GRAFlit is a new anthology of contemporary graphic literature showcasing South African comic artists who aren’t afraid to ransack the graveyard of big ideas. It’s a gritty collection that steers clear of pretty colours or sentimental storylines, featuring dark, iconic tales from the enigmatic hinterlands of geography and mind.
There are hallucinogenic literary sequences, duelling monsters, drug-addled slackers, sleazy conmen and corrupt councillors, there’s an alchemic fantasy vampire tale set in the rural mines of Africa, a struggle memoir of Jo’burg in the 1970’s, and even a reconstruction of the fall of Bhagdad in 760 AD. Plus there are lots of grim jokes.
The anthology features SA comics veterans Alastair Findlay, Daniel Hugo, Mogorosi Motshumi, N.D.Mazin, Saaid Rahbeeni and Rico, alongside a strong new crew including Jean de Wet, Luke Molver, Roberto Millan, Lwazi Kunene, Sebastian Borckenhagen and Su Opperman. The project has a developmental edge and features a number of emerging comics talents as well. There are also several single-panel portfolios, featuring cartoons and illustrations by Brandon Reynolds, Chip Snaddon, Dathini Mzayiya, Denise Dorrance, Pete Woo and Rayaan Cassiem.
GRAFlit will be launched at an exhibition of work from the magazine, to be held at the exciting new Youngblood Gallery in Bree Street, Cape Town, on 5 September. The event is held in conjunction with the Open Book Comics Fest, running at the Homecoming Centre, Buitenkant Street, Cape Town, from 7 September.
GRAFlit is edited by Andy Mason and Roberto Millan and published by the Centre for Comic, Illustrative and Book Arts (CCIBA) in association with the Youngblood Arts and Culture Foundation, Mamba Media and PreZanian Publications. The project is co-funded by the National Arts Council, CCIBA, Youngblood and Mamba Media.
An insert from Little Star, a GRAFlit comic by Lwazi Kunene (illustrator) and Ryan Ross Jales (scriptwriter).