South African Comics News Roundup: Sector, Open Art Cape Town, James Bond, And Another FanCon Update

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 31 March 2017
Category: News Comments View Comments


Highlights for this month include news of a new issue of Sector, the expansion of Open Art Cape Town's activities, the launch of another Asmaul Husna adult-colouring book, and Jason Masters' visit to Germany to promote James Bond. Plus we're a month away from FanCon Cape Town Comic Con so there's a new update highlighting some of the guests to look forward to.

South African Comics News Roundup: Sector, Open Art Cape Town, James Bond, And Another FanCon Update

March has been a very busy month filled with events and new comic art to enjoy on social media and April is going to be even more exciting as it features two conventions as well as smaller events. To get yourself in the mood, have a look at some of the latest news from the world of South African comics.

Upcoming Events

South African Comics Calendar Of EventsHere are calendar highlights for April so you can start planning your diary - and your trip, as each event page features a handy map to help you find the hosting locations, which are sometimes in very odd places.

Visit the South African Calendar Of Events home page, which is updated as I find out about new events, for even more listings, as well as more recent information concerning events that might be extended, postponed, or cancelled. The best time to check for new content is on Fridays.

1-9 April, Johannesburg: Yiull Damaso Artists’ Studio is hosting the Pow! Boom! Bang! Exhibition, which will showcase works by South African cartoonists and comics creators, including Zapiro, Gavin Thomson, Dov Fedler, Derek Bauer, John Curtis, Andy Mason, Chip Snaddon, Rico Schacherl, and Loyiso Mkize. [ More Details ]

1 April, Cape Town: Shameema Dharsey, the creator of the comic The Cat Lady and its sequel ...And Life Goes On, as well as a collection of colouring books for adults and children, will be selling all her publications at the Syria's Calling one-day fundraising event. [ More Details ]

1, 13, 22, 26 April, Cape Town: The Open Art Sketch Meets are now taking place four times a month (more on that later in this news roundup), on two Saturday mornings and two weekday evenings. [ More Details: 1, 13, 22, 26 ]

7-9 April, Durban: The third ICON By The Sea geek convention will once again be taking place in Durban, this year at a bigger venue. The convention will feature comics, a cosplay competition, video games, and lots and lots and lots of board-game and tabletop-game tournaments. [ More Details ]

13 April, Cape Town: The Ahem! gallery will be launching in Observatory in Cape Town with an opening exhibition that will feature illustrations and comic work by both local and international comics creators, animators, and pop artists. [ More Details ]

22 April, Harare: The Zimbabwean comics community will be gathering in Harare at another Comexposed event to showcase their publications and spend a day celebrating comics. [ More Details ]

29 April - 1 May, Cape Town: The second annual FanCon Cape Town Comic Con will be taking place at a bigger venue in the city in 2017 and will be taking place over three days instead of two. There are more details here and below. [ Calendar Page Coming Soon ]

• The Humble Beginnings exhibition is still running in Cape Town until 15 April.
• The Fresh Romance Kickstarter, which features work by Sally Jane Thompson, concludes on 7 April.
• The Art Of Comics course, which is being held at Muizenburg Hive in Cape Town, concludes this month but each session is a stand-alone lesson so you can attend as few or as many as you like.

Sector Is Back

The speculative-fiction anthology series Sector, which launched in May 2015 and managed to maintain a regular publishing schedule for a year for the first six issues (which is a notable achievement for a self-published anthology project) finally hit a rough patch after the publication of that sixth issue.

The unfortunate story behind the delay, which lasted for nearly a year, concerned some of the content not being ready and - I have to say it - bad backup planning by the team behind the publication to mitigate this problem but happily the anthology is moving ahead again and I can assure you that the team is committed to the project. While I hope - but can't guarantee - that it will be able to stick to the bi-monthly schedule I have faith in the creators and their long-term intentions for the project. In fact in February Daniël Hugo was already working on issue 10.

