Do you think French comics are limited to Asterix and Valerian and Laureline? No, no.
Just ahead of the second Comic Con Africa, the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), the Embassy of France in South Africa and the French Institute of South Africa will present The Art of Comics, an exciting new exhibition that showcases the fascinating worlds of SA comics and French bandes dessinees, the famous French comic style.
The Art of Comics, from September 19 until November 17 at JAG, will offer visitors a rich variety of contemporary SA comics and graphic novels that explore themes of history, folklore, science fiction, autobiography and new developments in the field, such as augmented reality comics.
The exhibition will also include a special section on French comics, curated by Thierry Groensteen, one of France’s leading researchers and theorists.
Various workshops will be organised for schools and the public, led by South African and French experts, as well as special guests, to learn about the techniques around comics, animation, augmented reality and much more.
The exhibition is timed to coincide with Comic Con Africa, the continent’s largest comic festival, to give the public a wider look into the world of comics and animation.
The work of important South African artists, including Loyiso Mkize, Mogorosi Motshumi and Luke Molver, will be on display.
Mkize is the talent behind South Africa’s first real superhero, Kwezi, and behind The Art of Comics’ visual identity, while Motshumi is the first black South African to publish an autobiography in a graphic novel format, entitled The Initiation.
Molver is the artist behind the 1980s comic strip Sloppy. He will soon be launching the second edition of his Shaka Rising graphic novel series.
Some of the best French bandes dessinees artists will be showcased, including Riad Sattouf – cartoonist, comic artist, and film director who worked for the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and wrote The Secret Life of Teenagers.
Work by Penelope Bagieu, author of the successful illustrated blog, My Life is Fascinating, and Lewis Trondheim, an award-winning comic author, who created the independent bandes dessinees publishing house, L’Association, will also be on display.
The work of other artists linked to animation and innovative formats, such as virtual reality, will also be displayed, including a virtual reality experience of the short film Accused #2, based on sound archives from the famous Rivonia trial.
- Discussion with The Art of Comics’ curators and special guests, September 21, 11am – Comic
Con Africa, Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand
- Public walkabout of The Art of Comics exhibition with the curators, September 22 – Johannesburg Art Gallery