South African Comics News Roundup: James Bond, Koos, Trump, And A FanCon Update

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 27 January 2017
Updated: 28 January 2017
Category: News Comments View Comments


We're kicking off 2017 with news highlights focussing on a new comics strip, events that you can attend in the next few weeks, FanCon Cape Town Comic Con's first guest announcements for the 2017 convention, and Zapiro's thoughts on the new political-cartoon material that's writing itself over in Washington.

South African Comics News Roundup: James Bond, Koos, Trump, And A FanCon Update

It's been far too long since I last compiled a South African comics news roundup so I thought, since it's January, that I'd jump back in. My hope is that I can make this a semi regular series again as the scene is exploding and there's so much interesting news that I'd like to highlight what I can. I can't catch everything and will miss some items (especially if people don't keep me informed, which is an ongoing problem) but I'll do my best.

Therefore, let's have a look at what's been going on this month.

Upcoming Events

South African Comics Calendar Of EventsThe events are already starting to happen, both in Cape Town and Johannesburg, as well as overseas. It's best to follow the South African Comics Calendar Of Events (and @brainwavez on Twitter) if you want the most up-to-date information and reminders but here's a snapshot of what's coming up soon - head on over to the calendar entries for more details, including venue information and maps, and ticket details where applicable.

28 January, Cape Town: Open Art Cape Town is hosting one of its regular Sketch Meetups at The Drawing Room, a café and art gallery in Observatory. While it's not specifically a South African comics event it is organised by local comics creators and you can always find some of them in attendance. [ More Details ]

28 January, Johannesburg: Nas Hoosen, who writes Red Air in Sector, Sean Isaakse, the co-creator of Stray and now an art contributor to Marvel's Thunderbolts and Avengers comics, Loyiso Mkize (Kwezi), and Karrie Fransman (The House That Groaned) will be presenting a workshop and panel discussion that takes participants through the construction of a comic. [ More Details ]

29 January, Johannesburg: Sean Isaakse will be in store to sign comics at Cosmic Comics. [ More Details ]

4 February, Gloucestershire: Sally Jane Thompson, a South African comics creator who lives and works in England, will be a special guest at the True Believers 2017 comic convention. [ More Details ]

From 7 February, Cape Town: Andy Mason, a cartoonist and comic creator who works under the pen name N.D. Mazin and is particularly known for Blue Mamba, and Archie Birch, the creator of The Number 1 Game, along with Robyn Hosking, are presenting an eight-week course on the theory and practice of making comics. [ More Details ]

18 February, Cape Town: Andy Mason and Archie Birch are presenting a half day workshop to brainstorm comics that will explore "the epic multilayered story of District Six And The Deep Memory Of Place". [ More Details ]

Koos Spins Off From Treknet

Treknet, the popular comic strip by Gavin Thomson (art) and Dave Gomersall (words), has spawned a spinoff, Koos, which launched this month in Farmer's Weekly. It's the series' second spinoff after Brak, which has been appearing in The Big Issue.

South African Comics News Roundup: James Bond, Koos, Trump, And A FanCon Update

Koos will follow the adventures of Koos the farmer who is often visited by John and Boet, the fishermen from Treknet. He is quite a colourful individual who is known for his quirky crops and intense hate of poachers. The partnership with Farmer's Weekly is apt, of course, and Koos is one of Treknet's most entertaining characters so it's great to see him get his own comic strip.

Sadly Koos doesn't yet have his own Facebook page but hopefully, if you're not a Farmer's Weekly reader, you'll be able to find the strips on the Treknet Facebook page or Gavin Thomson's Instagram feed.

Jason Masters Creates Cover Art For The New James Bond

Jason Masters, who did the line work for the first 12 issues (two storylines) of the new James Bond series for Dynamite, which was written by Warren Ellis, has indicated that he will be doing a few covers for the second volume, including two variants for Issue #1. The second volume is being written by Benjamin Percy, with art by Rapha Lobosco, and it will be available on 1 March.

