South African Comics News Roundup: Catch Up With Stray, Comics On TV, And Fine Art Collaborations

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 13 October 2017
Category: News Comments View Comments


The news doesn't stop, even when the news gathering is delayed. Find out some of what's been happening in South African comics and what comics creators have been working on in the past few months, plus learn how to order the next two issues of Stray, if you haven't already.

South African Comics News Roundup: Catch Up With Stray, Comics On TV, And Fine Art Collaborations

August and September have been incredibly busy months for me, with both freelance projects and comics events taking up much of my time, so the monthly South African comics news roundups, sadly, collapsed. I'm trying to get back on track as the news doesn't stop (nor do the events - October is a bumper month!).

A whole lot of news came out of Open Book Comics Fest concerning Sector, Kwezi, Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa, and other projects, so look out for coverage on those topics soon. I'm also finalising the latest episode of #sacomics Cast, and am already prepping two more after that, so there's a lot to come.

Therefore, rather than continuing to have no news, here's some, but not all, of the recent news from the world of South African comics.

Comics Creators' Collaboration Produces Beautiful Fine Art

Danelle Malan, Daniël Hugo, and embroidery artist Danielle Clough were commissioned by Gregg Brill from Rhino Africa Safaris to work on a fine-art project that comprised seven large-scale pieces for Silvan Safari, a private lodge in the Sabi Sand region of the Kruger National Park. Each piece had to depict an indigenous tree that forms part of the ecosystem and the wildlife that interacts with it.

South African Comics News Roundup: Catch Up With Stray, Comics On TV, And Fine Art Collaborations
Above: Knobthorn, one of the seven artworks produced by the collaboration.
Malan's role was to create a painted washy background for each piece, Hugo added ink line work, and Clough incorporated embroidered bird-related elements to add texture and small focal points of colour.

Malan goes into great detail about how the project came to be, the intentional choice of artists for the "D3" collaboration, and the results of the work in a public post on Patreon.

African Comics Under The Spotlight

Al Jazeera's The Stream, a YouTube based cultural-news programme that streams live and interacts with viewers on various social-media platforms as it does so, featured African comics on its show a few weeks ago.

Three comics creators, Jide Martin of Comic Republic in Nigeria, Loyiso Mkize, the South African creator of Kwezi, and Eugene Ramirez, the Zimbabwean creator of Umzingeli and the founder of the Comexposed comics convention, were guests via Skype while a fourth, Paul Louise-Julie, the New York based creator of The Pack and Yoncé, sat in studio with the show's hosts.

YouTube link

Unfortunately the show tried to pack too many topics into half an hour, which resulted in the hosts constantly interrupting the guests' points and the general conversation to move on to another subject, usually just when it was getting particularly interesting. The guests, for example, all have very strong opinions about the upcoming Black Panther movie and how it's depicting Africa as viewed through an exoticised, Western lens but they weren't given a chance to discuss this in any depth before the hosts switched the conversation to a "related" topic that really wasn't.

Frustrations aside the show is still worth watching, and it's great to see African comics in the international spotlight for a change, but this video still only serves as a little teaser of a very interesting subject that deserves more exposure by mainstream media.

Read An Old Moosebox Comic

Mike Scott recently found a 16-page black-and-white Moosebox comic from 2015 in his archives titled Glitch Feet, which was an unfinished idea for an episode of the animated TV show of the same name that he is currently developing with Nickelodeon.

He has now posted it on Scribd, where you can view it - and even download it if you have a Scribd account - but you can also read it right here:

Moosebox 'Glitch Feet' Comic by Mike Scott on Scribd

Mike Scott is better known as an animator than a comics creator, although his comics back catalogue is large enough that he was able to publish a book, featuring his characters Bru and Boegie, a few years ago. He recently worked with a group of animators and sound experts to create a new short, as his personal projects have fallen by the wayside while he works on his professional videos, and the result is Beatboxing Dave: "Forbidden Dance".

He has written about the creation process in a blog post, which includes some work-in-progress and planning photographs.

YouTube link

Scott is best know for the work he has done for the past seven years on the animated music videos for South African music duo Goldfish, which have an evolving, but signature, style and aesthetic and have been telling a story about the GoldFish duo, their goldfish mascot friend, and DJ Dog.

A new video spearheaded by Scott, for the duo's single Talk To Me, was released on YouTube this week on Armada Music's channel and, later, GoldFish's own channel.

YouTube link

The video is filled with little geek jokes and Easter eggs and it's interesting to note that DJ Dog, who has been a prominent antagonist in the GoldFish music videos for years, is looking more and more like a certain president as his fame and power increases.

Comics And Cosplay Get Their Moment On South African Television

Going a little bit further back in time, in August the SABC3 documentary series Counter Culture featured comics fans in one of its episodes and delved into the lives of two of them.

YouTube link

The episode follows a comic and figurine collector, Duri Dhansay, and a cosplayer, Nici McGeorge. It examines how Dhansay became a comics fan and explores some of his collection of comics and figurines and it follows Nici McGeorge's attempts to design, create, and assemble her first cosplay outfit, which she intends to debut at the 2017 FanCon Cape Town Comic Con.

The flagship Claremont branch of Cape Town's Readers Den Comic Shop appears in the episode, as do the store's owners Mahdi and Nizar Abrahams. As mentioned, FanCon Cape Town Comic Con, the annual comics convention that is organised by Readers Den, also features prominently in the episode. (Eagle-eyed fans will be able to catch glimpses of Eric Powell, the creator of The Goon, and John Layman, the co-creator of Chew, as well as Lauren Beukes, Dale Halvorsen, and Sean Izaakse.)

