South African Comics News Roundup: Girl Talk, Sean Izaakse On The Radio, More Werewolves, And Highlights From EGE
In this roundup, learn how comics are being used for cancer awareness and education, listen to Sean Izaakse fly the South African comics (and Marvel) flag on local radio, see who was at EGE, and find out how to read the first issue of
James Bond: Eidolon for free.
Welcome to another roundup of South African comics news. It's been a bit of a break since the last one but here's a selection of some of the most interesting and noteworthy recent stories, with more to follow later this month.
You'll also find expanded smaller items in the News In Brief section as part of this news catchup as well as the usual quick roundup of events taking place in the next few weeks.
South African Comics At EGE
The fourth EGE (Electronics & Gaming Expo) took place in Cape Town last month and, as has been the case in previous years, comics were represented - but barely.
Ziyaad Rahman represented Awali Comics, which has been producing the Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa
series for the past year
. Rahman is currently working on the fourth issue with the intention of having print versions of both it, and the third issue, which so far has only been available digitally, ready in time for Comic Con Africa next month. If we're lucky they may also be available a week earlier at Open Book Comics Fest, where Awali Comics will also be appearing.
You can now download a digital copy of Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa Issue #1 for free via Gumroad
, although it's always kind to support creators by adding a tip, if you'd like a closer look at the series.
Rahman has also been working on a super secret 12-page comic
that's not related to Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa
, teasers for which can be found in the Awali Comics Instagram stream
, so I'll have more on that once the story is out. It seems the comic is being funded by an anonymous benefactor and Rahman is using the money to help with the printing costs for the third and fourth issues of Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa
Stephen Spinas was also at EGE with a selection of his prints. He is currently working on a comic called Em Is For Monsters
, which looks as if it might be heavy on the zombie slaying action
, so it's another comic to look forward to. He is hoping to have the page linked to above ready for displaying at Comic Con Africa, where he will also be appearing.
Here is a time lapse of Spinas creating an artwork based on characters that will be appearing in the comic:
Finally, Readers Den Comic Shop was at EGE again this year with a selection of collectibles, posters, and graphic novels.
Siri Watu: Descendants Of Africa: Indiegogo Page
Stephen Spinas: Official Site
Readers Den Comic Shop: Official Site
Cancer-Prevention Awareness Is Highlighted In A New Comic Strip
Deni Brown, who writes the comic strip Mama Taxi
, and illustrator and printmaker Jesse Breytenbach have been collaborating on a comic strip called Girl Talk
, a breast cancer awareness and screening initiative that operates out of mobile busses.
The comic strip debuted on 2 February this year, ahead of World Cancer Day on 4 February, and features students Thuli and Jo, as well as an ongoing story that follows the experiences of Lindiwe, a young woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer. Presumably the intention behind Girl Talk
is to reduce any stigma associated with the disease and bust some myths, as well as educate people as to the diagnostic processes and medical procedures they will have to undergo if they are diagnosed.
is a great example of how comics can be used as educational tools and to create awareness in a non threatening manner by using humour and relatable characters to tell a story with which readers can identify.
A new Girl Talk
comic strip is posted each week on PinkDrive's web site and on its Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. You can also catch up on the PinkDrive web site.
PinkDrive Girl Talk: Official Site
, More Info
South Africans Contribute To The Latest Werewolves Versus Zine
Last year I highlighted a fantastic vintage-inspired cover
's Ben G Geldenhuys designed for the international digital zine Werewolves Versus Space
. Geldenhuys' art once again graces the cover of one of the zines, Werewolves Versus Fashion
, which was released at the end of June. This time it's rendered in a pop-art style, suitable for a fashion magazine cover, to suit the subject matter of the zine.
The zines are a collection of pinup art, short stories, and comics, all centred around werewolves and the current issue's theme (in this case, of course, it is fashion). They are sold in a pay-what-you want model (which includes US$0 but be respectful and support the creators) via Gumroad and the profits are shared among the contributors.
Werewolves Versus Fashion
is the sixth issue in the series and 149 pages long. It has two other connections to South Africa besides Geldenhuys. The first is Cottonstar
's other half, Danelle Malan, who created a pinup, "Diety" for the zine. The other is Lew "Viergacht" Delport, who I'm not sure is actually South African but who lives in Cape Town, who contributed the only comic to the zine, the 12-page No Country For Old Wolfmen
. (I highly recommend the zine just for that comic.) Viergacht creates really great genre covers for authors who are self publishing a book, which you can browse through at SelfPubBookCovers
You can purchase Werewolves Versus Fashion via Gumroad
, which accepts PayPal and credit cards.
