South African Comics News Roundup: Free Comic Book Day, Comexposed, Stray Action Figures, And An Interactive Web Comic

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 5 May 2017
Category: News Comments View Comments


The latest news includes a roundup of local Free Comic Book Day events, the Kickstarter campaign to create the Stray action figure, highlights from the most recent Comexposed event, and a web comic in which the readers decide what happens next.

South African Comics News Roundup: Free Comic Book Day, Comexposed, Stray Action Figures, And An Interactive Web Comic

April kept everyone very busy with events all over Cape Town, the highlights of some of which you will see in future episodes of #sacomics Cast. The main attraction was, of course, FanCon Cape Town Comic Con, which is the primary reason why this news roundup is a week late, as FanCon prep took up all my time last month. (The result is going to be some great comics-related articles in the next few months so keep watching for them.)

There's no event information in this roundup because I'm also a bit behind on updating the calendar but the most important new event information is around Free Comic Book Day, which is taking place worldwide tomorrow, and I've got the main South African events covered later in this news roundup.

To find out about more events happening later this month have a look at the calendar early next week as I will slowly be adding the other events I know about in the next few days. Highlights include the Kingsmead Book Fair in Johannesburg and the Franschhoek Literary Festival, as well as Open Art Sketch Meet events in Cape Town. It doesn't seem as though there will be too many small events during May as most people are probably taking it easy to recover from FanCon.

FanCon: The Return - A Huge Success

FanCon Cape Town Comic Con was held this past long weekend at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Thousands of people visited over the three days - the Saturday was particularly packed - to celebrate their love of comics, superheroes, cosplay, and general geekery.

South African Comics News Roundup: Free Comic Book Day, Comexposed, Stray Action Figures, And An Interactive Web Comic

The event was fantastic and included four fascinating international comics guests - Matt Hawkins (president of Top Cow), John Layman (Chew), Ron Marz (Witchblade), and Eric Powell (The Goon) - as well as local comics guests and local and international cosplay guests. There were also board gaming events, lots of geeky products for sale, and geek quizzes with great prizes.

South African Comics News Roundup: Free Comic Book Day, Comexposed, Stray Action Figures, And An Interactive Web Comic

Most important, of course, was the release of a large selection of new South African comics and zines, including publications by people who have never made a comic before - I will have both a video roundup and article about the new comics soon.

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

Free Comic Book Day 2017

Free Comic Book Day 2017Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow and comic shops in Cape Town and Johannesburg are holding various events on the day. The full information for each store's activities is in the calendar but here are the highlights:

Readers Den Comic Shop, Cape Town: Both branches of Readers Den Comic Shop in Cape Town are celebrating Free Comic Book day with a selection of deals and discounts, as well as the offering of one free comic per person (no purchase necessary, while stocks last) from a selection of 50 comics. The day's discounts and deals include extra free comics for customers with ongoing subscriptions, a free The Tick button badge and a FCBD keychain (while stocks last) with any purchase, 10% discount on certain products, and an exclusive 75th anniversary Wonder Woman Lil Bombshells vinyl figurine for customers who spend over R1000. [ More Details ]

Central City Comics, Johannesburg: Central City Comics in Johannesburg is having a pet friendly superhero day that will raise funds for the SPCA. Customers are encouraged to bring their people friendly pets and make a donation to the SPCA, either in the form of pet food and pet supplies or money. The donation will entitle customers to a 10% discount at the store. The day's activities will include cosplay competitions (for pets, adults, and kids), artwork commissions in the artists' alley, and stalls and food. [ More Details ]

AWX @ The Nexus, Johannesburg: AWX in Randburg, Johannesburg, will be hosting a celebration that will include signings and art by local comics creators Sean Izaakse, Jason Masters, Nas Hoosen, Greg Nell, and Manu Kongolo. [ More Details ]

Cosmic Comics, Johannesburg: Cosmic Comics in Johannesburg will be celebrating Free Comic Book Day with a large selection of special offers and freebies, as well as lucky draws and over 3000 comics to hand out for free, with cosplayers receiving extra comics. The day's activities and giveaways will include: an Artfx 1/6 scale Green Lantern figure for free valued at R2450 for the first person at the door (so you should probably already be there), a selected Artfx+ figure for the first 10 people to spend R500 or more, a Spider-Man Homecoming poster for the first 100 people in the queue, cosplay competitions for kids and adults, and gift vouchers and lucky draws. [ More Details ]

Comexposed Comic Book Day 5 Highlights

Comexposed Comic Book Day 5, which is the mini version of the Comexposed Convention that takes place every year in Zimbabwe, was held in Harare last month. By all reports it was a success and very much enjoyed by comics enthusiasts.

Here's Comexposed's highlights video:

YouTube link

One of the creators in attendance was, of course, Bill Masuku, with copies of Razor-Man - both #4 and #5, which has just been released. He also had Razor-Man and Umzingeli merchandise for sale.

South African Comics News Roundup: Free Comic Book Day, Comexposed, Stray Action Figures, And An Interactive Web Comic
Above: Photograph via Bill Masuku's Twitter feed.
Masuku also grabbed quite a haul from some of the other Zimbabwean comics creators at the event and posted a photo of a few of the comics to social media:

Comexposed's next convention, which is the big annual event, is taking place on 12 August 2017. You can find all the details for that event in the calendar - they've already been posted.

