Showing posts with label Graphic Novels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Graphic Novels. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Graphic Novels and the Rwandan Genocide

Rwanda 1994 by Pat Masioni 
Deogratias by Stassen
Dogma by stéphane betbeder and bonetti

Monday, November 14, 2011

Water Get Enemy -- A Graphic Novel

Development economist Daniel Rogger has teamed up with one of Nigeria's foremost cartoonists, Albert Ohams, and is crowdsourcing funds for a graphic novel to tell the story of delivering public services in the developing world.

If you got past the video pitch, read the rest of the pitch @ Indie GoGo.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

West Africa: A Woman's Slavery Illustrated and Deconstructed

... based on an 1876 court transcript of a West African woman named Abina, who was wrongfully enslaved and took her case to court. Details - here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Africa: Graphic Novel News Dump (2011)

DRC: Thomas Hubert's essay from January's issue of BBC's Focus on Africa magazine reiterates some of what we already know about Africa's comic book powerhouse - Congo DRC. On the DRC-Franco-Belgian connection:
Decades of shared colonial history with comic-mad Belgium certainly had an influence on the emergence of the Congolese comic scene. In fact, most books by Barly Baruti, the Congolese author best known outside his country, are published in Brussels (more). 
This post and slideshow touches on some of Baruti's work.

DRC artist Pat Masioni is one of 10 international artists featured in an all illustrated issue No. 80 of COLORS magazine. Issue trailer below:

Francophone Africa: On the analysis side of African comics, Christophe Cassiau Haurie's History of Congolese Comics was published last year in France (no English translation yet).  English readers will have to make do with Mark McKinney's The Colonial Heritage of French Comics (Liverpool University Press), due out in the U.S in June, but already out in the U.K:
    Paula Callus points us to this round up essay over at African Writing blog on the Francophone Africa graphic novel scene (some of it already blogged here and here) and ..

      ... to this video close up of the 1st Festival of African Comic Book Artists held in Paris back in Dec 2010:

      The festival's roll call is pretty much a who is who of the France/Francophone Africa graphic novel scene. It includes: Al'Mata (DRC), Adjim Danngar (Chad), Albert Tshisuaka (DRC), Joelle Ebongue (Cameroon), Alix Fuilu (DRC), Anani Mensah (Togo), Barly Baruti (DRC), Bring de Bang (Congo-Brazzaville), Jean Francois Chanson (France/Morocco), Christophe Ngalle Edimo (France/Cameroon), Didier Kassai (CAR), Didier Viode (Benin),  Faustin Titi (Ivory Coast), Hector Sonon (Benin), Joelle Esso (Cameroon), Leon Tshibemba (DRC), Massire Tounkara (Mali), Pahe (Gabon), Pat Masioni (DRC), POV (Madagascar), Simo Pierre Mbumbo (Cameroon), TT Fons (Senegal), Umar Timol (Mauritus), Joel Salo (Burkina Faso), Willy Zekid (Congo-Brazzaville), Alain Kojele (DRC), Yannick Deubou Sikoue (Cameroon), Lassane Zohore (Ivory Coast).

      In an interview posted  over at JournaldeBrazzaville (translation), Christian Mambou asked Congo-Brazzaville cartoonist Willy Zekid [who has worked in the Ivorian (@ Gbich!) as well as the DRC comic scenes] if there is a difference between Ivorian and Congolese cartooning:
      Yes and no. Yes, there is a difference, because Ivory Coast has a greater tradition than the Congo, in terms of self-mockery. So it's a little easier there to discuss some social or political issues through cartoons. And, although the newspaper Gbich! did a bit of satire, it is generally very cordial.In Congo, the caricature from the press is sometimes very aggressive and I find this unfortunate. I think we can say things through the caricature without necessarily attacking.
      Egypt: CNN recently reported Magdy El Shafee's graphic novel, Metro, which was banned in Mubarak's Egypt, (blogged here) is now going to be published in the U.S.

      Senegal: Finally, over at JeuneAfrique there's a profile of Ahmed Agne (google translation - here), the French-Senegalese co-publisher and editor of the French manga imprint, Ki-noon. Created in 2003, it has grown to become France's biggest independent publisher of manga books:

      Behind the scenes at Ki-noon. Speaking of Franco-manga, there's also ...