South African Comics News Roundup: James Bond, Koos, Trump, And A FanCon Update

The black and white cover is a special incentive cover that is unlikely to be available in South Africa but you can pre order the orange-coloured variant through Readers Den Comic Shop. If you're in the rest of the world you can pre order it through Things From Another World.

In related news, Bleeding Cool has a page-by-page commentary by Jason Masters on the last issue of volume one of James Bond. Obviously it contains spoilers so make sure you've read the issue first. It was released at the end of December so you can try and back order it from Readers Den Comic Shop if you are in South Africa or you can order it from Things From Another World if you're in the rest of the world.

Zapiro Discusses Cartooning On TRT World

Cartoonist Zapiro (Jonathan Shapiro) appeared on online news network TRT World to talk about cartooning in response to Donald Trump's presidency and the parallels with Jacob Zuma's presidency that he has noticed are emerging.

YouTube link

FanCon Cape Town Comic Con Announces Guests For 2017

FanCon Cape Town Comic Con, Cape Town's (and arguably South Africa's) biggest annual comics event, has announced its first guests for this year's convention, which will be taking place at a larger venue - the new East Wing of the CTICC (Cape Town International Convention Centre) - from 29 April to 1 May (a public holiday).

Update, 28 January: The venue has been changed to the CTICC Ballroom and Gallery and Auditorium Foyer as the new East Wing will not be ready in time for the event.

• Ron Marz: Marz is a prolific creator who has worked on high-profile titles such as Witchblade, Batman/Aliens, DV vs. Marvel, and Star Wars. His work on Green Lantern #54 in 1994 unintentionally resulted in the Women In Refrigerators trope gaining a name based on his storyline, which brought it more prominently into academic, comics, and pop-culture discussion.

• Matt Hawkins: Hawkins is the president and COO of Top Cow Productions, as well as a comics creator. He will be conducting portfolio reviews during the convention, which will be a rare opportunity for aspiring artists to have their work assessed by an international professional.

• Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen: The writing team of Beukes and Halvorsen (Balvorsen? Heukes? Bale? Dauren?) will be reminding everyone that you don't have to be able to draw (although Halvorsen can - quite well) to have a career in international comics. They will be fresh off the launch of the 40th anniversary edition of 2000 AD for which they wrote a story that was illustrated by Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra.

• Warren Louw: Louw is an illustrator who has produced pin-up covers for Darkstalkers and Power Girl, as well as concept art for Namco Bandai.

More guests are expected to be announced closer to the date.

FanCon Cape Town Comic Con: Official Site,, Facebook, Twitter

News In Brief

• Shameema Dharsey has hinted that she is working on a third instalment of The Cat Lady series and is hoping to have it ready for FanCon Cape Town Comic Con.

• Mike Scott, who created Bru & Boegie, has been clearing out and backing up an old hard drive and, while doing so, has been posting ephemera in his Twitter stream from projects such as Moosebox, pixel art experiments, his animation collaborations with the music group Goldfish, and art for Nando's.

• Jean Barker has posted the first three issues of Zana on Line Webtoon, a digital-comics platform, where you can read them for free.

• Luis Tolosana posted a handful of teaser photos on Instagram at the end of last year that hints that he may be working on another large-scale-canvas comic project related to Pinnacle City #1: Fāroh And The Dickhead!! Cannibals.

News In Brief... In Pictures

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes a picture is so cryptic that you can't write a thousand words. Either way, here's some brief news, using pictures.

Art, Cartoon, And Work-In-Progress Showcase

A selection to showcase what people have been creating lately - published, unpublished, and everything in between.

South African Comics News Roundup: James Bond, Koos, Trump, And A FanCon Update
Above: Zuma Trumped by Zapiro.

Nomkhitha 1.3m X 1m Oil on canvas

A photo posted by Loyiso Mkize (@loyisomkize) on

Wip. Sleepy bear. #artistsofinstagram #art #illustration #bear #coffee love me my drawing room.#iger_sa

A photo posted by Shameema Dharsey (@shamvandamn) on

Tags: #arts_and_culture, #books, #cape_town, #comics, #fancon, #lauren_beukes, #sacomics, #star_wars, #speculative_fiction

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