Part of the Virtual National Arts Festival, Drawing on Folklore sees Loyiso Mkhize, Daniël Hugo, Moray Rhoda, Joëlle Épée Mandengue and Ray Whitcher in discussion.
Many classic comics draw on mythology and folklore, and with these stories appearing increasingly in African comics, the medium may be important in keeping these stories alive. Comics creators have different approaches as to how these stories manifest, and this discussion explores just what it is that makes folklore and mythology so compelling for the African comics market.
Regarding the artists:
Daniël Hugo is a comic book artist and illustrator from Western Cape, South Africa. At a young age he fell in love with comics and began drawing. He soon committed himself to a career in art, working as a graphic artist while filling up sketchbooks with ideas and dreams. He then began working with Photoshop much later in his career in 2007 where he began to work as a concept artist. He has worked for several commercial agencies as a freelance artist. Daniël has contributed greatly to well-loved South African titles like The Velocity Anthology and SECTOR.
Moray Rhoda is a Cape Town based designer and illustrator. He has been involved with the local comic scene since 2000, when he founded Igubu Comics Collective. After leaving Igubu he self-published two Clockworx comics and co-organised Comics Brew 2006 with Grant Muller. Moray was the art director at Media 24’s Beat Comics studio, producing the comics Unicity, Mzansi Beats and Kasiwash. When Beat Comics Studio was shut down, Moray and the art team banded together under the name They Did This! Illustration & Design. He is currently based at City Varsity and is a contributor to Sector, a bi-monthly fantasy and sci-fi comic book.
Joëlle Epée Mandengue was born in 1982 in Cameroon and holds a degree in modern literature and a diploma in graphic arts. She began her professional career as a cultural officer at the French Cultural Centre (now the French Institute), before working as a graphic designer and subsequently as a copywriter in the MW DDB° group. As the author of La vie d’ Ebène Duta, a stand-up comedian and the creator of the Congo BZV: Bilili comics Festival, she co-curated various comic exhibitions in Africa, with the IF of South Africa and the CIBDI of Angoulême.
Ray Whitcher is simultaneously a fan, a maker and a scholar of comics; combining this unusual approach into his studies around a Ph.D. in what he terms ‘vernacular comics’ (stories located directly to their audience). He also lectures in Animation, Comic Theory and illustration at Wits University’s Digital Arts Department and recently published a chapter in the 2019 book Perspectives on Digital Comics. Ray previously curated 2019’s The Art of Comics exhibition alongside Tara Weber and Thierry Groensteen.
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