Showing posts with label comic strips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label comic strips. Show all posts

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Egypt: Birth of the Comic Magazine

Scroll through Egypt's new comic magazine,  Tok Tok, launched back in January. You will recall some of the young cartoonists behind it--i.e. Makhlouf, Andil,...--from this '09 Egyptian cartoon art exhibit blogged here. Cop the interview below and the launch of the magazine over @Mashareeb

Tic Tok will have a rich African history of francophone comic magazines to draw from, going back to Ivory Coast's legendary comic daily/magazine, Gbich! Eygpt also has the recent international success of Egyptian Magdy el Shafee’s formerly banned graphic novel going for it.

Plus the folks at marshareeb recently spoke with the founder of a new Egyptian comics anthology series about the state of comic book publishing in Egypt - here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Africa: IMF Doing What They Do Best

On hearing the report that the 32-year-old hotel maid accusing IMF chief, Dominique Strauss Khan, of sexual assault and rape is an African immigrant (from Guinea), the Daily Show's Jon Stewart did not miss the metaphor (cue to 3:51):
Are you kidding me.. What! That's like a live action metaphor... ...the IMF allegedly trying to fuck an African...

(lol) We recall a BigThink clip in which Raj Patel does the same for the World Bank. And with DSK gone, cartoonist Kroll in the Belgian daily, Le Soir, (via The Arabist) gives us a glimpse inside the Obama Sarkozy situation room:

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, July 28, 2010

      Tanzania: The Art of James Gayo

      Here's a dodgy google translation of a '09 feature on Tanzanian cartoonist (and filmmaker) James Gayo in the Dutch magazine, Verspers. Over the last 23 years, Gayo (bio - here) has turned the comic strip into a wordless thing of beauty:

      German academic Rose Marie Beck, here, uses Gayo's Kingo to highlight a crucial lack of understanding on the part of Western NGOs/media when trying to use comics in Africa to raise public awareness. Ogova Ondego lays out the core of Beck's argument, which highlights characters and themes in Gayo's work:
      Beck describes Kingo as 'a sophisticated example of the ‘urban survivor’: a scrounger, apparently a lazy bone, a drunkard, a womanizer, a sly fox!' These character traits of Kingo—like those of the macho, dare-devil and carefree ones of the matatu (public transport) touts in Kenya—appear to attract rather than repel the public from Kingo. And the ‘angelic’ school girls to the ‘devilish’ matatu touts and truck drivers. This is similar to the admiration and laughter a market square clown draws from the public but without any one of those laughing wishing for their own children to become market place clowns or comedians. The East African comic, Beck contends, is primarily supposed to entertain. She adds that the Swahili comics are oriented towards straight-forward storytelling, with little background information. In this case, HIV/AIDS provides the story-teller with the chance to tell a dramatic and suspenseful story; HIV/AIDS is not the reason why he tells it. Though the Sara comic may have a consistent story line directed towards a happy conclusion, Dr Beck argues, it appears ‘bloodless’ and shallow'... The Sara comic, Beck says, “shows no profound knowledge of the potential of the comic in general, or the East African comic in particular.”

      Monday, June 21, 2010

      East Africa: Swahili Comics Research

      A Paper on Early Swahili Comics by Rose Marie Beck

      Rose Marie Beck's 1999 article, Comic in Swahili or Swahili Comic, looks at some of the things Swahili comic strips can do in the East African context that other media cannot, and at themes such as the "trickster as urban survivor" rooted in local trickster Hare stories, but with character types drawing allusions to Andy Capp and the work Reg Smythe. Jigal Beez' paper, Stupid Hares and Margarine: Early Swahili Comics, in spite of the fact that many of the Swahili strips weren't preserved, manages to record the history of the medium and is included in Cartooning in Africa, edt. John A. Lent, May 2008, Hampton Press. It draws from archival material from the MacMillian Library, Nairobi and the East African Collection at the University of Dars es Salaam, Tanzania.
      Chapter on Swahili Comic History by Jigal Beez

      Africa: 1950s Disney and the Medicine Man

      Roving Bandit flags this  Mickey Mouse mini comic from1951, a promotional collaboration between Walt Disney and General Mills, which has Mikey Mouse and Goofy testing out the effects of a psychoactive drug they then proceed to sell to Africans.
      Whole comic here, but as Erowid site notes, some historical context is needed here:
      During the 1950s, at the height of the post-World War II expansion of U.S. suburban modernization, a number of stimulant and sedative drugs were widely used and were promoted in the mainstream press. At the time, many were available over the counter without a prescription. The inclusion of clear, positive drug references in mainstream children's literature and film seems both archaic and surprising given the taboos around psychoactive drugs in place in the 21st century.

