South African Comics News Roundup: Werewolves, Zines, Stray, And Video News From Africa

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 24 February 2017
Category: News Comments View Comments


The South African comics news highlights for this month include a pulp-inspired werewolf-themed zine cover, lots and lots and lots of events in Cape Town, a Stray update, a Design Indaba Most Beautiful Object In SA competitor, and a few comics Easter eggs. Plus: it seems as if everyone is getting into video.

South African Comics News Roundup: Werewolves, Zines, Stray, And Video News From Africa

You'd think that with February being a short month there would be less to talk about. Not this year! The South African comics scene is very busy at the moment. This roundup features some of the highlights from the past month, as well as a summarised look at a very busy calendar of events.

Upcoming Events

South African Comics Calendar Of EventsThe next few weeks are full of events in Cape Town so there's something for everyone. Some are comics events and others are arts events that South African comics people are involved in. As I noted last month 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, as well as early details on some events that are happening later this year. I do my best to keep it updated, although trying to track down and compile all the information for the sheer number of events happening now took much longer that I was expecting.

The individual calendar pages have more information about the events so click through to read about the ones that interest you.

25 February, Cape Town: The team behind the Free Beer comics anthology will be hosting a comic-jam half-day workshop in Muizenberg in Cape Town. [ More Details ]

25 February, 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 ]

26 February, Cape Town: Shameema Dharsey will be at the Kirstenbosch Craft & Food Market where she will be selling copies of her comics, The Cat Lady and its sequel ...And Life Goes On, as well as her colouring books. [ More Details ]

2 March, Cape Town: Advertising agency 140 BBDO has been working on a zine project that is used to raise funds for its SEED library initiative, which aims to get kids in township schools reading. The fourth zine is being launched at Dapper Coffee Co. in the city centre. [ More Details ]

2 March, Cape Town: The exhibition Black Magic will be showcasing the fine-art work of Loyiso Mkize, the creator of the comic Kwezi, at Eclectica Contemporary in Cape Town. The show will be Mkize's fifth solo exhibition. [ More Details ]

3-5 March, Cape Town: The annual Cape Town International Animation Festival (CTIAF) is once again running over three days and will feature a handful of South African comics creators on the programme and in the Artist Alley. [ More Details ]

From 7 March, 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 ]

9 March, Cape Town: Nathan Trantraal, one of the creators of Coloureds and Crossroads, is also a gifted poet. He will be launching his latest collection at The Book Lounge and will be in conversation with Roché Kester (in Afrikaans).‏ [ Early Details ]

9 March, Cape Town: An exhibition featuring work by members of Open Art Cape Town will be opening at The Drawing Room. The evening will also include a drink-and-draw doodling event. [ More Details ]

12 March, Cape Town: Shameema Dharsey will be launching the second volume of her adult-colouring-book project The Asmaul Husna Colouring Book, which features the many names of Allah. [ More Details ]

The Werewolves Are Strong With This One

Ben G Geldenhuys has created a fantastic pulp-inspired cover for Werewolves Versus: Space, the fourth zine in the biannual Werewolves Versus anthology series that collects short stories, comics, art, and even music from contributors from all over the world.

South African Comics News Roundup: Werewolves, Zines, Stray, And Video News From Africa

Each zine is themed as werewolves versus something - in this case, of course, it's space. The series is only published digitally for now, although there are intentions to make it available as printed publications in the future.

Werewolves Versus: Space will be released on 8 March 2017 and is based on a pay-what-you-want model (including US$0, although you're encouraged to give something to support the creators). There is a pre-order offer running before the launch that offers bonus content to anyone who contributes US$1 or more. I pre ordered and received a selection of extra short stories, a recipe that is mentioned in one of the anthology's stories, and an MP3 of "elevator music to transform by". The bonus content alone is worth more than US$1 so I'm really looking forward to receiving the zine in March.

You can pre order the issue here on Gumroad and download the previous issues here. (As an aside, if the bonus-content download link doesn't pop up on your screen receipt - it's a bug that sometimes occurs and it happened to me - you can send your emailed receipt to the publisher to get the link.)

Werewolves Versus: Official Site, Twitter

Get Cozy With Geek Ink

Geek Ink has debuted a podcast (SoundCloud)/vlogcast (YouTube) (pick your preference) called On The Couch With Geek Ink.

In the first episode, which was posted on 22 February, Rowan Govender, Shameema Dharsey, and Milo Wildcat (Danielle Albertyn) discuss geek spaces and events in Cape Town and cover FanCon Cape Town Comic Con, rAge, Open Book, EGE, UCON, the Open Art community, the cosplay community, The Battle Bunker, and the Trenchtown gaming events run by Zombiegamer Events. and I even get a shoutout (thank you!) during the course of the conversation.

YouTube link

The commentary is unrestrained and uncensored and various opinions are expressed that I have heard elsewhere many times from members of the geek community (in other words, event organisers should be paying attention).

As a journalist trying very hard to stay neutral (for now) I have not publicly expressed my thoughts on a number of the topics but what I can say, as a couple of points of correction regarding what's said in the video about rAge and the controversy with the date overlap with FanCon, is that the FanCon dates were announced in the middle of last year and the rAge organisers knew about them in October (possibly earlier). Additionally, rAge Cape Town is not being held at Canal Walk, it's being held at the Century City Conference Centre And Hotel, which you can find on this map - it's the building to the left of Ratanga Junction labelled "CCCC".

