ToonZa - The art of Comics

Toonza 1

After the initial success of the first ToonZa workshop presented by the Amak Art Kolektiv at the D6 Museum in December last year, the ToonZa initiative has decided to kick off with a bang for 2017. For those of you who can't stop drawing, here's the ToonZa press release stating what it's all about:

ToonZA is a new comic art initiative aimed at young people of all ages who can't stop drawing. It’s a key component of a larger vision to stimulate and develop graphic storytelling activity amongst South Africans. We aim to promote comics as a medium of entertainment, education and enlightenment, and to contribute to the development of artistic, narrative, entrepreneurship and leadership skills which will benefit participants in both their professional and personal lives.Our workshops are collaborative learning processes that push participants to the limits of their ability, resulting in extraordinary epiphanies and sudden leaps in individual achievement. They are also a tremendous amount of fun. For most emerging comic artists, it's a new experience to spend hours of regular creative time in the company of others who are as passionate about comics, manga, anime,animation, cartooning and graphic literature in general.We have two parallel ToonZa initiatives on the go at present: ToonZA: The Art of Comics every Tuesday evening at The College of Cape Town,and ToonZA: The Graphic Time Machine at the District 6 Homecoming Centre on Saturday mornings. 




ToonZA: The Art of Comics is a series of three eight-week courses on the theory and practice of making comics, presented by Andy Mason and Archie Birch, assisted by Robyn Hosking. The first course will be hosted at The College of Cape Town every Tuesday from 5.30 to 8.30 pm, 7 February to 28 March 2017. The cost is R 1 800 for the course, which includes tea and coffee and the use of the computer lab.

Course 1 is a comprehensive overview of the primary practical and theoretical components of making, producing, publishing and marketing comics. The course tackles the visual language of graphic narrative, including image and text, panels and time, sequence and storytelling, character and caricature, stereotype and archetype, theme and plot, composition and layout, action and dialogue, traditional and digital rendering, and publishing online and in print. It culminates in a mini-exhibition and mini-comic featuring participants' work.

Courses 2 & 3 will be held in the second and third trimesters of the year for participants who wish to continue this exciting journey with us. Each course culminates with a mini exhibition and collaborative mini-comic featuring participants' work, and we will have a larger exhibition and publication at the end of the year. Check out our Facebook page – @toonza.comics – for more information and updates.




ToonZa: The Graphic Time Machine (previously known as D6 ToonZa) is a regular workshop at the Homecoming Centre of the District Six Museum, on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. We are working towards the conceptualisation and production of a comic anthology exploring the epic, multi-layered story of District Six And The Deep Memory of Place. We also plan to have an exhibition of participants' work at the Homecoming Centre during Open Book Comics Fest in September 2017.

Our pilot workshop on 4 December 2016 was a great success, producing four original story concepts which will be explored further in subsequent workshops as we take participants through the practical steps of making a comic.

At this point the workshops are free. Initial funding for this project has been provided by the District Six Museum and we are currently seeking multi-stakeholder investment to help us develop a monthly comic for and by young people of all ages, hand-in-hand with the establishment of local cartoon clubs where participants collaborate in the creation, distribution and sale of their own mini-comics.




If you are interested in participating in The Art of Comics or The Graphic Time Machine (or both), please let us know by return of email and we’ll send you more info. You can also like and visit our Facebook page – @toonza.comics – for more information and updates, and ToonZa workshop participants can join our Facebook group to share their individual creative projects and mutual love of comics.

Aluta Cartoonua!

The Toonza Team

Robyn-Jade Hosking: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Archie Birch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Andy Mason: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 15 January 2017 09:50

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Vansa Best Practice Guide

Vansa Best practice Guide

Vansa best Practice Guide 2016. 


The VANSA Best Practice Guide for the Visual Arts in South Africa 2016 is an insightful read to all practicioners within the Visual Arts Sector. It provides guidelines and recommendations for establishing fair relationships and dealings between practitioners within the Arts sector. Since the Art world is small and precarious, the guide will be a handy tool to any practitioner within the arts industry, because it provides a framework from which situations that have result in power imbalances between parties can be either be negated or navigated. An ethical practice based on sound transactions between practitioners is a requirement if the visual arts sector is to grow in South Africa, and thereby provide a greater sustainability for all affiliates of the visual arts industry. Vansa's Code of Best Practice is not a how to guide, it's a reccomendation on how to maintain healthy relationships within an inter-relational industry. To download the pdf version, click here.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 January 2017 08:44

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D6 Local Comics Creation

Archie Birch - ToonZA


This coming Saturday (3 December) District 6 Homecoming Centre in collaboration with AMAK (Azania Mania Art Kolektive) will be hosting a comic art workshop. All are invited to participate. If you are a comic artist, writer, or just slightly curios, join!  The workshop will be exploring the past and the potential for future narratives, with D6 as focal hub for creative inspiration. It's the latest AMAK creative project and it's called D6 ToonZa. In the words of the organisers, here's some more info:

Q: What's D6 ToonZa?

