South African Comics News Roundup: Tomica, Ben Winfield, Deon De Lange, Chum, And New Events To Diarise

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 16 January 2015
Category: News Comments View Comments


View a teaser for new work by Lauren Beukes (with a surprising co-collaborator), Tomica's Deon de Lange has been all over the place (physically, not figuratively), Ben Winfield showcases new art, and 2015 is leaping out the gates with new events to diarise.

South African Comics News Roundup: Tomica, Ben Winfield, Deon De Lange, Chum, And New Events To Diarise

2015 has kicked off with lots of comics news for us to report on, as well as new events to diarise for the next couple of weeks. We've also got an art teaser for a new project Lauren Beukes is working on and an update on what Deon de Lange and Ben Winfield have been up to, as well as a showcase of recent work and sketches.

Event: Bliksem!, Cape Town
Bliksem! is a group exhibition that features artwork by comics creators who were featured in the launch issue of Comic Art Africa, which was included in the December issue of Art South Africa but which will become a standalone publication from March. The exhibition opened in mid December before taking a break during the holidays and it is now running again until 24 January.

South African Comics News Roundup: Tomica, Ben Winfield, Deon De Lange, Chum, And New Events To Diarise

Artists featured in the exhibition include Ben Winfield, Daniël Hugo (whose art, above, was used for the poster), Gerhard Human, Gavin Thomson, and Cottonstar's Danelle Malan and Ben G Geldenhuys and you can buy prints of their work, as well as comics.

• Entrance: free
• Until Saturday 24 January 2015; Change Room, Unit 2 Pals Parkade, Cecil Road, Salt River; 10:00 to 16:00

Comic Art Africa: Facebook

Upcoming Event: OpenArt Sketch Meet, Cape Town
The first OpenArt Sketch Meet for the year will be taking place this Saturday at Knead in Palmyra Junction in Cape Town. Everyone is invited to attend - just take a sketchbook along if you're an artist and spend the time doodling and networking with likeminded individuals, including local illustrators and comics creators.

• Entrance: free (just take some cash to buy food and drink)
• Saturday 17 January 2015; Knead, Palmyra Junction, Palmyra Road, Claremont; 10:00 to 14:00

Upcoming Event: Star Wars #1 Launch Party, Cape Town
South African Comics News Roundup: Tomica, Ben Winfield, Deon De Lange, Chum, And New Events To DiariseReaders Den Comic Shop is hosting the Star Wars #1 launch party at both its stores in Cape Town at the end of January. Marvel is releasing a new line of Star Wars comics and the event, which took place on 14 January in the US, is to celebrate the launch of the first issue of the flagship title, Star Wars 1: Skywalker Strikes, which is written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by John Cassaday.

(If you have the bandwidth, here are 69 official variant covers, because that's not overkill at all.)

Both Readers Den stores will be holding lucky draws (13:00 in Claremont and 15:00 in Tyger Valley), offering special deals and discounts, and giving away memorabilia to customers. The Claremont store will also have a Star Wars-themed cake and the Tyger Valley store will have Star Wars-themed cupcakes.

Readers Den has also commissioned 14 local comics creators (so far) to illustrate the blank cover editions of Star Wars #1 to create special one-off collector's comics. These editions will be posted for sale on Bid Or Buy in February.

• Entrance: free
• Saturday 31 January 2015; Readers Den Comic Shop Claremont, Stadium On Main, Claremont; 10:00 to 13:00
• Saturday 31 January 2015; Readers Den Comic Shop Tyger Valley, Tyger Valley Centre, Tyger Valley; 10:00 to 15:00

Readers Den Comic Shop: Official Site, Facebook

Upcoming Event: Red Eye Durban, Durban
South African Comics News Roundup: Tomica, Ben Winfield, Deon De Lange, Chum, And New Events To DiariseDeon de Lange will be participating at the next Red Eye Durban event, which features, among other disciplines, live music, dance, theatre, performance poetry, graffiti, ink art, and, of course, comics.

The theme for this event is "text" and it will be at a much larger and grander venue this time: Durban City Hall - an indication of how well the initiative is being received by the public. De Lange will be selling original artworks and comics.

• Tickets: R100 adults, R50 students, free for under 12s
• Friday 6 February 2015; City Hall, Durban; from 18:00

More Information: Event Information, Facebook, Twitter

Strange Sports Stories #1 Features Writing By Lauren Beukes And Dale Halvorsen
Artist Chris Mitten has posted teaser inks for the story Chum, written by Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen (who is better known as Joey Hi-Fi and is a frequent collaborator on projects with Lauren Beukes, notably as her book-cover designer). The story will be appearing in the anthology Strange Sports Stories #1, which is being published by Vertigo Comics and will be available in March.

In related news, Joey Hi-Fi has been nominated for a This Is Horror Awards 2014 award in the Book Cover Of The Year category for his cover design for Chuck Wendig's The Cormorant. Visit the site to see all the nominations and vote.