(As an aside, if you're curious about the layout of the new venue for rAge Cape Town you can see it here. It's very... small.)

Geek Ink/Rowan Govender: Official Site, Facebook, Patreon, SoundCloud, Twitter, YouTube
Danielle Albertyn: Official Site, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr

Stray Is Back (In More Ways Than One)

Backers of the second Stray Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign recently received a PDF of the first issue of Volume 2. (The print versions are forthcoming.) Stray is a creator owned series by Vito Delsante in the US and Sean Izaakse in South Africa that is published by Action Lab.

Unfortunately Sean Izaakse is less involved in the second volume, although he remains a co-creator of the series and has input into the stories. Most of his contributions will consist of cover artwork with Lee Gaston from the US taking over the reigns on the interior line work. Izaakse's art can, however, be seen in the first few pages of Issue 1 (with colours by Chris O'Halloran).

South African Comics News Roundup: Werewolves, Zines, Stray, And Video News From Africa

South African Comics News Roundup: Werewolves, Zines, Stray, And Video News From AfricaThose who missed out on the Kickstarter campaign can view a short preview of the new issue here (which includes Izaakse's art) but you will have to wait until it's printed later this year to read the full story. The cover art of the Kickstarter edition is by Emilio Lopez.

There is more Stray news in the form of a recent announcement that the title character will be turned into an action figure. He has already been made as a mini figurine [you may not be able to read that post if you aren't a backer of the Stray Kickstarter campaign] but the creators have been teasing about the possibility of a retro-inspired action figure for months and it looks set to be a reality soon. The action figure will be made by Fresh Monkey Fiction, which has previously funded a series of retro-Eighties-action-figure-inspired figures of iconic indie-comic superheroes via a successful Kickstarter campaign. Stray will form part of the next campaign, which will be launching soon.

Finally, a teaser (above) showing two new villains was posted on social media in January. Their names are Barrage and Triggerhappy and they will debut in Issue 6. The teaser art is by Ares Taveras.

Sean Izaakse: DeviantArt, Comic Vine, Twitter

Comexposed Dives Into Video News

In news from (slightly) further afield, Comexposed, which runs geek conventions in Zimbabwe that focus on comics, gaming, anime, and cosplay, has started posting video roundups that feature comics and gaming news from Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa as well as info on upcoming superhero movies and television shows.

YouTube link

The first episode (above) is hosted by Tino Makoni and from the second he is joined by Eugene Ramirez Mapondera.

The videos are a great introduction to what's happening in the rest of Africa and, especially, some of the comics being published by other creators. Subscribe here.

YouTube link

(South Africa gets a nod in the episode that was posted on 21 February (above). It showcases work by Sean Izaakse.)

News In Brief

• The 2000 AD 40th Anniversary Special issue to which Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen contributed is out... I think. It will take a few weeks for it to reach South Africa (Readers Den Comic Shop has ordered copies). If you're in the rest of the world you can order it via Things From Another World.

• The Trantraal Brothers created a comic in support of Reclaim The City. You can read what I assume is the first half via the link.

• A selection of art from the Defenders Of Eden project, which Andrew Cramer has been assisting with for quite a while, has been posted on the web site so you can get a feel for what it's going to look like. You can also see some of the colouring work Cramer did here.

• Line art by Jason Masters was included in the Batgirl adult colouring book published by DC.

• Shameema Dharsey would like it to be known that the next comic in The Cat Lady series will not be ready in time for FanCon. Last month I reported that she was aiming to complete it in time for the convention. She's working on it and it will hopefully be out later this year.

• Loyiso Mkize's fine-art painting Gqama Ntyatyambo is a finalist in this year's Design Indaba Most Beautiful Object In SA competition. You can see a photo of it in Mkize's studio here, which will give you an idea of the size of the art. Voting is open to members of the public and there are still a few days left to do so. The winner will be announced on 3 March.

• ...and, finally, a(nother) shoutout to Sean Izaakse, who has been all over Marvel titles in the past few months. There's been so much I haven't been able to compile it into a decent post yet but in the meantime here's today's announcement: Sam Wilson Captain America. Marvel needs to stop testing him out on projects and give him a title he can call his own!

Previously... On

In case you missed it, I broke the story earlier this month about a South African comic appearing in the latest film in the Resident Evil series, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. The film was largely shot in Cape Town and features an iconic scene (for both Cape Town and the Resident Evil history) in which a copy of Velocity Macabre has its Hollywood debut.

Two South African comics creators also worked on the film as concept artists in the costume department. I don't know how much they contributed to the look of the film but the female characters definitely wore better clothes than in some of the other movies in the franchise. You can read all about the comic appearance and the comics creators here.

I think we should make South-African-comics sneak appearances in international productions a mandatory requirement of doing business here, so our next best opportunity is Tremors 6 (I had no idea there were so many Tremors movies - it seems they keep going straight to DVD and are missing the theatres). It has started production in Cape Town. The film will be starring Rob Van Vuuren and Tanya van Graan so let's hope they're comics readers and can drop a prop onto the set of the "remote research facility in the Arctic tundra". Maybe there's an issue of Sector lying on a desk - or maybe Velocity Macabre becomes like that newspaper Ed O'Neill has been reading for 20 years. The possibilities are endless.

News In Brief... In Pictures

We end this month's roundup with a selection of visual snapshots of some things that are happening or have happened... because a picture is worth more than a thousand words. (Sometimes.)

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

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