      Fredric Wertham whistles in his grave.

      Wednesday, May 26, 2010

      DRC: The Art of Tembo "KASH" Muhindo Kashauri

      One of DRC most popular cartoonists and graphic artists, Thembo Muhindo Kashauri (aka Thembo Kash), is from Butembo, Congo. Lambiek Bio - here. Picha Bio - here. In addition to his cartoons which appear in Le Phare, Le Potentiel, and Jeune Afrique, his work has also appeared in a lot of comic magazines, collections, exhibitions and, in 2007, first part of his graphic novel, "Vanity: la folie du diable," written  by AndrĂ© Paul Duchateau was published by Joker Editions, Brussels. His style is said to be strongly influenced by Jean "Moebius" Giraud and Hermann-Paul -- the powerful line work, chiaroscuro and attention to detail. Titling the publication of a collection of his cartoons spanning 20 years, "CDR 1990 - 2010: Transition Eternal," he comments that although there has been a transition of four elections in the DRC:
      This change is only in form. Basically, nothing has changed from the Mobutu era. I do not give a lesson, but the caricature is a form of free expression and reflects the reality acutely... As regards our country, I sometimes do not need to invent, to use more imagination. The history of our country is, in itself, a cartoon drama.

      Friday, May 21, 2010

      Re: Shortlists, Plugs and Ends

      Yep, I saw it last week - all those shortlisted were notified. Thanks for the emails everyone. For those who don't keep up with such things, while I was away this lowly blog was shortlisted for a Diageo African Business Reporting Award , 2010, for "Best Use of New Media in a Story" category - we should be somewhere on that press release sandwiched between Reuters' Finbarr O’Reilly and Africa Interactive's Peter Vlam.You can find previous award winners - here - and below are all the Finalists shortlisted for 2010.

      Seems like Bankelele and A Bombastic Element are the only pure blogs in there and the presser does point out that "the record breaking number of entries from across the globe reflects the increase in business reporting on Africa in 2009/2010, but the type of reports have also indicated a shift in the way that news is being delivered to audiences with many more entrants being online citizen journalists and bloggers." Whooo!!! I also brought all this up because since this is junk drawer filled with all kinds of stuff, I thought I needed to clarify what they meant by "A Series on Business in Africa". Some were on The path of least resistance series, agriculture and subsidies, business and human behavior, immigration, indexes and development and so on.

      A Bombastic Element also got a "pop culture blog" shout out from blogger Ory "Kenyan Pundit" Okolloh while she was doing a fantastic job guest editing online aspects of the Globe and Mail "African Century" focus last week. She kicked ass! And speaking of pop culture, I also spent some time last week writing for Manuel Manrique Gil's terrific blog, OnAfrica, about Africa and comic books. Since most discourse on this particular topic is in French, we thought the topic was important enough for English readers to warrant an essay and a list of interesting picks. Enjoy:
      A Top 10 List or So of African Comics - A Bombastic Element

      Africa/Kazakhstan: House Husband

      Galym Boranbayev's cartoon took third prize at the 3rd International Contest of Caricature and Cartoon of VIANDEN 2010 - the theme was "House Husbands." Rest of the results - here.

      Tuesday, February 2, 2010

      Comics: Looking for Spaceman Spiff

      With Salinger gone, the Cleveland Plaindealer's John Campanelli turned a flash light on America's other recluse author, Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson. To mark the 15 year anniversary of the comics strip's end, he's email interview is tagged the "first interview with the reclusive artist since 1989," and here's how he snagged it . Watterson shares no new insights so basically the interview is ...meh.