      Wednesday, September 22, 2010

      Algeria/France: Can You Sketch Journalism? Cont'd

      Continuing a series of posts abt the emerging field of "comics journalism" and examples of comics been used journalistically to tackle African issues. Below are pages from Albert Drandov and Franckie Alarcon's Au Nom de la Bombe (Delcourt, released back in January 2010), a graphic novel looking at incidents and lives surrounding gerboise bleue (blogged here) or France's nuclear adventures in the Algerian desert.
       Here - the authors were asked about the research and journalism that went into the comic book. Drando (google trans) on the comics-journalism connection:
       I worked with a research center, the Observatoire de Lyon weapons. I spent three days searching the archives, reading the letters from veterans and trying to get in touch with some of them, I've found the documents. Obviously, the vast majority had been discovered by the journalist of Le Nouvel Observateur, but there were also those who regularly arrived in the mail. Some even landed in my mailbox, because word of mouth spread of this comic strip being written by a journalist. There is still a somewhat negative image of comics, but as I am a journalist, some thought to send me documents, in case I would be interested. Other guys contacted me by offering me internet files they often downplay their importance. Thus we sometimes we found nuggets.

      Thursday, September 16, 2010

      Africa: X-Rays of Joseph Conrad's Heart

      Swedish/Kenyan artist Catherine Anyango talks to the BBC about her graphic novel adaptation of the one and only Heart of Darkness. Yep, Achebe still hates the book - my old thoughts here. Anyango's take on it is not technically an adaptation. Thank God. Rather, it strips away most of the text from Joseph Conrad's hugely influential and criticized masterpiece, leaving us with foggy recollections of Marlow's mind and how surreal Africa seemed to him and his boat.

      Over at the publisher site, she breaks down some of the tricks used to portray Marlow's spiral as well as how the transitions work as bridges over disparate time and space, and as sutures allowing the reader to occupy the space of those tears in the fabric of Marlow's mind:
      Here we see Marlow seeing clearly what the odd balls on posts outside Kurtz's hut really are. At this point his appreciation of the 'subtle horror' that separates 'pure, uncomplicated savagery' from the darker effects of colonial rule makes him understand that his position in the Congo may be on the wrong side of good and evil. In this moment, he and the head are not so unlike - he has also reached the end of something, he is also is doomed, and damned. They have been brought to this point by the same forces and he recognises himself in this thing. The match cut bring them together and we can sympathise and feel horror at both.

      Monday, March 1, 2010

      Egypt: Albert Cossery's "Proud Beggars" - English Translation

      Words Without Borders has a 9 page extract from the English translation of Albert Cossery's 1955 masterpiece, Proud Beggars, about a group of assorted characters set in the squalid slums of Cairo. Translated from French by Lulu Norman

      Friday, February 19, 2010

      DRC/Belgium: Tintin

      AFP reports one of the original 500 copies of Herge's second in the Tintin series, the still controversial 1931 Tintin in the Congo - complete with Herge's signature, goes on sale.

      Like with all things Congo, TiA has - more.

      Monday, December 21, 2009

      Comics: Best Collected Sequential Art from 2009

      Blair picks her best comics in a collected format for 2009...

      ...But quickly returns on Fresh Ink to add George Sprott:

      Wednesday, December 16, 2009

      Egypt: The Art of Magdy el-Shafei

      From his bio: Egyptian comic book writer and artist, Magdy el-Shafei, describes himself as someone who's "never lost [the] inertia to launch comics as an art and a fine sort of literature in the Arabic speaking countries and the world."

      He is the creator of "Metro": the first adult Arabic graphic novel, set in a chaotic modern Cairo pulsing with financial and social insecurity and tells the story of...

       .... Shihab, a young software designer who has been forced into debt by corrupt officials, decides to get out of his dilemma by taking “direct action”: robbing a bank, with the help of Mustafa, his loyal but reluctant sidekick. He finds himself caught in a vortex of financial and political corruption; the only relief comes from Dina, an idealistic journalist....

