Have you read any African comic anthologies? They’re awesome for discovering new creators and comics!
Netflix’s Love, Death and Robots is one of the most novel things that I’ve seen in entertainment this year. An anthology of animated shorts revolving around technology, futurism and the plain bizarre. I love it!
An animated anthology is one thing, but the real kicker is an anthology of comics, an anthology of African comics that a) you’ve never heard of and b) whose breadth and depth you wouldn’t expect.
A quick Google search for African comic anthologies will throw back Kugali at you and for good reason. It is the most marketed African comic product/brand in the last 5 years. Beyond Kugali however, there are a few more anthologies curating the best of African comics for fresh new audiences to take a dive into.
Let’s dive in too.
Kugali African Comic Anthology
The Kugali African comic anthologies have been on an insane PR tour since first launching some 2 years ago. Kugali first started as a database of comics, video games and animation from Africa and the diaspora, much like what the Squid Database will be when launched.
This got the collective several eyes and helped bring attention to African creators. To drive more awareness of the awesome comics in Africa, Kugali curated a selection of comics from across the continent to give creators a chance to share their stories to the world.
Explaining the reason for the anthology in one of their successful Kickstarter campaigns, Kugali revealed that, the anthology is a fresh way to showcase African culture to the world.
In Africa, there have been stories passed down for generations. these magical tales filled our hearts and opened minds to endless possibilities. these fantastic stories still exist within the oral tradition. however, in order to share our stories with the world, we need to think of new ways to showcase our culture. Kugali showcases the best African stories by Africans using comics, art and animation. These are stories that respect the history of Africa, embrace the present and imagine the future.Kugali
From multiple award-winners to the brightest up-and-coming voices, Kugali has united some of the most talented artists across the African continent and diaspora. Creators hail from across Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Senegal, Cameroon, Uganda) and other parts of the world (Venezuela, Brazil, the US and the UK).
Some of the comics available in the anthology include Mumu Juju by Etubi Onucheyo, Kayin and Abeni by Juni Ba, Nani by Ziki Nelson, Lake of Tears by Kobina Ofei and Setor Fiadzigbey,Oro by Hafeez Oluwa and more.
Get the Kugali anthology over at Kugali.com.
ComicUp Zimbabwean Comics
Zimbabwe’s first anthology of comic books and for us at Squid, one of our first entry points into the Zimbabwean comic book scene. Comic-Up is an initiative by Comexposed that features stories from creators across the country. It is a collection of unique stories with fantastic heroes, amazing adventures and a side of Zimbabwe you’ve never seen before.
ComicUp is described by ComExposed as Zimbabwe’s premier anthology comic book, that brings together the best of Zimbabwean comics from multiple creators.
The first volume of ComicUp was published in 2015 and featured (7) unique stories with fantastic heroes, amazing adventures and a side of Zimbabwe you’ve never seen before. There have been 4 volumes of this Zimbabwean comic anthology so far with the most recent released this year. ComicUp is an awesome window into the digital artscape in Zimbabwe.
ComicUp has featured comics such as Paper Angels by Kudzai Gumbo, Black Zeus, Mhare and Ganyamuto, all by Tinodiwa Zambe Makoni, Umzingeli by Eugene Ramirez Mapondera, Razor-Man and Welcome to Dead World all by Bill Masuku, Garanyazha, Shark Fin by James Magwenzi, Themba by Adrean Sigogo, Perceptions Kaino by Tapiwa Sikota and Ngoda Chronicles by Tafadza Tarumbwa.
ComicUp is available to download free here.
Sam Graphico Anthology
To answer the question of whether or not that was any comic talent in Zambia, Sam Graphico put out a call for comic creators in Zambia. The result is the 32-page Sam Graphico anthology of Zambian comics.
The first issue features comics from different creators including Mabvuto Comics, Black Hut Comics and Bill Masuku (with Welcome to Dead World) from Zimbabwe. It also features digital art from other Zambian creators like Grace Singogo who designed the cover. The first issue launched at Lusaka Comic-Convention and sold out during the course of the con in August.
Sam Graphico Anthology is available digitally here (a high res version is available here) with print copies for sale during Lusaka Comic-Con. Follow Sam Graphico on Facebook for updates on subsequent issues of the anthology.
SECTOR is a bi-monthly comic anthology of fantasy, sci-fi and horror produced by writers and artists from across Southern Africa. It features creators both new and old sharing short stories and telling serialized ongoing adventures.
According to HTXT, SECTOR is a take on the classic ‘pulp’ comic format, in that it’s an anthology of short black and white stories – or sectors – that span a variety of genres from sci-fi through to horror and each episode ties in to a larger narrative that will develop over the course of the project.
Thanks to the frequency of publication, submissions for the anthology are often open for creators from countries within the SADC bloc.
Check out the submission guidelines here.
Afri Kuti African Comic Anthology
Afri Kuti is the 41st edition of the quarterly Kuti comics tabloid released at the Helsinki Comics Festival and published online in September 2016. Kutikuti is a Finnish non-profit contemporary comics association and artist collective that publishes a quarterly comics tabloid called KUTI. Afri Kuti is the association’s collection of contemporary comics from Africa.
The anthology features 16 authors in all with works from seven countries in Africa. The creators and their associated countries are: Jonah Sack (South Africa), Luntu Vumazonke / KIF (South Africa), Koffi Roger N’Guessan (Ivory Coast), Mongo Sisé (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Philip Ndunguru (Tanzania), Michael Maqungo (South Africa), Sérgio Zimba (Mozambique), Mark Kannemeyer (South Africa), Motshumi Mogorosi (South Africa), Jimga Jimoh Ganiyu (Nigeria), Sunday Mgakama & Sanna Hukkanen (Tanzania/Finland), Theophil R. Mnyavanu (Tanzania), Nicko Odinyo (Kenya), Ree Treweek (South Africa) and Joanne Bloch (South Africa).
The anthology also features two articles that seek to understand what “contemporary African comics may mean”. These articles were written by Sean O’Toole (An Imperfect History of South African Comics) and Christophe Cassiau-Haurie (What Makes an African Comic?).
The anthology is available to read and download free here.
UHLAKANYANA is an anthology of South African izinganekwane, the isiZulu word for stories or tales. It contains 124 pages of stories by eight very different artists. It was put together in 2013 by Michael Maqungo who also created the cover art.
Artists involved in the project are Mogorosi Motshumi, Lorcan White, Jonah Sack, Joanne Bloch, Chris Mabena, Michael Maqungo, Jean de Wet and Joe Daly.
It was available at book fairs the creator, Michael Maqungo was a part of.
UHLAKANYANA mostly adheres to a unique art aesthetic of which Michael says, “has a refined quality that contains a strange beauty.” Check out his archive of this aesthetic on his comics blog.
Know any other comic anthologies from Africa that we missed? Kindly share in the comments and we’ll be more than happy to update this post with due credit to you.
KaDi Yao Tay
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