      Watterson & Calvin from Drawn/ Magic on Paper

      But this local news station interview with Nevin Martell, author of Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip, had some nice trivia - the book's awesome too:

      Tuesday, January 26, 2010

      Egypt: Cartoon Exhibit

      Over at Al-Masary Al-Youm, Bassam Mortada covers an end of 2009 exhibit of the work of Al-Masary Al-youm cartoonists (and maybe others) and paints a rough picture of the economics and overall state of cartooning in Egypt:

      Friday, January 15, 2010

      South Africa: Lady Justice and the Serial Rapist

      Times cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro re-visits the "rape of justice" cartoon--the most controversial in the Zuma "shower head" series--to depict the idea that president Zuma is about to beat the system (again?) by granting a presidential pardon to his jailed former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik. Rianne Spit speaks to Zapiro about the cartoon:

      Africa Confidential, in a summary of problems lying in wait for Zuma, had this to say about the pardon and other corruption charges nipping at the president's heels:
      All eyes in 2010 will be on whether Zuma pardons his former financial advisor, Schabir Shaik. He was released on medical parole in April 2009, said to be terminally ill, but was photographed in December looking healthy at the wheel of a new luxury vehicle. In 2005, he was sentenced to 15 years in gaol for fraud and corruption; the trial revealed that he had tried to solicit a R500,000 a year bribe for Zuma from a French arms company and gave Zuma R4 mn. to secure his support for black economic empowerment deals. We hear that Shaik has formally applied for a presidential pardon, arguing that he was victim of a conspiracy to thwart Zuma’s ambitions and that his co-accused, Zuma and arms manufacturer Thint, were not prosecuted. The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has asked a court to order a review of the dropping of Zuma’s corruption charges by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)’s former head, Mokotedi Mpshe – a move that enabled Zuma to become President.

      The corruption charges will not go away. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office wants to prosecute BAE Systems for its links to grand corruption in South Africa’s $6 bn. arms procurement deal. German anti-corruption agencies are probing the Siemens deal and French activists are demanding prosecution of Thales-Thompson CSF for its role (with which Zuma and Schabir Shaik are linked) in the South African deal. In 2009, Zuma appointed loyalists to all the key security portfolios; his detractors say this was to prevent his prosecution. Judge Sandile Ngcobo is the new Chief Justice; the opposition had wanted the Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke, who had criticised Zuma and the ANC. Moe Shaik, Schabir Shaik’s brother, was appointed Director of the South African Secret Service. Gibson Njenje, suspended by ex-President Thabo Mbeki for illegally spying on political rivals, is head of the National Intelligence Agency. Jeff Maqetuka is Director General of the State Security Agency and Menzi Simelane of the NPA.

      Thursday, January 7, 2010

      Somalia/Denmark: Somalis in Denmark al-Qaeda Problem

      I'm not sure the Somali community in Denmark had gotten over Danish-Somali Abdirahman Ahmed who blew himself up at a graduation ceremony in Mogadishu a few weeks ago before some Somali axe murderer went after Kurt Westergaard for his cartoons. FP's John Keating blogs how the Undie bomber and axe murderer both point to inter-governmental bottlenecks everywhere:
      However, while not acknowledging the Clinton plot, the Danish intelligence agency PET acknowledged the man's ties to African terrorist groups: The person arrested. has close links with the Somali terrorist organisation al-Shabaab as well as with the heads of al-Qaeda in East Africa, the agency said in a statement. He is also suspected of being implicated in terrorist activities when he was in east Africa. The individual arrested has also been a member of a terrorist network implanted in Denmark that has been under surveillance by PET for a long time. The statement doesn't really say whether the individual himself was under observation or when they had become aware of his background before or after he was granted residency in Denmark. There will probably be a lot more investigation in the coming weeks of whether it was the Kenyans or the Danes who messed up. I generally think it's not fair to expect authorities to take every report of a potential security threat seriously, but this case as well as the U.S. plane bombing both highlight how much ground the international community needs to make up on intergovernmental intelligence sharing on terrorism suspects. I have to think that a concerted effort in this area should be a higher priority than new airport scanners or security procedures.

      Friday, December 25, 2009

      South Africa: The Art of Mdu Ntuli

      Mduduzi Leon Ntuli, born in 1982 on August 31 in a small town called Witbank in Mpumalanga, South Africa, is the brains behind Mdu comics and Mdu Animation. Rest of his bio here.