      Words Without Borders has a 15 page preview from Metro (Note that panels should be read from right to left). In November, Jano Charbel also writes in Al-Masry-Al-Youm that the graphic novel:
       was pulled off of Cairo’s bookshelves in April 2008 upon police orders, which perceived its contents were indecent. The verdicts of both the South Cairo Civil Court and the Qasr el-Nil Court of Misdemeanors were issued in light of Articles 178 and 198 of the Egyptian Penal Code - which prohibit the printing or distribution of publications which contravene public decency, and authorize the confiscation of publications which contain offenses to public morals.
      After more than four months of legal deliberations, the Qasr el-Nil Court of Misdemeanors issued its verdict today regarding the confiscation of the Metro... This court upheld the confiscation order issued by the South Cairo Civil Court on 23 June, 2009. Moreover, the Qasr el-Nil Court's verdict dictated fines of LE 5,000 each against Metro's creator, Magdy el-Shafei, and its publisher, Mohamed el-Sharkawy, the managing director of El-Malamih Publishing House.

      Influence (from his bio): "In the early 80`s : I can never forget how shocked was I when first saw the works of CRUMB . Then during my stay in Paris I was totally amazed by the historic totally liberal magazines: Charlie Mensuel and Hara Kiri. So I decided that what I got to do."

      Friday, December 4, 2009

      Comics: Joe Sacco's Journalism

      A panel including David Aaronovitch and MP Michael Gove discuss Joe Sacco's latest work of illustrated journalism, Footnotes From Gaza.

      Aaronovitch notices Sacco's embedded bespectacled self doesn't have eyes and as a result the reader easily assumes his place in the story, something Sacco himself alludes to his conversation below with The Strand's Harriett Gilbert; in the most McCloud-esque sense, Sacco says it has been brought to his notice that his drawings have become more representational while his journalist character has remained more or less a cartoon.

      Could it also be that Sacco's journalist avatar's cartoonish facade simply carries over the self effacing and non threatening demenor an outsider exhibits in hostile or strange environments.

      Friday, November 13, 2009

      Côte d'Ivoire: Marguerite Abouet of Yop City

      Aya of Yop City, the continuation of Marguerite Abouet (she writes it) and Clement Oubrerie (her husband draws it) graphic novel series about teenagers and their families in Cote de Ivoire, dropped stateside in September from Drawn and Quarterly. ComicMix has a good review. The WSJ adds:
      Ms. Abouet convinced her French publisher, Edition Gallimard, to sell cheap, soft-cover copies of her comic in the Ivory Coast, and the series has developed a following there.

      Sunday, September 20, 2009

      Sequential Art/Comics: Locas II

      Xamie Hernandez second omnibus collection of the adventures of Maggie, Hopey and friends has hit shelves. Fantagraphics has a 24 page PDF excerpt (2.5 MB) containing Table of Contents and the entire first chapter.

      Probably no one can touch the sheer dynamism of what Alex Toth or Milton Caniff were able to do with black and white with regard to sequential art. However, no one can touch the pleasure derived just from absorbing Jamie's line work. Just looking at it makes me happy for no particular reason.

      Sunday, August 23, 2009

      Uganda: Mice, Africa's Child Soldiers, Crime, Supervillains and Time travel

      Click image...

      ... for G4's Blair Butler "Fresh Ink" review of Joshua Dysart's "Unknown Soldier: Haunted House," which breaks in at number 4 in the list of top 5 graphic novels you should be reading.

      Thursday, April 16, 2009

      Sequential Art: Alas, the Last Bullet Is Fired


      The briefcases close. 100 Bullets comes to an end.

      The last issue (#100) of 100 Bullets hits stands this week, bringing to an end what Brian Azzarello in his interview with MySpace refers to as his 2200 paged novel. To mark this epic milestone, he has been making the rounds -- NY Daily News,  Wired, The Gazette...

      Personally, I can't believe its been a decade since Agent Graves met Dizzy Cordova on board that L train (pic above) on her way home from prison. And for those of us who have been following Brian Azzarello's writing and Eduardo Risso's art--the greatest collaboration in comics by the way-- their streak has been a little more than a decade if one counts their 1998 test run on Johnny Double

      Asked what he did the moment after he wrote 100 Bullets' final scene/ final word, Azzarello said:
      I lit a Cuban cigar, poured myself a Tequila, and toasted my partner, Eduardo Risso. Then I turned off my computer and walked to a bar. It was snowing in Chicago that night. It felt right. As for the first scene… that was set in a women’s prison shower. Funny, that felt right too.
      Preview pages from the final issue:

      Friday, March 6, 2009

      Sequential Art: NYT Graphic Novel Bestseller Lists -- You've Come A Long Way Baby

      The Times introduces three separate lists of the best-selling graphic books in the country: hardcover, softcover, and manga. We’ll update those lists weekly in this space, and offer a few observations along the way.
      And with those two sentences a little bit of history was made today. For the first time ever, graphic novels-- as in longer comic book works or collections--now have their own New York Times bestseller lists.

