Roye Okupe's Nigerian Superhero Graphic Novel Series, Exo.

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Cropped images of Nigerian Roye Okupe's afrofuturistic graphic novel series, Exo: The Legend of Wale WIlliams.

 

Jennifer Sefa-Boakye recently conducted an interview with Roye Okupe, digital animator and YouNeek Studios founder, regarding his shiny, uniquely African graphic novel and animation series Exo: The Legend of Wale Williams. The story tells the tale of Wale Williams, a young Nigerian abroad returning home after his father's mysterious disappearance in a country now overcome with corruption, violent extremism and robotic exoskeleton drones called DREDS. The series is set in the Lagos-Island inspired futuristic city of Lagoon City and involves Wale's use of a nanosuit that give him superhero powers in order to defend the city against a radical extremist organisation called CREED. 

 

Click here to read the full interview on Okay Africa by Jennifer Sefa-Boakye.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 09:17

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Zapiro & Mike Wills on a Democrazy Presentation for Students

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Cropped photograph of Zapiro and Mike Wills, the former South Africa's most famed cartoonist and the latter editor of his new cartoon anthology, Democrazy.

 

Democrazy, a politcal cartoon anthology by Zapiro and Mike Wills, represents a collaboration between the famous South African political cartoonist and radio personality/commentator that spans 20 years of South Africa's democracy, from 1994 to 2014. The two authors hosted a free presentation held in the beautiful Cape Town City Hall catering specifically for students with a number of older fans attending the proceedings as well. The presentation encompassed around 30 cartoons, ranging from the older classics to more modern incarnations such his notorious Rape of Justice cartoon. On being asked whether or not Zapiro feels guilty about portraying certain public figures the way he does, Mandy J Watson from Brainwavez.org quotes the famous cartoonist:

 

Wills asked Zapiro, specifically referencing the vegetable cartoon, whether Zapiro gets to a point at which he begins to feel guilty about portraying someone like that. Zapiro's swift "No!" drew large laughs from the audience, though he then went on to say that "sometimes you develop quite a thick skin and if someone is in the public space and people's lives are on the line... I'm prepared to be vicious".

 

Click here to read Mandy J Watson's full article on Brainwavez.org.

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Last Updated on Monday, 13 April 2015 18:38

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Stan Lee, Michael Uslan & the Smithsonian Offer Massive Free Online Course on Comic Book Superhero History

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Cropped photograph of comic book icon and Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee by Max Gerber.

Right: Photograph of producer for the Batman movies and one of the first instructors to have taught an accredited course on comic book folklore at any university, Michael Uslan.

 

The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture, a five-week online theory course, is currently being offered through edX - a website platform that offers interactive online classes and massive open online courses from the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations - free of charge for those who wish to register. The course will start on May 5th 2015 and you can enroll today. The announcement that the course will be hosted by comic book icon and Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, the executive producer of the Batman Dark Knight movie franchise Michael Uslan and experts from the Smithsonian, has attracted interest as more and more people register for the course, which will take place shortly after Free Comic Book Day on May 2nd. EdX elaborates on the The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture course:

 

The ancient gods of Egyptian, Greek and Roman myths still exist, but today, they have superpowers, human foibles and secret identities. They come from comic books and graphic novels, and have taken over pop culture on the stage, screen, video games, and animation. From Superman® and Spiderman®, to The Avengers® and The Hulk® and beyond, who are these heroes? And, how have they evolved from folklore and myth, across all cultures and religions? For the first time ever, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is excited to offer the opportunity to go into the collection and see why superheroes are a dominant cultural force in today’s world. Not only will students be taught by Smithsonian experts, and three industry leaders - Stan Lee, Michael Uslan and David Uslan, but they will also get to ask questions and chat online with them around coursework. At last, fans, students and seekers of knowledge have the opportunity to enroll in the ultimate comic book course.

 

Click here to read the Open Culture article on the course and to watch the video advertisement narrated by Michael Uslan.

Click here to register for the course free of charge on the edX website.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 April 2015 09:31

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Do it Yourself: A DIY Art Tutorial from Ai Weiwei

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Left: Hans Ulrich Obrist's Do It: The Compendium, a collection of famous artists’ wide-ranging instructionals for art anyone can make .

Right: An image from Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's entry from Do It: The Compendium on CCTV spray.

 

Chinese contemporary artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei has for long been critical of the Chinese government and held a largely antiauthoritarian outlook with regards to his work. The larger, international public became familiar with Ai Weiwei's work when he made news headlines after being held for 81 days by the Chinese government without any official charges. In Hans Ulrich Obrist's Do It: The Compendium, described by Maria Popova from Brainpickings.com as 'a collection of famous artists’ wide-ranging instructionals for art anyone can make,' Ai Weiwei has an entry dedicated to the art of blocking a surveillance camera using household materials. Popova quotes Ai Weiwei when describing the materials required in the book:

 

First find a long stick of suitable height. Considering portability, a collapsible tree pruner is recommended. Then select a stable frame that can secure a bottle or a can. For example, a bottle cage for bicycles would be a good fit. After that, find a trigger and fix it at the top of the stick. A wine bottle opener is a good choice, because its flexible lever structure can reduce the force and distance needed to press the spray nozzle... We also need a linkage device to control the wine bottle opener at the top. A bicycle brake bar is an excellent choice... Finally, prepare screws and nylon ropes as needed.


Last Updated on Thursday, 02 April 2015 09:06

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Open Book Comics Fest 2015 Announcement Just Around the Corner & New Footage From OBCF 2014

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It seems the date announcements for this year's Open Book Comics Fest are just around the corner with the official logo being dropped on social media and online. This year promises to be the biggest one yet with a dedicated kids comics section and the usual comics artists manning their stalls. Get in touch with Moray Rhoda at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you're interested in selling some of your work and do it quickly before they run out of space. In the meantime, Free Comic Book Day at Reader's Den in Cape Town is just around the corner so all comics enthusiasts will have to satisfy their comic book cravings on the 2nd of May before the dates for Open Book Comics Fest 2015 are announced.

 

In the meantime check out this great new footage of last year's Open Book Comics Fest by Parallel ZA.

 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 09:23

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