Here’s What You Missed in African Comics Over The Weekend (And Then Some)

Can you believe it? We’re already halfway through the second week of May. Boy does time fly! The first week of May – let’s make that weekend – 2017 was beautiful for comic lovers the world over thanks, especially to Diamond Comic Distributors’ Free Comic Book Day initiative.

Here’s a brief rundown of what happened over the weekend as well as news we’re excited about in the growth of African digital arts manifested within comics, games and animation

Free Comic Book Day 2017
Free Comic Book Day 2017

Free comic book day happened not long ago on Saturday, May 6 across the world. What’s free comic book day? It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s an annual promotional effort effort by the North American comic book industry to help bring new readers into independent comic book stores according to Wikipedia.

What that means for African comics? Seeing as everyone pushing for the growth of our industry is an independent publisher, it’s a chance for our creators to market themselves (and in effect the African comic scene) by riding that wave, and boy did they; we applaud them. The big two, Comic Republic and Vortex Comics who already offer their comics online for free took the opportunity to remind everyone about their superb titles. Vortex rewarded a fan with physical copies of their titles who correctly named Ajagbeja‘s sword in Spirit Wars #1. CR meanwhile will reward one lucky fan this weekend who’s able to convince the publisher s/he deserves three hard copies of CR’s titles. Let’s not forget Roye Okupe’s YouNeek Studios either.

The company announced weeks ago that it’s successfully funded title, Malika: Warrior Queen would be made available for free at the event. What’s more? We’ll get a chance to snag a digital copy exactly a week after FCBD. That’s this weekend people, this weekend! Who doesn’t like free goodies?

The most exciting news over the weekend, however, revolves around Tobe Mad Max Jaeger Ezeogu’s Eru comic. Haven’t read Eru? Here’s an awesome review of the fear mongering African comic you should check out. Remember that black brother who played Torch in that horrible Fantastic Four reboot (I’m looking at you sideways if you think otherwise) and redeemed himself beautifully in Creed, Michael B. Jordan?

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Yeah, that guy. He recently expressed interest in Tobe’s work and that’s pretty wild considering:

Who else is connecting the dots? Did I hear you say Eru the movie? Chale Tobe, make this happen oo.

Animated GIF of a pumped Michael B Jordan from the movie Creed
Movie adaptation baby, movie adaptation!

Speaking of movies, Vortex also recently announced that,

film director David AnGa from WhiteFox Films is being sponsored by Go Global and The University of the West England (UWE Bristol, UK) to work on a short film adaptation for one of (their) characters (come) AUGUST.

I suspect Agbara is the character because that’s who the announcement came with. Yaay African comics!

The cover of the first issue of Agbara, an African comic about a female angel's demise on earth because of her refusal to participate in a war between gods and demons.
Agbara

Jumping over to Zimbabwe, Razor Man creator, Bill Masuku shared an update of activities at the Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA) that put a smile across my face.

Until Bill, I had no idea about HIFA. What’s more important however is something he shared in the update:

A new instalment this year saw the introduction of comic books and comic book workshops organised by Bill Masuku an up and coming name in the local industry. The Comics on sale were all of 100% Zimbabwean creation; while the comics on display were marked for teens they were of particular interest to the older generation who have begun investing so as to springboard the market in Zimbabwe.

We need more gigs like this across the continent to push the growth of the African comics industry. Special mention goes to Enigma Comix, ComExposed, Eugemedia and all the Zim creatives making things happen.

What else is new? Salim Busuru promises to release new Rovik, it’s been 3 months since the first issue and it was supposed to be monthly, but we can understand. After all, writing, pencilling, inking, lettering, the entire comic process really takes time. Just don’t take too long Salim. It’s been well over 3 months since that first Rovik issue and I’m hungry!

Let’s wrap this up with Ghana, the gateway to Africa, but a country that hasn’t churned out much animation or comics compared to the rest of the continent. We’re getting there however. This year has been particularly vibrant for the former with more than three animated music videos released. That count is about to go up thanks to Bertil Toby

That count is about to go up thanks to Bertil Toby Svanekiaer (Chaskele) and the Indigene BROS collective’s beautiful work on Jayso’s mellow party jam, Have A Party. The video will officially be Ghana’s first 3D animated music video. It will be premiered online on Saturday, May 13th. Do check it out; I promise, it’s a fun geekfest. Look out for a curiously irresistible dance move in the video. 🙂

There’s one last bit of news I’ll save for another post. Just know this, May is off to a really good start and I can’t wait to see all the brilliant ideas African creatives will bring to life. In the meantime, don’t forget to support your favourite artists’ work by either buying from them or sharing their work.

Peace, and Squirt Creativity!

By KaDi Yao Tay aka Avonome’s true love and  June XII’s best friend…nah, I’m playing.


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