      The irony isn't lost though. Forever comic book creators thought the only way comics would gain respectability and mainstream clothes was for them to stop drawing superheroes altogether. Comics, in a bid for respectability and the license to tackle more difficult subject matter, wanted so much to move on to a more literary fare, hence Will Eisner's invention of the term the "graphic novel" as part ambition, part marketing ploy. But who knew all we needed was a savier and more technologically "endowed" Hollywood and its respectful treatment and realization of those same superheroes. Thus, through an onslaught of superhero movies, comic books or graphic novels--i.e., medium as well as content--have been forklifted out of their Werthamed cultural backwaters and into the coverted American mainstream.

      A precursor to the New York times graphic novel bestseller list was Andrew Arnold's graphic novel best list/review, "Time Comix," which appeared online in Time magazine from 2000 to 2007. 

      In a column on the 25 year anniversary of the graphic novel as a medium and literary form, his thoughts, especially with balloons afloat and the words "New York Times bestseller Lists" emblazoned on the party banner in the background, now feel like champagne flowing and glasses clinking in a toast to the journey made so far. In 2003 he wrote:
      ...Will Eisner's "A Contract with God," published in 1978, gets the credit for being the first graphic novel, though it was not actually the first long-form graphic story nor the first use of the phrase. It was, however, the first marriage of the term, which appeared on the cover, and the intent of "serious" comix in book form. "It was intended as a departure from the standard, what we call 'comic book format,'" Will Eisner recently told TIME.comix. "I sat down and tried to do a book that would physically look like a 'legitimate' book and at the same time write about a subject matter that would never have been addressed in comic form, which is man's relationship with God." Though the concept of a "graphic novel" had been brought up among comix fans during the 1960s, Eisner claims to have to come up with it independently, as a form of spontaneous sleight-of-hand marketing. "[The phrase] 'graphic novel' was kind of accidental," Eisner said. While pitching the book to an important trade-book editor in New York, says Eisner, "a little voice inside me said, 'Hey stupid, don't tell him it's a comic or he'll hang up on you.' So I said, 'It's a graphic novel.'" Though that particular editor wasn't swayed by the semantics, dismissing the book as "comics," a small publisher eventually took the project and put the phrase "A Graphic Novel" on the cover, thereby permanently cementing the term into the lexicon.

      The future of the graphic novel seems both sunny and dim. As a term for a kind of book, "graphic novel" has become increasingly dissatisfying. "Maybe for a short window it was enough to say 'graphic novel' but soon it won't be," says Art Spiegelman, "because if you talk about [Chris Ware's] 'Jimmy Corrigan' as a graphic novel you'll have to explain that it's not manga or Marvel. Then you are left saying, 'well it's got a seriousness of purpose' that the phrase 'graphic novel' alone won't offer." On the positive side, the public awareness of these books has vastly increased, creating a kind of renaissance era of intense creativity and quality. Says Spiegelman, "Ultimately the future of the graphic novel is dependent on how much great work gets produced against all odds. I'm much more optimistic than I was that there's room for something and I know that right now there's more genuinely interesting comic art than there's been for decades and decades."
      In the past graphic novels like Art Speigelman's Maus and Neil Gaiman's Sandman: Endless Nights have managed to sneak into the New York Times Bestseller lists for books. Now that graphic novels and mangas have their own bestseller lists, some may argue that the gesture represents a new kind of marginalization that will keep people from recognizing well written graphic novels as just what they are -- books. 

      They might argue that separate bestseller lists legitimates a new era of literary segregation just as the graphic novel was at the cusp of breaking into the mainstream and, like the novel, become so accepted that it simply exists in our mass consciousness as an invisible default.


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