In related news, the first five issues in the Werewolves Versus
series, which includes Werewolves Versus Space
, have been compiled into a monster 780-page book
, the printing costs for which the publisher, Angela Quinton/Argyle Werewolf, will be funding via a crowdfunding project that will be launching later this year. The book will also contain some extra content that wasn't published in the zines.
The management, fulfillment, and shipping will be handled by Make That Thing
, an offshoot of TopatoCo
. Unfortunately, since it's such a tome, I can't imagine that it will be financially possible for most South Africans to afford the shipping costs to get it here but the project still deserves our support and, hopefully, there will be a digital tier that we can back.
Look out for more brainwavez.org coverage of the campaign when it launches.
Werewolves Versus: Official Site
Sean Izaakse Flies The Marvel Flag With Jim Zub On Local Radio
On 26 June, ahead of this year's ICON Comics & Games Convention (ICON CGC)
event in Johannesburg at which Sean Izaakse and Jim Zub, his frequent collaborator from the Canada on various Marvel titles, were special guests, the two appeared on Pippa Hudson's radio show on CapeTalk.
Zub and Izaakse phoned in from Johannesburg to talk about their careers and working for Marvel. Unfortunately Hudson was clearly not well versed in the subject and hadn't even done basic homework as she wasn't aware that Izaakse is a South African.
The interview was the first part of a two-part segment highlighting the convention and geek culture, which then moved to cosplay and gaming, with Pippa Hudson interviewing Meagan Marie in studio more successfully. Marie is the senior community manager at games-development house Crystal Dynamics, which is best known for the Tomb Raider
series, and is an avid cosplayer.
The next day Zub and Izaakse appeared in studio at 702 in Johannesburg to talk to Azania Mosaka about comics for her Wednesday Masterclass series. Mosaka was much better prepared and spent nearly an hour talking to the two comics creators about their Marvel projects and how story lines develop and comics are produced. They talked extensively about their working relationship and how Izaakse interprets Zub's scripts and, in response to a caller's question towards the end of the interview, discussed how to get into the industry and talked a little bit about Stray
Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend ICON CGC but I believe it was a success. Certainly Marie took the opportunity to raise funds for the South African Guide-Dogs Association For The Blind
while she was at the convention. She sold cosplay prints to fans, the printing of which was sponsored by Canon South Africa, and ultimately raised R10 000
for the association.
ICON Comics & Games Convention: Official Site
Sean Izaakse: DeviantArt
, Comic Vine
, Fresh Comics
, Wikia (Marvel)
, Things From Another World
Jim Zub: Official Site
, Amazon.com Profile
, Things From Another World
Read The First Issue Of James Bond: Eidolon For Free
Newsarama posted the entire first issue of James Bond: Eidolon
(officially: James Bond 007 #7 Volume 2 Eidolon
) on its web site last month for anyone to read for free.
This was to promote the release of the trade paperback that collects the six-issue story, which was written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Jason Masters, coloured by Guy Major, and lettered by Simon Bowland.
James Bond: Eidolon
is the team's second collaboration, after James Bond: Vargr
, which comprised six issues that were published by Dynamite Entertainment between 2015 and 2016.
James Bond: Eidolon
was published as single issues in 2016 and was collected in a hardcover book last year so it's been quite a wait for the trade paperback version. Unfortunately the hardcover only contains the story and no bonus material, unlike the James Bond: Vargr
hardcover, which was filled with extras, such as Jason Masters' concept art and reproductions of the many, many
) alternate covers that were published to promote the first issue of the series, so it's likely that the James Bond: Eidolon
trade paperback will, similarly, contain only the story and not much else.
You can buy the trade paperback locally through Raru.co.za
or internationally through Things From Another World
Cover Revealed For Mistique Volume II
Maya LeMaitre has revealed the cover for the second issue of her satirical zine Mistique
, which she will be launching tonight.
makes fun of women's lifestyle magazines and the undercurrent of body shaming that often accompanies seemingly well meaning articles, as well as much of the holistic "advice" that can often be found between the pages. The themes often drift into fantasy and science fiction but the humour is very much grounded in the kinds of content presented in contemporary magazines.
LeMaitre launched the first issue in April last year and it quickly became one of my favourite zines
. Consequently I'm really looking forward to seeing where the humour goes next. The cover certainly hints at some interesting topics.
The launch will be taking place at Blank Books in Woodstock, Cape Town, where copies of both zines will be available. More details are available in the South African Comics Calendar Of Events
. If you can't make it you can buy a PDF of the first one on Gumroad
for US$1 and I'm sure the second will be available there soon too.
