Ghanaian Comics at Pa Gya! A Literary Festival In Accra

2017 has been pretty amazing so far for the African geekdom, especially where comic books are concerned. From NAICCON (Kenya), Lagos Comic Con (Nigeria), Comexposed (Zimbabwe) and the just concluded NerdCon (Ghana), these events are helping geeks find new spaces to thrive in as fans and/or creators.

As creators and/or fans of African comics, however, there is barely any representation from Ghana. Thankfully, Pa Gya! A Literary Festival in Accra is about to change that and you are cordially invited. The festival kicks off at the Goethe-Institut in Accra (directions at end of post) from Friday, October 19 to Sunday, October 21.

Pa Gya! A Literary Festival In Accra Poster

The 3-day festival, organized by the Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe-Institut Ghana has included comics as part of the festival and will feature a panel discussion on Comic Books As Part of Ghanaian Literary Arts as well as a showcase of Ghanaian (yes, they exist) and African comics.

The panel will feature animator and illustrator Comfort Arthur (Black Barbie, Social Media Zombies), Setor Fiadzigbey (Lake of Tears, Kezi and Mozi), satirical illustrator Bright Ackwerh and Kwaku Tabiri (game developer and comic book aficionado) from Leti Arts. The panel will be moderated by Squid Mag co-founder Sydney Kofi Asare.

As part of the comic setup, Squid Mag and Leti Arts will have booths where you can check out print and digital comics from the continent. The Leti Arts booth will showcase the company’s revamped African Legends game and comic presently in development plus all the cool things the company is doing to tell more inclusive African stories.

Kugali Mag issue 0 front cover

The Squid Mag both will showcase comics from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda. You can also purchase print copies of Kugali’s first anthology, as well as 1 limited copy of Peda Comic’s Newborn Saga at this booth.

The booth will also feature an exclusive sneak peek into Lake of Tears, an upcoming graphic novel by Setor Fiadzigbey that explores child trafficking and child labour on the Volta Lake in Ghana.

Lake of Tears Cover | comic by Setor Fiadzigbey

The comic panel and the comic setup is facilitated by Squid Mag with tremendous support from the organizers.

Fellow comic book lovers, bookworms, nerds and fantastic human beings, come out in your awesomeness and support Pa Gya! A Literary Festival in Accra.


PS: From the release of two anthologies (Kugali’s first and Comexposed’s second ComicUp); Peda Comic’s and YouNeek Studio’s successful Kickstarters; the pilot adaptation of Kwezi into animation; Al Jazeera’s spotlight on African creators and several new releases, the year has been busy and we love it. Can’t wait to see how we close out the year.

Squirt Creativity!

– KaDi Yao Tay.

 

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The Kwezi Animation Signals Exciting Times Ahead For African Comic Books

Kwezi, one of the superstars on the African comics scene is getting the animation treatment and that’s a sweet dream come true! The Kwezi animation screen test is an adaptation of the superhero comic by the talented Loyiso Mkize from South Africa.

The comic shares the adventures of a young narcissistic man, Kwezi, who discovers he has super powers, is part of an ancient race that pre-dates humanity and must set off on a journey to save the world and find his purpose. (Read the first Kwezi issue for free here).

Kwezi Heroes African Comic by South African artist Loyiso MkizeThe Kwezi Facebook page recently shared a screen test for the animation not long after sharing a short behind the scenes video and it’s all sorts of exciting! The comic is 7 issues deep and isn’t ending anytime soon; enough material for a short series. An animated series will keep the story going and the excitement overflowing.

Kwezi joins the likes of Strike Guard and Orisha Pikin, who have produced an animated short (by Spoof Animation Studios) and an animated storyboard proof of concept respectively over the last year.

As more and more comics pop up on the African comics scene (especially from Nigeria and Zimbabwe), it’s only logical that African creatives take the next step to bring their ideas and stories to the big screen through animation. After all, we’re well aware of the potential for African storytelling in more exciting and interactive forms beyond text-only literature. Exciting times ahead. Who knows how long before we can finally transition from comic books to live-action movies? Until then, revel in the beauty below:


By KaDi Yao Tay.