As proof, issue 7 is out - you can get it at Outer Limits in Johannesburg now and from Monday it will be available at Readers Den Comic Shop and The Book Lounge in Cape Town, as well as at FanCon Cape Town Comic Con, and I have been told that issue 8 will also be ready for FanCon. Issue 7 features a cover by Daniël Hugo (as, coincidentally, did the first issue) and it continues the serialised stories Uncharted Waters, The Illustrated Guide To The End Of The Universe, and Red Air.

South African Comics News Roundup: Sector, Open Art Cape Town, James Bond, And Another FanCon Update
Above: Sector issue 1 and issue 7. The cover art for both issues is by Daniël Hugo.
Meanwhile the first issue, which, as mentioned, was originally released in print in May 2015, is now available on Comixology for US$0.99 (about R13.50), and this includes a DRM-free backup PDF. It features the start of two stories - Uncharted Waters by Moray Rhoda and Daniël Hugo and The Illustrated Guide To The End Of The World by Diorgo Jonkers, Michael Smith, and Ian Wishart - as well as one six-page standalone story, Katnipp by Nas Hoosen and Karl Mostert.

If you haven't read Sector yet this is a good way to get started, especially if you are overseas as postal costs are prohibitively expensive. Presumably the other issues will be released on Comixology soon too.

Jason Masters Might Be Done With Bond - But Bond Is Not Done With Jason Masters

There's lots of Jason Masters news this month as he continues to promote his work on the James Bond comics, which included a trip to Germany, but first, fans of collected editions (or those who missed out on the single issues) will be glad to know that the hardcover collected edition of Eidolon, the second storyline that Masters collaborated on with Warren Ellis for Dynamite Comics, is now available. In South Africa you can order it from Readers Den Comic Shop or Raru and you will have it in time for FanCon Cape Town Comic Con. Internationally you can get it from,, and Things From Another World.

Last week Jason Masters appeared at Manga-Comic-Con, the comics, speculative fiction, manga, and cosplay section of the Leipzig Book Fair in Germany, to help to promote the German editions of both Vargr and Eidolon. They are being published in Germany by Splitter.

He was interviewed on camera at the convention by German comics blog Dein AntiHeld. He talks about becoming a fan of Ian Fleming's books, collaborating with Warren Ellis and interpreting Ellis' vision, researching locations to try and make his visual representations as accurate as possible, and working on DC titles.

As an entertaining bonus (for us), he is also asked about violence in the context of Warren Ellis' recent comments about punching Nazis in the face.

You can watch the video below:

YouTube link

Although Jason Masters' run on the series as the line artist has officially ended I reported in January that he will still be contributing variant covers to the new storyline, Black Box, which is being written by Benjamin Percy and illustrated by Rapha Lobosco.

South African Comics News Roundup: Sector, Open Art Cape Town, James Bond, And Another FanCon Update

The most recent cover announcement is for issue 4, and there are both colour and black-and-white versions of the artwork. They're both fantastic - the colour version's palette is lovely (unfortunately I don't know who the colourist is but he did a wonderful job) and the black-and-white version is particularly striking. You can preorder either version of the single issue through Readers Den Comic Shop and Things From Another World, although they are likely only to be available in limited quantities so you'll have to act fast.

Fans of the James Bond comics will be able to meet Jason Masters at FanCon in Cape Town in April (see below). If you haven't read them yet there's still time to catch up.

A New Asmaul Husna Colouring Book Has Launched

Shameema Dharsey has launched The Asmaul Husna Colouring Book Volume 2, which features another 20 names of Allah in Arabic script for colouring enthusiasts to explore.

The book is the second in a planned series of five that will collectively feature the 99 names of Allah. The first book, which was launched last year, features geometric designs while this second volume features art that is arabesque and inspired by nature.