Blank Books also runs an online store where you can buy physical copies of South African comics and have them shipped worldwide. In fact, a conversation at this year's FanCon Cape Town Comic Con resulted in Blank Books offering to set up a hub for South African comics
. This is partly as a result of the Indie Comics SA project
, which provided a shopping hub for new local indie comics, going into hiatus in 2016 and leaving a void for shoppers.
The Blank Books hub is an unordered collection of both brand new and secondhand (and sometimes vintage) local comics so it's a bit of a challenge to get through but it contains some treasures. You can also try Readers Den Comic Shop's online hub
, which only contains new comics. The first issue of Mistique
is available there both online and in the stores and Mistique Volume II
will likely be on the shelves shortly as well.
Maya LaMaitre will also be appearing, with her zines and comics and as part of Unblush Collective, at Open Book Comics Fest in Cape Town for the weekend festival programme on 8 and 9 September 2018.
Blank Books: Official Site
News In Brief
The full programme for Open Book Comics Fest
, which is taking place this year from 5 to 9 September in Cape Town, has been posted on the web site
and is available in a printed format at various venues around the city, including The Book Lounge. Some of the comics creators are also in the main literary festival programme and not just the comics festival programme so I will be posting a comprehensive breakdown of all the applicable sessions in the South African Comics Calendar Of Events soon.
A new book by Zapiro
and Mike Wills, chronicling behind-the-scenes struggles and conflicts in Zapiro's career, was launched last week. It is, appropriately, titled WTF: Capturing Zuma - A Cartoonist's Tale
and it has been published by Jacana.
The dates and venue for the 2019 FanCon Cape Town Comic Con
have been announced: the weekend of 27 and 28 April 2019 and once again in the CTICC2 building on the foreshore where it took place this year. If you're interested in applying as an exhibitor the call to action is expected to go out next month. Tickets for the public will go on sale in February 2019. Plan are already in motion: the cosplay community has set up a Harry Potter cosplay group
to organise an epic Harry Potter themed event at the convention.
launched a new web site at the end of April. You can have a look at www.alexlatimer.co.za
. I highly recommend viewing his mini comic "Captain Koala Rescues A Sock"
while you're there.
In more Alex Latimer
news, he recently published a 32-page children's book through Oxford University Press titled Am I Yours?
(ISBN: 9780192759467), which is "a rhyming story about dinosaurs"
. The official blurb reads: "When an icy wind pushes an egg from its nest, five friendly dinosaurs must get it home before dark. But who does the lost egg belong to? And will they figure it out in time?". You can buy the book through Amazon.com
, and Raru.co.za
is now available on DriveThruComics.com
In more book-launch news, Shameema Dharsey
launched her latest colouring book, Shameema's Colouring For Kids! Arabic Farm Animals
, at the HalaalGoods Market in Johannesburg Last month.
Readers Den Comic Shop
has entered into a partnership with Premier Comics
in Johannesburg, which sources exclusive and hard-to-find comics. This includes officially graded comics and special editions published by companies such as KRS Comics, which has commissioned Warren Louw for a few covers in the past few months. The partnership will make it easier for collectors in Cape Town to order special items.
The Defenders Of Eden
team, which includes Andrew Cramer
, has sent a pitch
to Image Comics in the hope that the publisher will pick up the comic series.
Finally, some sad news: as of 1 June 2018 Central City Comics
stopped trading in Johannesburg from any retail locations. It is now on the lookout
for a suitable location for another popup store.
Although it's halfway through August there's still lots to do if you're interested in South African comics, including art meetups and launches. Keep checking the South African Comics Calendar Of Events
for more details and last minute additions, which may include announcements around possible launch events for Zapiro's new book (see the News In Brief section above).
Tonight, 16 August 2018:
Maya LeMaitre is launching Mistique Volume II
at Blank Books in Woodstock, Cape Town.
Saturday, 18 August 2018:
Sally Jane Thompson is presenting the How To Draw A Superhero Workshop
at the National Justice Museum in Nottingham in the UK. The workshop is free and suitable for families.
Until Thursday, 23 August 2018:
You can see a fine-art piece by Loyiso Mkize titled Liberation
in the exhibition New Dawn
at Eclectica Design & Art in Cape Town.
Saturday, 25 August 2018:
Open Art Cape Town is hosting one of its regular daytime sketch meetups
at The Drawing Room, a café and art gallery in Observatory, Cape Town.
Highlights for next month include Open Book Comics Fest in Cape Town and Comic Con Africa in Johannesburg. The Calendar will be updated next week with a full breakdown of the events at each convention.
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Tags: Arts And Culture
, South African Comics
, Speculative Fiction