Squid Alley with Sonwabo “Sonik” Valashiya

SONWABO Sonik VALASHIYA describes himself as an “emerging creative with BIG dreams and awesome ideas for this industry” in a feature on him for Conté Magazine. (Check them out, pretty awesome stuff). Sonwabo is an illustrator and graphic designer from Pretoria, South Africa. He has an uncanny talent for fusing calm hues, grit and pop culture that leaves you gasping for air and ready to re-imagine present realities. And oh, he might have a thing for guns.

Let’s shoot.  Continue reading “Squid Alley with Sonwabo “Sonik” Valashiya”

7 Great Resources for Discovering African Comics

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. Continue reading “7 Great Resources for Discovering African Comics”

Squid Alley With Alfred Achiampong

This week’s Squido (Squid Hero) is none other than Alfred Achiampong. Alfred is an impressive and constantly evolving illustrator who has taken the rule of 10,000 hours to heart. He posts as many new illustrations as there are days on his social media accounts. He’s been at this awesomeness for almost two years, posting something new every single day and playing with new pencilling and colouring techniques. He also participated in #Inktober2016. That’s 100 points for motivation and effort. He sometimes goes by the nickname Yo Qwick and I can’t help but connect this to his animation potential evidenced in the brush strokes in some of his older work.

Continue reading “Squid Alley With Alfred Achiampong”

Squid Alley With Kevin Blackmore

We’re starting something new and exciting at Squid Mag that you’ll totally love. We’re granting you- with 9 questions – an all-access pass into the backyards of some of the best illustrators, graphic designers and comic writers across the continent. We’re calling it the Squid Alley -à la artist alley – and it is intended to offer a window into the lives of these amazing artists, every week! Continue reading “Squid Alley With Kevin Blackmore”

Giveaway: Win Free Art Prints From Brilliant Nigerian Illustrator, Etubi Onucheyo

If you love great digital art, African comics, Mumu Juju, comedy and are presently in Nigeria, Christmas came really early for you via the new Santa, Etubi Onucheyo!

How you ask? Through his Mumu 5k Giveaway where he gives away three out of 20 pieces in his “this is who we are but you didn’t care” series.

Why? To celebrate the 5 thousand lovely Instagram accounts that follow him and his fantastic portfolio.

Continue reading “Giveaway: Win Free Art Prints From Brilliant Nigerian Illustrator, Etubi Onucheyo”

Nubiamancy: Scoping Black Magic Through Art with Asante Massawa

If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for brilliant art that’s seasoned with black/African spice, Nubiamancy is it. It is an online goldmine that promotes some of the most amazing art depicting sci-fi, fantasy, mysticism and horror from and for a black/African perspective.

Nubiamancy aims to inspire creativity – to showcase works based on African mysticism and alternative forms of Afrocentricity – and to promote creators such as La’Vata E. O’NealGbenle Maverick, Venus BambisaSetor Fiadzigbey, Marcus Williams and more, who are spreading these sci-fi narratives through their creations. Continue reading “Nubiamancy: Scoping Black Magic Through Art with Asante Massawa”

Ma-Otero: This Kenyan Animation is a Throwback to Childhood Role Playing Fun

Ma-Otero, which is sheng (Kenyan slang) for heroes is a short afromation about a group of friends saving their city, in superhero fashion (in all its forms, clothing and purpose).

The short is based on a comic created by Mmbasu Mbwabi and directed & animated by Salim Busuru. The afromation (African animation) stars Otero Prime, Otero Blue, Otero Small, Otero Buff and a big bad monkey.

While this 2d short isn’t in English, it’s really easy to follow the story and interpret the dialogue. This is all thanks to the clean animation style and simple story. The art is easy on the eye and delivers a wonderful experience.

This 2D afromation  was produced by Avandu formerly Urban Design Kings), a  Kenyan art studio responsible for comics such as Dunamis and Rovik as well as games like Kade:Ule Mtoi Mrui and this fascinating African superhero project.

See the hearty nostalgia below and check out this delightful review.

Happy #ThrowbackThursday. Squirt Creativity!

 

Fear Faces The Music (Or Something Like That) In Comic Republic’s Double Release

This weekend promises to be tons of fun with the release of two comic titles via Comic Republic. The publisher is ready to drop the fourth issue of the dark and fearful Eru comic. What was that? You haven’t read or heard about Eru? You do yawa! We’d totally love to go into it for you but the folks over at Naija Komics Online do a wonderful job of it here. Okay, fine, we’ll bite.

Continue reading “Fear Faces The Music (Or Something Like That) In Comic Republic’s Double Release”