Afrocomix: Artistic Liberation or Money Making Scheme?
Leti Arts is a content and game development studio based in Accra and Nairobi. Since its establishment by co-founders Eyram Tawia (Ghana) and Wesley Kirinya (Kenya), it has focused mainly on making digital games and comics based on African history and folklore, both more popular and accessible to a worldwide audience. In pursuit of this comes their latest innovation, Afrocomix (read about it here).
Afrocomix is a comic reader app which allows users to read comics on their mobile devices for a fee. Subscribers to this service will have access to a wide variety of African oriented stories, art and short animations. It brings Africa’s rich mythology to life through an interactive platform and one could indeed say that they have successfully taken yet another step towards their philanthropic and storytelling goals.
With a wide search engine, a list of popular searches and lists tendered to particular genres, the app really does give you an authentic feel. There is one thing that’s cringe-worthy, however, and that is the fact that this extremely innovative and almost philanthropic endeavour is in fact, not free.
While it is understandable — closely following a new invention should be the orientation to monetize your efforts — Africa, however, is in what I like to call the start of the 22nd century where art and science are taking on a new, more culturally friendly garb.
This is, however, a fragile development that must be tenderly and dutifully catered for. Frankly, trying to cater content for a largely uninterested base of individuals with a collection also based on mostly undeveloped African mythos is one thing, asking us to pay for it in whatever capacity is another.
There is also the question of whether or not the authors of these books are given some sort of revenue like in other subscription-based literature platforms (like Okada Books) and if so, just how much and on what basis.
All the toe-tingling facts aside, Leti Arts’ Afrocomix is a pretty bang-up job!
Stay tuned, the plot thickens.
Get Afrocomix from the Google Play store for a spin and please tell us what you think about the app in the comments section.