Vote To Influence The Story In A New Web-Comic Experiment

Gina-Rae Proxy of Fable Forge is working on a web-comics experiment in which the readers will get to choose that happens in the story. It launched at the end of last month, with the first three pages of the comic (which you can currently read on the home page) ending in a question that will affect the direction of the plot and the choice of characters in the story.

The intention is for Proxy to post new pages every few weeks, once the outcome of the current poll has been tallied and she's had a chance to draw the next few pages, and then she will invite readers to make another decision that will affect what happens next. The comic is free to read online but you'll need either a Twitter account or Facebook profile to vote in the polls.

South African Comics News Roundup: Free Comic Book Day, Comexposed, Stray Action Figures, And An Interactive Web Comic

You can vote on the first outcome right now on Twitter (look for the pinned tweet) or Facebook (look for the pinned post). Make sure to join the mailing list to be notified about when the next pages and poll will be posted, although it's not a prerequisite for participation.

Create New Adventures With Your Own Stray Action Figure

In the February news roundup I mentioned that a retro-inspired Stray action figure is on the way as part of a Kickstarter campaign. That day has now arrived. The campaign, Amazing Heroes Series 2 by Fresh Monkey Fiction, launched earlier this week.

South African Comics News Roundup: Free Comic Book Day, Comexposed, Stray Action Figures, And An Interactive Web Comic

This is Fresh Monkey Fiction's second wave of action figures based on indie comics characters - the first campaign was run successfully in 2015. This new campaign features eight characters, including Mike Allred's Madman and Ray-Anthony Height's Midnight Tiger, who is part of Action Lab's Actionverse along with Stray.

South African Comics News Roundup: Free Comic Book Day, Comexposed, Stray Action Figures, And An Interactive Web ComicBackers can select to pledge for an individual action figure at US$20, excluding shipping, or a special figure signed by the character's creator(s) (in the case of Stray it's US co-creator Vito Delsante) for an extra fee or they can opt for a series of all eight. Higher special tiers include customising your own action figure and getting the original sketch art for the packaging used in this series - in the case of Sean Izaakse, the South African co-creator of Stray, there are two sketch art options and they are both still available.

The campaign needs US$60 000 to succeed and is already past US$13 000 after only a handful of days. It runs until 6 June 2017 04:28 SAST (5 June 2017 US) so there's still lots of time to jump in if you're an action figure fan - but if you take too long you may miss out on the original sketch art.

(There's more Stray news in the News In Brief section below.)

Amazing Heroes: Official Store, Facebook
Fresh Monkey Fiction: Official Site, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Sean Izaakse: DeviantArt, Comic Vine, Twitter

Previously On

I posted the second #sacomics Cast episode on YouTube last month and it includes a review of the first issue of Sector. I'm still experimenting with formats, features, and graphics so there will continue to be tweaks incorporated into future shows but in the meantime have a look, give us a thumbs up, and subscribe to the airwavez channel if you haven't already:

YouTube link

I also posted an article showcasing the comics-themed work that Karl Mostert, Andrew Cramer, and Moray Rhoda have been doing for Heroic Aleworks, a brewery in Virginia in the US.

News In Brief

• The Stray creators are looking for pinups and fan art for future issues of the comic. They're asking for high-res (300 dpi or more) TIFF files, which you can email to dontcallmerotty[at]gmail[dot]com. The deadline is June/July but earlier is better - the team has already received submissions.

• Diorgo Jonkers has now posted some comic scripts online after having posted some science fiction short stories in March. Here's Betrayal à deux, No Water For Gloria, and Abandon All Hope. They're very quick to read and are helpful for aspiring comics writers wanting to know how to put a script together.

• The Kariba graphic-novel project has hit a snag [that link is likely accessible only to Kickstarter backers] in the form of the team's overconfidence in the amount of time it would take to write the script and develop and finish the book. Consequently, although it was due in backers' hands in February this year, the team is now estimating a January/February 2018 release (my guess is it might be longer as print is a whole new area ripe for drama). The delay isn't a huge disaster - it's common with crowdfunded projects - and the team's openness about the problem has gone a long way to making backers feel comfortable about the team's intention to finish the project.

• The office of the consul of Japan in Cape Town is inviting manga creators to submit work for the Eleventh Japan International Manga Award, which will be hosted by the Japanese Ministry Of Foreign Affairs. Applications have to reach Tokyo by 16 June 2017 but can be submitted to the nearest Japanese diplomatic mission. In Cape Town interested parties need to submit to the office of the consul by 31 May 2017. More details, as well as directions to application guidelines, can be found here.

• The first international guests for the ICON geek, gaming, and comics convention in Johannesburg in June have been announced as James L Sutter from Paizo, who co-created the Pathfinder RPG and is the creative director of the Starfinder RPG, and cosplayer Linda Le "Vampy Bit Me".

• A piece by Gerhard Human, titled David Lynch, was on display at Spoke Art in New York as part of the In Dreams exhibition, which was a tribute to film-maker David Lynch that was held in April. Limited-edition prints of Human's work can be bought from the Spoke Art web site.

News In Brief In Pictures... And Some Video

If a picture is worth a thousand words how many words is a three-part Twitter story worth, or a 50-second video? That's a lot of maths for a Friday.

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

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