South African Comics News Roundup: Sector, Open Art Cape Town, James Bond, And Another FanCon Update

The launch was held at the new Al-Ikhlaas Academia Library at Islamia College in Cape Town, which features a fascinating collection of books that ranges from copies of the Quran, precious antique books, and books on Islamic law to English literature, politics, gardening, and travel. The library is still growing but when it eventually reaches full capacity it will house 35 000 books, which is a bibliophile's dream.

You can watch the full video of the launch below, which features an amusing appearance by Dharsey's father Dr MC Dharsey that should not be missed, or look out for our highlights in the next #sacomics Cast video-news roundup on airwavez.

YouTube link

If you're keen to get your hands on the books you can buy them locally via Shameema Dharsey's web site or get them on Amazon.

The Asmaul Husna Colouring Book Volume 1: The 99 Names Of Allah:,
The Asmaul Husna Colouring Book Volume 2: The 99 Names Of Allah:,

Open Art Cape Town Meetup Events Expand To More Days

Owing to the success of the ongoing Sketch Meets organised by Open Art Cape Town, as well as its first exhibition, Humble Beginnings, which opened this month at The Drawing Room in Observatory, the collective, which is led by Geek Ink's Rowan Govender, is intending to expand its activities to allow for more people to participate in the events.

Govender has suggested a new schedule for the Sketch Meets, which used to take place twice a month on a Saturday morning usually, though not exclusively, at The Drawing Room, and recently expanded to a third meetup that coincided with the larger Art Thursdays event in Observatory.

The plan is to schedule the Sketch Meets as follows: "First week of the month, Saturday morning; second week of the month, Thursday evening (to coincide with Art Thursdays in Obs); third week of the month, Saturday morning; and then fourth week of the month, Thursday evening."

This will help to accommodate people who sleep late on Saturdays or who have other events (Saturdays are very busy days in Cape Town) - they can now attend meetups on a Thursday evening.

Govender has also said that the Humble Beginnings exhibition has been so successful that he is looking to make it a regular event twice a year - in summer/early autumn and in late winter/early spring.

The Open Art Cape Town community meetups are open to anyone who wants to attend. They're free (although you are encouraged to support the restaurant or coffee shop hosting a particular event) and your level of proficiency with a brush, pen, or pencil is irrelevant - it's your desire to want to make art that's important. You can keep track of the upcoming events by following the Open Art Cape Town Facebook page or the South African Comics Calendar Of Events here on

Open Art Cape Town: Facebook, Instagram

Geeks: The Origin

Last month I reported that Geek Ink had started a podcast/vlog called On The Couch With Geek Ink. The second episode was posted last week and it once again features Rowan Govender, Shameema Dharsey, and Danielle Albertyn, this time trying to define what a geek is and talking about the childhood memories (and - let's face it - influential media properties) that turned them into geeks.

YouTube link

If you grew up in the Eighties or Nineties you'll fondly remember many of the films and TV shows that they mention.

Geek Ink/Rowan Govender: Official Site, Facebook, Patreon, SoundCloud, Twitter, YouTube

The Very, Very, Very Big FanCon Cape Town Comic Con Update

More international and local guests have been announced for this year's FanCon Cape Town Comic Con, as well as a slight venue change, which I mentioned briefly in the previous FanCon news roundup as a correction after it was published so it's possible that some readers didn't see it. The biggest surprise has been announcements as late as this week about new guests so the organisers are really putting together something special that is looking surpass all expectations - and the bar was set high last year.

First, the venue change: the convention was originally supposed to be held in the new East Wing of the Cape Town International Convention Centre but the venue is not yet ready as construction was delayed a few months ago due to the discovery of historical architecture under the building site. The convention will therefore now be held in the original CTICC building in the Ballroom, and Gallery and Auditorium Foyer.

Next, the new guests.

• Sean Izaakse: Izaakse, who will be flying down from Johannesburg for the convention, is the co-creator of Stray and has been having a superb year as a roving artist on a number of Marvel titles, including Deadpool, Thunderbolts, Avengers #1.MU, and Avengers 5.1.

