year.

• Ben Winfield has launched a new web site that showcases much of his art, as well as a web store where you can buy recent artworks.

• Kwezi finally has a web site.

• Gerhard Human's work was ripped off by Alopra Studio in Brazil, which created a campaign for Paquetá Esportes. You can see the very similar art at the studio's Behance page or a direct comparison in this tweet.

• Finally, don't forget that #inktober is happening this month. has been keeping track and showcases from #inktober days 1 to 8 and #inktober days 9 to 16 are already online.

News In Brief - In Pictures

Excited to have some work up @orbitalcomics London!

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Throwback Thursday
Since it's Thursday, we're ending this roundup with a little Throwback Thursday fun in which you can see some very different origin stories.

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

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