      Genndy Tartakovsky meets Jamie Hewlett meets Ed, Edd and Eddy

      Friday, December 4, 2009

      South Africa: Political Cartooning

      Political cartooning in SA means Zapiro. The Times' Editor, Ray Hartley, speaks to the renowned cartoonist "about not only covering the news, but becoming part of the news." They discuss president Jacob Zuma's "shower head"--now suspended--running gag.

      Tuesday, November 3, 2009

      Algeria: The Second Algiers International Comics Festival

      Magharebia's Hayam El Hadi relays what went down at the Algiers International Comics Festival, which ended on October 18th.
      "Comics have taken their rightful place in Algeria, which now devotes a grand and colourful event to them," said festival commissioner Dalila Nadjem. "This festival will give comics the high profile they deserve and develop the art."...several countries were represented at the festival, which was marking its second year. Festival organisers invited European and African comic artists to run workshops for festival attendees, who came from as far afield as France, Spain, Turkey, Tunisia and Palestine. A special tribute was paid to the cartoonists of Palestine, as well as to leading Algerian cartoonists such as local hero known by his pen name, "Slim".

      Slim's Zina and Bouzid

      Also attending the festival was America's most prolific and syndicated cartoonist Darlye Cargle, who, as an outsider, blogged down some insightful observations about modern day Algiers such as:
      Slim likes making fun of Algerian women who wear veils; he draws the veils much like the beak of a bird, and has the women walk around looking like ducks. Most women here dress like Europeans. I’m told that the teenage girls, when they want to rebel and annoy their parents, will often take to wearing the veil – which is quite disturbing to parents who rebelled against their own parents to reject the veil.
      On whether Americans were interested in cartoons about other countries:
      A question I got a lot was, “Have you drawn any cartoons about Algeria?” I haven’t. It is hard to think of when Algeria was in the headlines in America. The only time I ever read about Algeria is when Algerian President Bouteflika is quietly hanging with his more vocal buddies Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, affirming their coalition against evil America. President Bouteflika won re-election recently with an unbelievable 90% of the vote. One Algerian told me that even the Prophet Muhammad himself couldn’t really get 90% of the vote. Maybe I’ll draw a cartoon about Algeria. We’ll see.

      H/T: When Fan Girls Attack

      Thursday, October 8, 2009

      Cameroon: The Cartoon Art of "Almo the Best"

       Almo/ from Pahe

      Here is a site with some of the art of the Cameroonian cartoonist, who goes by the nick name "Almo the Best." Translating from French, his bio reads something like: Sometime in the seventies young Almo discovers--at 3 years of age--his artistic gift, which differentiated him from his comrades.

      He developed his art, refined his graphic technique, and begins, by the 5th grade, making money reproducing sketches for his comrades in class who were much too lazy to do them themselves and he takes the nickname of 'Almo the best.' 

      At 16, he is contacted by a newspaper and begins begins as a career as caricaturist for newspapers such as "La Cite"(1994-2003), "Espace Foot" (1994), "Informatique Individuelle" (1994), "Mamy Wata" (1998-2004), "Taxi Magazine"(1999), "Bubinga" (2003), "Le Marabout" (2003), "The African Independant"(2003), "100 % Jeune" (since 2000).

      According to Almo, his philosophy is:
      [my drawings] are characterized by a very particular graphic quality and a concern for detail and aesthetics, which accentuate the humour depicted. Am an autodidact, who has kept up with developments in graphic technologies. Though I remain largely ignored, nevertheless I continue to work for the pleasure of those who like what I make.
      I find Almo's line work amazing, and his style and humor reminds me of all those Harvey Kurtzman Little Annie Fanny comics I snuck and read as a kid.

      Sunday, August 9, 2009

      Blogging: Re: At Ease

      Just saw this. Thanks Alyssa.

      By the way, apart from her addictive blog, Alyssa also writes pop culture dispatches for The Atlantic, which touch on everything from Archie's recent mistake in picking one half of an ideal to how an "unspeakably bad movie" like G.I. Joe ever got made. Addictive stuff.


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