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 2017 GUBA Awards’ Animator of the Year Nominees

The Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA) awards have rolled around and we’re excited about the freshly baked Animator of the Year category. This inclusion gives us hope of good times ahead for Ghanaian animation as more people and institutions recognise this art form’s brilliant potential. Below are the nominees in the category. While you’re at it, kindly check out our thoughts on the awards hereContinue reading “The 2017 GUBA Awards’ Animator of the Year Nominees”

GUBA Awards 2017: Another Step for Ghanaian Animation

The mantra for a while has been to change the future of African movies through storytelling and an excellent medium to do this is through animation. An even better way to encourage stories in this beautiful medium is to reward creators for their hard work and consequently, promote them to a wider audience. That’s exactly what the Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA) award scheme is about to do and it wins them a special place in our hearts.  Continue reading “GUBA Awards 2017: Another Step for Ghanaian Animation”

Celebrating Ghanaian Animation: the Golden Movie Awards

We’re crazy excited to announce that the animated films of COMFORT ARTHUR and FRANCIS Y. BROWN have been nominated in the Golden Animation category of the Golden Movie Awards.

In its second year, the award will for the first time, highlight Ghanaian animation talent. The nominated films are Brown’s school project, Agorkoli: Cause of Hogbetsotso, a retelling of the history of the Ewe people and Comfort’s films, the Peculiar Life of a Spider, a dark comedy abut how Kwaku Anansi tackles issues such as depression and identity crisis and Imaging.

As “an annual award that seeks to honor outstanding achievement in the African television, digital media and film industries”, I can’t help but wonder why only two films have been nominated. A number of films have been produced within the year of review (January 1st to December 31st) across the continent that could have been nominated. It makes absolute sense if it was a Ghanaian award scheme but it is not and thus needs to be more inclusive. Projects such as Yellow Fever for example are an unfortunate, inexcusable exemption on everyone’s part. Perhaps like me, creators heard very little about the award, or didn’t think too much of it (it is but an infant after all) to submit their projects.

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Poking around their website moreover, I can’t help but conclude the animation category was an afterthought. Besides the 2016 nominees page, no mention is made of the category, not even on the category definitions page.

The Grand Jury controls the nature of awards and nominations, so perhaps this was their best decision. However, with a mission that reads, “to change the narrative of Africa by awarding excellence in Africa through film”, I’m surprised animation isn’t highly regarded. I do hope the potential for animation, which transcends demographics and allows for creative expression in ways traditional film won’t, seizes their minds.

I give them the benefit of the doubt but moving forward, if they truly are about changing the African narrative, they should have animated series like Bino and Fino, Ubongo Kids, Tales of Nazir, Mdu Comics among others on their radar as well.

Regardless, it’s a step in the needed direction and we wish Comfort and Francis the best. A win for either is a win for us all.

Peep their film trailers below.

Squirt Creativity.

[Agorkoli: Cause of Hogbetsotso]

[The Peculiar Life of A Spider]

By Kadi Yao Tay [aka The Golden Afromation Consumer]

Update October 28, 2016. The Golden Movie Awards has reinforced my belief that the animation category was simply an afterthought. Comfort Arthur, winner of the category is absent from the winners list on the award’s website.  An archived version of the site for confirmation can be found here.