Comics, animation, film, gaming, interviews, reviews, features, exclusives and more come together in The Geek Digest, a magazine by Lagos Comic-Con. The publication is a West African geek paradise detailing some of the latest happenings as well as the opinions of creators on a number of topics dear to comics, animation and gaming creatives. It also includes interviews with some of the movers and shakers of the African geek ecosystem.
One of such interviews is with Zebra Comics’ Ejob Nathaniel Ejob, who dives into the comic scene in Cameroun, and how the African comic industry can grow. Part of that interview by the Geek Digest editorial team has been reshared here on Squid Mag with permission for your reading pleasure.
Thank you for joining the Geek Digest for this interview. You and your team have been putting out amazing comic titles. What would you say is the biggest influence on your comic stories?
Thank you. The biggest influence I’d say is Africa. Yes, comics are not a novelty and we must have of course been influenced in our development as human beings by comics published by Marvel, DC, Darkhorse, Image and so on. But then, to carve our own niche, our own identity, we had to look at stories we would relate to.
We simply looked at our environment, our folklore, our cultures and from there, found the inspiration and influence we needed. And that influence follows Zebra Comics in the way our stories are designed.
Would you say the African comics industry is catching up with the rest of the world?
I would say rather, the African Comic industry is waking up from slumber. We’ve not really caught up with the rest of the world, but as an industry, we are aware and we are not trying to be like the rest of the world per se, we are carving an identity of our own.
As someone who has quite a holistic perspective on the entire African comics industry, I would like to ask you this seemingly controversial question. Between Francophone and Anglophone African countries, which would you say has the most developed comics industry?
It is not easy to quantify one as superior over another, considering that each part brings in a certain amount of freshness to the table.
However, from the perspective of someone who’s familiar with both industries, I’d say rather that the Anglophone comic book industry has the potential to thrive faster than the Francophone one.
Nigeria alone is showing a massive awakening in the industry at a scale that most countries in Africa do not come close to. Spoof Comics, PEDA Comics, Epoch Comics, Comic Republic etc, all in Nigeria.
South Africa, is a bit timid in the fact that its industry still lacks that Africanness per se, save for names like Loyiso Mkize changing the narrative in South Africa. In Ethiopia, I can only think of Beserat Debebe of Etan Comics. The atmosphere in Ghana is relatively calm but you can see interested parties like Squid Mag and Leti Arts waking it up from sleep.
What are the next steps for Zebra Comics in the coming years?
Publish more books, and sell more comics. Not just our titles but that our partners. Zebra Comics is built on a philosophy of camaraderie and the growth of all. We do believe that only through collective efforts will our industry thrive, at least faster than it is now. We shall be reaching out to other studios to sell their comics on our various distribution platforms. We’re also looking to get into animation for one of our stories.
The Geek Digest is available to download and read FREE online here.
About Zebra Comics
Zebra Comics is a collective of artists on a mission to tell African stories through comics and to educate and promote African cultures. Their goal is to tell African stories through comics and to educate and promote African cultures.
About The Geek Digest
The Geek Digest is a magazine by Lagos Comic Convention showcasing the movers and shakers of the African comic, video game and animation industry as well as features on what’s happening within the industry.
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