The phrase ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ rings true once more as Reed Exhibitions Africa and ReedPOP today announce that twelve talented local authors will be engaging in various talks, as well as have their books available in the Artist Alley at this year’s Comic Con Africa in September.
Kelan Gerriety started writing at a young age and by 2015, she completed her first book for publication titled Crimson Skies. As the founder of Sera Blue, a platform that helps local authors publish their fantasy, sci-fi and horror books, Kelan has also written several books to date and spoken on a number of panels and podcasts about writing and publishing both in South Africa and abroad.
Johannesburg-born author, Nikita Boshoff made up stories for her sister based on the pictures in books, even before she could read. She has filled her world with stories, and now with a BA in Creative Writing, she is the author of the novel The Dragon Child and has also published a short story called Finding Maggie in the Ethereal anthology by Sera Blue.
Joining them at Comic Con Africa will be Ilse V Rensburg, an author of young-adult, urban and dark fantasy novels, who has a BA in Languages and Literature. As the author of Blood Sipper and The Lost Days Saga (8 book fantasy series), she also co-wrote Sleight of Hand with Jason Hes, a Johannesburg-based author whose debut novel was titled Our Immaculate – an occult and Lovecraftian-inspired story set in an all-girls school in Magaliesburg.
Jason has also had a story featured in the Ethereal anthology, which went on to be nominated for the African Speculative Fiction Society Award for Best Speculative Short Story of 2019. He has published articles in various science and geek culture magazines and websites and also co-wrote a novella, Locke & Key, with international bestselling author Ashleigh Giannoccaro, which appeared in the dark romance anthology Kiss Me, Kill Me. Hes’ comic book Two Against the Galaxy, illustrated by Gina-Rae Proxy, will be launched at Comic Con Africa in September, and is not to be missed!
Bill Masuku, a Zimbabwean comic book writer and artist, has been self-publishing comics since 2016, most notably Razor-Man and Captain South Africa. His comic Razor-Man has been featured in both volumes of the Kugali anthology, a collection of African comic books from across the continent. His first novel, an urban fantasy titled Misfortunism, was published by Sera Blue and debuted in 2019. He has also appeared as a guest and panellist at several regional conventions, including Comic Con Africa 2018 and FanCon 2019.
Thalia Lopes is a high-fantasy and dark-fantasy author of Sera Blue and is the author of The Progenitor Trilogy, with the first book, Shadows of Carnage being released this year. Currently double majoring in genetics and microbiology at the University of Pretoria, this member of the Golden Key Society has three other planned series that will be released in the future, The Seraphim Series, The Precursor Series, and The Requiem Series.
Ashleigh Hattingh Macfie, a former paramedic, has been writing since childhood, focussing on theatre scripts and fantasy with the occasional foray into poetry. She has recently ventured into steampunk inspired fiction with her first two novellas released earlier this year; Clockwork Renegades Vol 1 & 2. She will be seen at Comic Con Africa alongside Nichola Millen, author of The Black Cube, which launched in January this year. By profession, Nichola is an English literature lecturer who not only plans to follow The Black Cube up with a sequel but hopes to pass along her passion for reading to the next generation.
Vittorio Leonardi started writing at an early age and in 2009 became the head writer on Last Say on Sunday – a political satire show ahead of its time. Since then he has been writing for SABC 1’s local celebrity gossip show The Real Goboza; for children’s television on Let’s Get Quizzical and on sitcoms such as Thandeka’s Diary. Vittorio is also the co-host of the GeekXP podcast Release the Geek and has his own podcast entitled Urbane Myths.
Abigail Godsell has been writing sci-fi, horror and urban magic short stories since 2006, and she also moonlights as an Urban Planner. She believes that a society that has forgotten how to dream is not a society that will survive very long in the zombie apocalypse. She has written a number of books including the Idea War series, Relative Scale and her Comic Con release, The Geomancer and the Large Rock which was illustrated by David Griessel.
The Artist Alley will also be welcoming comic, novel and short fiction author, Dennis Dvornak. Dennis is a filmmaker and storyteller who engineers fantasy, magical unrealism, sci-fi and mythic fiction. His mythic fiction novelette Heka and the Colour Thief, debuted at Comic Con 2018. His short comic, Hexer, an urban fantasy and esoteric horror set in the dark side of SA’s collective unconscious, is due for release in Sector Comics this year. He is currently working on a 240-page graphic novel edition of Hexer, and a novella adaptation of it.
The latest member of the Sera Blue team who will be at Comic Con Africa is Caldon Mull, who has a long-standing publishing career in technology and gaming under different nom de plumes, and in his own name. When he is not working in the field of technology, he is usually writing science fiction and fantasy, and is looking to expand his genre work into new directions. He has been nominated for a number of literacy awards and recently published Hacked – a South African set science fiction novella.
An added extra from the Sera Blue stable comes in the form of one of their cover artists, Gina-Rae Proxy. She also does, storyboards, animation, tattoo designs, t-shirt designs, gig posters and apparel, and dabbles in writing, but comics take preference because she considers herself a professional arting starvist. Gina is the artist for Sera Blue’s first comic book; Two Against the Galaxy. She will have a stall next to Sera Blue for a shared launch of the comic book.
All twelve authors (and one artist) will be at the Comic Con Africa Artist Alley between 21 and 24 September. For more information about Comic Con Africa and to discover what is on offer across all four days at Gallagher Convention Centre, please visit: https://www.comicconafrica.co.za/en.html.