Googling African Comics these days thankfully returns a series of articles highlighting one African comic or the other. But that’s several articles pointing you in many different places (or saying the same darn thing about the same darn comics). If you’re like me, that means bookmarking a tonne of pages for later when you can sift through and find your favourites.
That’s not very productive and too much work.
Let’s change that.
Below are fantastic resources for discovering African comics on the interwebs that aren’t overshadowed by foreigner’s work about the continent (t *cough* cha *cough* lla *cough*).
In no particular order, here we go:
This startup is the database for everything comics from Africa and the African diaspora. It’s a database that’s populated by users and the Kugali team. It’s a great place to start looking for some of the best African comics this side of town. It offers a rating feature that will definitely help you discover the most beloved but might also sideline other great content that you might fall in love with. Jump into Kugali’s database and discover African comics you’ll dig!
Whoop, that’s us! Squid Mag provides news, reviews and updates on the world of African comics, games and animation. From who’s creating what, to interviews, to awesome creations, to our aspirations for a fledgeling industry, Squid Mag is your go to. If you’re looking for opinions on African creativity within these fields, look no further than us.
The figure 254 is Kenya’s country code and also what defines this company. 254 Comics is a Kenyan digital distributio portal from where you can purchase African comics. The majority of comics on this site are from Kenyan creatives. The comics are also reasonably priced. The biggest downside to this platform is the exclusion of Visa or Mastercard payment options. I personally can’t make any purchases because Ghana is blacklisted from Paypal’s services. Talk about a total buzzkill for digesting African comics. They do however offer mPesa and a way to pay using your airtime. If you’re a Paypal enabled country however, 254 comics is a great resource you should check out. There’s even a convenient Android app for you.
How would you letter explosions in your comic? That’s exactly what Kaboom Nigeria is. Kaboom is a geek Eden offering news on comics, animation and other media from an African perspective. It’s not just African comics, but everything in between. Plus, if you’re looking to read the scripts of wonderful African comics like Orisha Pikin by Squid Mag contributor Yamakasi Kiyindou, Kaboom is the perfect destination.
Google African comics and you might easily mistake Nigeria for Africa. That’s not at all a bad thing, it just shows Nigerian creatives are sharing their hard work more and everyone should take a cue. Right behind them is Zimbabwe championed by Comexposed. Comexposed is an art collective, a publisher and a hub for Zimbabwean
geek creativitygeektivity (I’m allowed to create words right?). Comexposed showcases – both offline and online – what Zimbabwe has to offer and quite frankly, it’s a lot of needed diversity. Zimbabwean comics are spontaneous and don’t follow…focus KaDi. Check out Comexposed for all the Zimbabwean comic action you need in your life. Don’t forget to check out Comic Up Vol 2, a Zimbabwean comic anthology.
What is Okadabooks? “It’s a fast, simple and fun way to read books without ever leaving your couch! Send a text, choose a book, then download and start reading — it’s almost as easy as riding an Okada. It’s book reading, reinvented”. That’s according to the company’s website. Why it’s on this list? African comics of course! True to their words, finding comics to read especially through the Okadabooks app is a breeze. It includes titles from Ayodele Elegba’s Spoof Studios, Comic Republic, Vortex and a few originals that have been remade. Journey your way to African comics in an Okada with Okadabooks.
This will be an incomplete list without theBlerdgurl.com. The site is run by Karama, the black nerd girl (theblerdgurl). She highlights graphic novels, comic books, pop culture and more with a focus on work by globally underrepresented people, including people of colour. Her work promoting African comics is divine. It is thanks to her that I’ve discovered some of the talents on the continent. In retrospect, her blog is possibly one source of inspiration to continue what we do here at Squid Mag. Get inspired by her manifesto and visit her website, you’ll love it!
Other great places to discover African comics include Jepchumba’s African Digital Art, Comic Panel, the Uganda Cartoon Network and Folktales Moonlight. Comixology, Webtoons, Tapastic and Issuu are also fantastic resources but only when you know what you’re looking for, key in the right queries or have luck on your side. Oh, then there’s Facebook and the mother of all, Google!
This isn’t nearly an exhaustive list. Which ones did we miss and how else do you discover African comics? Share with us in the comments. Also, share this post with your friends and family who are hungry for African stories. Akpe!
By KaDi Yao Tay (aka African Comic Directory).