A: Targeting young people of all ages who can't stop drawing, D6 ToonZa is a graphic time maching colllaboration between the District 6 Museum and AMAK. We plan to conceptualise, make, launch, promote, and distribute a comic anthology set In A World Not Too Far From Now. . . a collection of stories exploring the epic multilayered sag of District Six And The Deep Memory of Place. 

Q: A world not too far from Now? Like when, then? 

A: It's a graphic time machine: forwards or backwards in time, into alternate realities or parallel lives, exploring alien worlds or alienation in this world, with only one proviso: that our stories connect somehow - either time-wise, place-wise or concept-wise -with District 6 and the deep Memory of place.

Q: The deep memory of place?

A: Imagine a scrawny urban milkwood tree that stood in a vacant lot for a century or more, from before you were born until an unknown future. Imagine you got access to that tree's stories, past and future, and told them. That's just an example. Places have memories - accessing them is the fun part. 

Q: And then what? 

A: This workshop will introduce and test-drive our 2017 D6 ToonZA Saturday Sessions concept - to recruit participants and raise funds for a year-long weekly comics workshop to be held at the Homecoming centre. 

Q: Who can attend? 

A: Like we said, it's for young people of all ages who can't stop drawing: designed for people who already draw or write their own comics - or want to. It's a full-on non-stop immersion into our new ToonZa comiclab process, with lots of drawing, learning, talking, presenting - all to be documented in an ongoing stop-motion YouTube animation. 

Q: Yeah, right, OK. But what's the point of it all? 

A: Our immediate aim is to co-learn comics skills the ToonZa way, to produce original work, have an exhibition and launch our new comic book at Open Book Comics Fest in September 2017 - and get the ToonZa Saturday sessions up and running. Long-term? A montly local comics magazine, of course! 

Q: Sounds awesome - How do I sign up? 

A: Just RSVP by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to the ToonZa Facebook page for more info. 

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 January 2017 08:56

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Salsa Invertebraxa

Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops, Centip & Queen Centipette

Concept Illustrator and artist, Mozchops has brought a phenomenal and beautiful world to life in his graphic novel, Salsa Invertebraxa. It's available in hardcover through Amazon and will also be serialised in six installments in Heavy Metal, specifically selected by Grant Morrison for its uniqueness. Set in the imaginary world of insects, Salsa Invertebraxa tells the tale of two friends that disturb the delicate balance of their world by harvesting the eggs of the so-called super predator insects. The novel is exquisitely rendered with a fine eye for realistic detail. Mozchops sparks the imagination with this highly original and visually innovative story. It can only be defined as an inspiration to the comic art world. With a certain degree of whimsy, veering from the fantastical to the dark, Mozchops transports the reader to a world highly alien, though known, and makes us wonder at the intimate existence of the minute. Exposing us to the possibility of the secret lives of insects. Taking him over 15 years to complete, Salsa Ivertebraxa consists of 200 delicately crafted digital paintings. 

 Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops - Ambush II

Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops - Ambush 

Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops - Flight

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 November 2016 14:32

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Benjamin Marra's Underground aesthetic

Terror Assaulter O.M.W.O.T (One man War On Terror) by Benjamin Marra.


Benjamin Marra is known for his grunge, punk and above of underground comics stylistics. He has a passion for comics, asked if he'd like to do anything else otherwise artistically, he answered in one interview: "Not really, perhaps some big paintings" and that's about it. He's always drawn comics since a child and is still drawing comics as an adult. Predominantly self-taught, he brings his often off-kilter, sometimes offensive, but above all satirical vision to life through sequential art. For the most part, Benjamin Marra's stories are self-published and take the form of black & white comics printed mainly on low-grade paper to give it that underground zine feel. Consequently, he sells his comics for a relatively low price under his own imprint, labelled: Traditional Comics. He comfortably inhabits the alternative comics genre, and his style can only be described as raw, hard-hitting, quirky, gut-level aesthetic. As a American comics artist and illustrator, his stories for the most part around America, crime, drugs, football, race, religion and sex, the kind of stories that he likes to tell. When looking at his work, a realisation occurs that the author comes first and the reader second, and you either jump on board and enjoy the ride, or miss the boat and sit ashore. Here's a link to a Q&A between Benjamin Marra and Linework


Cave of the Tooth by Benjamin Marra

 Racer by Benjamin Marra 

Terror Assaulter by Benjamin Marra, published by Fantagraphics in 2015.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 November 2016 16:32

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