Unfortunately the series' use of the word "counter" in the title imposes an othering identity on the cultures depicted when it actually just explores diverse interests and offers a window into different South Africans' lives and life experiences. Happily the episodes, themselves, are interesting, positive, and reasonably well researched (bar the fact that, in the comics episode, the voiceover artist keeps referring to comics culture as "the comic-book genre").

More episodes from the series are available in full on YouTube.

How To Order The Next Two Issues Of Stray

In previous news roundups I've explained how to pre order issue number one and issue number two of the new Stray series from Action Lab (Stray Volume 2), which is officially titled Actionverse Featuring: Stray. If you haven't set up an ongoing monthly order with your local comic shop there are still a few days left to order issue number three, either from your local comic shop or Things From Another World, which offers pre-order discounts and ships internationally.

South African Comics News Roundup: Catch Up With Stray, Comics On TV, And Fine Art Collaborations

South African Comics News Roundup: Catch Up With Stray, Comics On TV, And Fine Art CollaborationsAs with the previous two issues, issue number three is available in three cover variants:

• Cover A/Sean Izaakse (pictured above, left): SEP171033
Things From Another World ]

• Cover B/David Golding (action figure, pictured above, right): SEP171034
Things From Another World ]

• Cover C/Javier Sanchez Aranda (alien fight, pictured to the right): SEP171035
Things From Another World ]

The cutoff date for pre ordering issue number three is 16 October 2017 and it will be available in comic shops from 8 November 2017. The issue concludes the "The Rottweiler Years" story arc.

Pre ordering information is also available for issue number four, which starts a new story arc called "The Intolerance" and includes a guest starring appearance by the character Midnight Tiger. It also sees Ares Taveras taking over art duties from Lee Gaston and features a bonus story by Jay Piscopo. This issue only has two cover variants, one by Sean Izaakse and the other by Miguel Angel Ruiz.

South African Comics News Roundup: Catch Up With Stray, Comics On TV, And Fine Art Collaborations

• Cover A/Sean Izaakse (pictured above, left): OCT171035
Things From Another World ]

• Cover B/Miguel Angel Ruiz (pictured above, right): OCT171036
Things From Another World ]

The cutoff date for ordering issue number four is 13 November 2017 and it will be in comic stores from 6 December 2017.

(Very) Recently On

It's October so it's time for the zombies. My 5 Zombie Questions interview with John Layman, the creator of Chew and an international guest at this year's FanCon Cape Town Comic Con, has just been posted on

In the piece you'll learn more about his projects and it is illustrated with a couple of photographs from the convention if you missed it or just want to reminisce.

I hope you enjoy it!

October Events

South African Comics Calendar Of EventsOctober has already been a busy month. Here are some highlights of upcoming and ongoing events:

• Conventions: Both Comexposed (featuring Bill Masuku) in Harare, Zimbabwe, and Nottingham Comic Convention (featuring Sally Jane Thompson) in Nottingham, England, are taking place on Saturday, 14 October 2017.

• Sketch Meetups: Open Art's final sketch meetup for the month is on Saturday, 21 October 2017.

• Festivals: Halloween ComicFest is taking place, worldwide, on Saturday, 28 October 2017. So far Readers Den Comic Shop in Cape Town and Central City Comics in Johannesburg have announced that they will be participating.

• Exhibitions: Comics & Concepts and Inktober In Bohemia are both running at Ahem in Observatory, Cape Town. Traces is running at WHOW Studios in Durbanville, Cape Town. Secret Messages is running at No End Contemporary Art Space in Linden, Johannesburg.

News In Brief

• The Cottonstar "Cross Skull" vest and T-shirt design that Danelle Malan and Ben G Geldenhuys debuted at this year's FanCon Cape Town Comic Con is now available on Redbubble, which ships internationally. The design is available for various vest, shirt, T-shirt, and hoodie styles and in five different colours. It's also available for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and iPad cases, and several types of home ware products.

• Maya LeMaitre has posted all her comics and zines to Gumroad, including my personal favourite, Mystique, which will enable you to buy digital versions of all the publications.

• Diorgo Jonkers has posted more comics scripts on his web site: Elevator Music and Non-Existence Of Kevon March, which are both four-page scripts, and Sim Test, a 20-page script.

• Ahem, the comics- and concept-art gallery in Observatory, Cape Town, has organised an Airbnb experience - a limited-seat dinner in the gallery - for 4 November 2017, which has been listed as a featured experience for Cape Town.

• Rowan Govender of Geek Ink, who organises the monthly Open Art Sketch Meets in Cape Town, has floated the idea of organising a community table at the next FanCon Cape Town Comic Con for regular sketch meetup attendees. Contact him if you are interested or have comments.

• Inktober 2017 kicked off on the first of this month and a number of South African comics creators are taking part, including Danielle Albertyn, Kay Carmichael, Leigh Cupido, Anwar Davids, Jarred Cramer, Nas Hoosen, Kevin Richter, and Gat Melvyn. Look out for their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts throughout the month.

News In Brief In Pictures

I cover more ground if I don't tell you anything and, instead, just post pictures so here's a slightly larger visual roundup than usual.

These are up at the moment at the 'Traces' group exhibition at @whow.studios which opened a week ago! ๐Ÿ™†

A post shared by Maya Lemaitre (@mayalemaitre) on

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

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