• Kinpatsu Cosplay: Tayla Barter/Kinpatsu Cosplay is a cosplay artist from Johannesburg.

• Jason Masters: Masters, who is also flying down from Johannesburg for the convention, is the artist behind 12 issues of James Bond, which were written by Warren Ellis. He has also worked on popular titles by DC and Marvel, including Batman Incorporated, Guardians Of The Galaxy, and Nightwing.

• Eric Powell: Powell, who is from the US, is best known as the creator of The Goon, a zombie-filled supernatural comedy-horror crime series that's won five Eisner Awards.

• Loyiso Mkize: Mkize is the creator of South African superhero comic Kwezi.

• Laura Braga: Braga is an Italian comic artist who has worked for DC, Marvel, and Top Cow on titles such as DC Comics Bombshells, Punisher, and Witchblade.

• Calssara: Calssara is a cosplay artist from Germany with a huge international following.

• John Layman: Layman, who is also from the US, is the writer behind the best-selling 60-issue Eisner and Harvey award-winning series Chew, which is drawn by Rob Guillory. It's the story of a detective who gets psychic impressions when he eats food, people, dead animals.... [ Get the first paperback at Raru before the rand collapses any further. ]

• Somto Ajuluchuckwu and Mike Kayode from Vortex Inc: Vortex Inc is a content company that is based in Nigeria and creates comics and cartoons so it's great to see that African comics beyond South Africa will be getting a little love at FanCon as there are passionate English- and French-speaking communities in countries such as Nigeria, the Democratic Republic Of The Congo, and Zimbabwe and we should be looking beyond our own bubble. Ajuluchuckwu is the founder, creative director, and CEO of Vortex Inc and Kayode is the head of operations and animation.

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

News In Brief

• Open Art Cape Town has launched an Instagram account. You can find it at @openartct.

• Diorgo Jonkers has posted five short science-fiction stories online. You can read them all for free here.

• Maya Lemaitre has decorated Cape Town book store Bibliophilia's storefront. You can see some photos on her Tumblr blog.

• While he was at Woordfees Zapiro gave a 30 second video interview on the Hate Speech Bill and why he considers it to be dangerous for free expression.

• Dale Halvorsen (Joey Hi-Fi) has designed a book cover for An Oath Of Dogs, a speculative-fiction novel by Wendy N Wagner that is being published by Tor. Scroll down the post to see the full cover design.

• Willem Samuel has created a short music video for his "boerepunk" band Skree Alleen to promote its debut album, which may or may not ever be released.

• Werewolves Versus: Space, which I highlighted in last month's news roundup because Ben G Geldenhuys designed a very eye-catching pulp-inspired cover, has now been released and is available as a pay-what-you-want download, starting at US$0 - in other words, free. However, do the right thing and toss in at least US$1 to show your support for the creators.

In Case You Missed It

Earlier this month I posted a video experiment to our YouTube channel, airwavez, featuring even more South African comics news and highlights. It fills in some of the gaps between these monthly roundups on plus it allows me to use some of the video footage I shoot at events.

If you like it please give it a thumbs up or leave a comment - and subscribe to the channel.

YouTube link

Episode #2 is in production and I hope to post it next week, plus I have lots of ideas for content for future episodes, but the long-term success of the project is dependent on you, whether you're a local comics creator or a fan of South African comics. Thanks to those of you who have already watched it, retweeted it, posted it on Facebook, and given me feedback - I really appreciate it!

In more news, yesterday I posted a showcase of the Humble Beginnings exhibition of work by members of Open Art Cape Town that is on at The Drawing Room in Observatory. I highly recommend that you go and see it but if you can't make it or live too far away it'll give you a taste of the work that's on display.

News In Brief... In Pictures

Once again we end the roundup with a selection of smaller news stories illustrated the best way most comics creators know how - in pictures.

Please support by shopping through the,, Raru, and Things From Another World affiliate links.

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

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