Deon De Lange And A Big Durban Comics Update
Tomica and Gofu creator Deon de Lange has published a blog-post update detailing many of his activities and projects from the past few months, which include attending rAge as an exhibitor, helping to organise the Kablam! comics event in Durban, exhibiting at the first Red Eye Durban art event, and selling comics at Durban's I Heart Market. He has also posted an update to his personal web site showcasing some of the newer work that he's done.

Expresso filmed a segment on Kablam!, which also features Nero creator and fellow Durbanite Luke Molver, so you can see what the exhibition was like if you missed it.

[ YouTube link ]

Meanwhile, De Lange's comics work is gaining increasing prominence and respect locally. He recently sold the first four original pages of Tomica, which was probably a little traumatising but it's also an indication that fans are starting to take comic art seriously as a medium to invest in and enjoy. De Lange also recently celebrated selling his 1000th comic, which is an impressive achievement.

New Tomica #sketchcard illustration for my 1000th comic customer! #comicpencils #sacomics

A photo posted by Deon de Lange (@jumpsuitart) on

Finished Tomica ink drawing for my 1000th comic book buyer! Congrats, Neva! #comicart #sacomics #scificomic

A photo posted by Deon de Lange (@jumpsuitart) on

De Lange will be attending Red Eye Durban in February (see above) to sell original artwork and comics. He will also be launching Tomica #2 there, which has been delayed due to the busy chaos of the past few months. Fans of Gofu will also be pleased to hear that he is planning to launch issue three at Free Comic Book Day in May.

Pop The Culture Presents A New Marketplace For Comics Creators (Soon)
Pop The Culture, a new initiative that sits in the space where comics and animation cross paths (the two mediums are more similar than you may imagine) will be launching its new web site soon, a key component of which will include a marketplace where you can browse through artworks - and buy prints - by local comics creators.

We'll have more news on the new web site once it goes live but expect to see work by comics creators as diverse as Su Opperman and Sean Izaakse in the catalogue showcase.

Pop The Culture launched towards the end of last year, as part of the 2014 Kunjanimation animation festival, in the form of a series of workshops and lectures for animators and comics creators. We attended the five-day event and will be posting a full report on it soon.

Pop The Culture: Official Site, Facebook, Twitter

Ben Winfield's Random Creation And New Portfolio Showcase
Ben Winfield has entered a piece, entitled The First Great Awakening ,in the Infected By Art Reckless Deck Challenge.

The competition requires artists to create a work using the themes from five randomly assigned cards (click to play around with it), four of which are mandatory and one of which is optional. Winfield's cards were Half Mask, Chain Mail Armor, Cyborg/Robot Parts, Bullwhip, and Reptile Attributes (the optional card), and he incorporate all five themes into his work.

His final piece is below (click here for a high-res version), which is followed by some work-in-progress images. See if you can spot all the random themes.

South African Comics News Roundup: Tomica, Ben Winfield, Deon De Lange, Chum, And New Events To Diarise

I promise this illustration is nearly finished ;) #recklessdeck #iba #wacom #fantasy

A photo posted by Ben Winfield (@ben.winfield) on

A sneak peak of last nights work in progress... #illustration #photoshop #digital #wacom #fantasy #recklessdeck #iba

A photo posted by Ben Winfield (@ben.winfield) on

The contest is now closed for submissions and the winner will be announced on 19 January 2015.

In related news, Winfield's work is also now being showcased on the Shy The Sun web site as he has been doing some work with the arts/animation collective. You can view his portfolio on the site here. Winfield also recently started a sketchbook page at, where you can see some of his Moleskine sketches, among other works.

ShamVanDamn Gets Some Work Done
Shameema Dharsey has finally made some progress on her next comic, which may or may not be a sequel to The Cat Lady, which was one of our picks for the 2014 Gift Guide.

Working on my comic like a bauws. Lets pretend I'm not really behind with it.

A photo posted by Shameema Dharsey (@shamvandamn) on

It's about bloody time!

If you haven't read the comic yet it's available on Tapastic but you really should buy a copy!

News In Brief
• Velocity Anthology co-publisher Moray Rhoda has stated that Velocity Anthology 5 is aiming to be out in time for Free Comic Book Day, which is on 2 May this year.

• Daniël Hugo has started the Daniël Hugo Illustration Facebook page, where he has been posting work from his portfolio, including comics pages and book covers. His Sketchbooks album is particularly interesting.

• Mengelmoes 3, the third issue in the autobiographical comics series by Willem Samuel, is out and available at Readers Den Comic Shop. You can get it in store or buy it online.

New Work, Sketches, And Work In Progress
Here's a roundup of some notable and interesting work that's been posted on the Web in the past few weeks.

Citywatch by Gibbo18 (Kevin Gibson) on DeviantArt News
We've been kept busy posting about recent comics happenings, including the launch of Crossroads at The Book Lounge and Deni Brown's fundraising art auction. You can stay up to date with what's going on in South Africa with the #sacomics tag index on, the #sacomics hashtag on Twitter, and by following @brainwavez on Twitter.

Tags: #arts_and_culture, #books, #cape_town, #cats, #comics, #robots, #sacomics, #star_wars, #speculative_fiction

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