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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#DrawingWhileBlack: Highlighting African Artists You Never Knew About

#DrawingWhileBlack is hands down one of the best trends the internet has ever seen. The hashtag trend, started by Ghanaian-American artist Annabelle, was created to appreciate and celebrate black artists worldwide. The trend did way more than that; it brought out hundreds of crazy talented artists we had absolutely no idea about. For us, the best part is that about 44% of #DrawingWhileBlack posts were from black people here in Africa! Even the tweet with the highest retweets/shares of all posts on the hashtag came from Ghanaian artist Benjamin Kwashie! *dances excitedly*

We took the time to sift through the beauty that is #DrawingWhileBlack and compiled some of our favourite posts by not-so-popular artists around the continent. If you love them (they’ll definitely give you goosebumps), do share, follow and support their talents.

Don’t forget to share this article too (please and thanks).

Enjoy!

For even more art goodness, check out KaDi‘s favourite #DrawingWhileBlack moments.

By Fafa Macauley.

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 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”

Keeping Up With the Continent: The First Kugali Comics Anthology

Following the instalment of annual events awarding iconic comic artists in Africa and the diaspora is the new innovation that is the Kugali Magazine. It is a monthly magazine by Kugali Media complete with over 60 pages of exclusive art, interviews and a selection of the best comics from across the continent.  Continue reading “Keeping Up With the Continent: The First Kugali Comics Anthology”

Spoof Animation’s Fantastical Four African Comic Releases

 A while ago, Ayodele Elegba’s Spoof Animations announced they would be releasing four exciting titles to kickstart their efforts into the world of comics. Spoof initially focused the greater part of its efforts on animation but has also been making strides to enter the world of comics. Ayodele Elegba is the creator of Strike Guard which is arguably one of the most popular African comic books today.  Continue reading “Spoof Animation’s Fantastical Four African Comic Releases”

Dear South African Illustrators On The Come-Up, How Dope Are You?

Very? Then this is right up your alley!

MTV Breaks (platform that offes budding creatives their first breaks – on a global scale) is searching for creative illustrators and colourists to translate the multi-award winning television drama, MTV Shuga into a unique and original comic book.  Continue reading “Dear South African Illustrators On The Come-Up, How Dope Are You?”