Comic Con Africa will be hosting some of the local comic book artists at the first African edition of this international phenomenon. The team of local artists that are making it big on a local and international stage includes the likes of Jason Masters, Sean Izaakse, Warren Louw, Bill Masuku and Moray Rhoda.
Jason Masters, a Johannesburg based comic book artists, began his career in commercial advertising and went on to work as a professional comic book artist for DC, Marvel, and Dynamite Comics.
Masters’ early work includes Human Target and Red, a comic series penned by Warren Ellis, for Wildstorm Studios, an imprint of DC. He went on to work on various Batman titles, including Legends of the Dark Knight, Batwoman, Batman Incorporated, and Nightwing. For Marvel he worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, Wolverines, and X-Men. His biggest gig arrived in 2015, when he was handpicked by comics legend, Warrren Ellis, to handle the artwork as ongoing series artist on Dynamite’s high-profile relaunch of the James Bond comic book, the first all-new 007 comic series in over 20 years. The series, under the helm of Ellis and Masters, has received popular and critical acclaim and is currently one of Dynamite Comics bestselling new series. His latest comic, Caster, stars Common, Actor, film producer, poet and American hip hop recording artist.
Johannesburg based Sean Izaakse adds his presence to the team having worked as a freelance illustrator and comic artist for the last 8 years. An artist on Pathfinder comics for Dynamite Entertainment and contributed artwork to various RPG’s like Mutants & Masterminds by Green Ronin Publishing. Izaakse is the artist and co-creator, along with writer Vito Delsante, of the creator-owned series Stray from Action Lab Entertainment. Sean has been doing work for MARVEL comics over the past two years on titles such as The Thunderbolts, Avengers, Deadpool, The Uncanny Avengers and is currently the artist on MARVEL’s “The Champions” comic series.
Also on the team is Bill Masuku who is a 25 year old comic book artist and writer – born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. Masuku is the founder of Enigma Comix Africa, as well as the creator of Razor-Man and Captain South Africa. The former of his works has gained him growing acclaim in his hometown spearheading the local comic industry forward. The latter debuted in January (at a convention in Cape Town) and the titular super heroine is set to move forward with themes of social justice, inequality, discrimination.
As one of the most celebrated artists from South Africa, Warren Louw, brings a new element to the team. Louw is a Louw is a freelance illustrator and character designer. He is self-taught and works in both traditional and digital media. His ability to create images with meticulous detail and imagination has gained considerable attention internationally with over 2 million pageviews on his DeviantArt account alone. He has also attended San Diego Comic Con and La Mole Mexico. as a special guest artist. Well recognised for his mastery of renditions of beautiful women and a perfectionist in his illustrations, his work has been featured in print publications such as ImagineFX Magazine, various UDON Entertainment Tribute Art books, Ballistic Publishing’s Exotique, Photoshop Essentials, Masters of Anatomy and 21 Draw. He has also created comic covers for UDON’s Street Fighter, Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers. IDW Comics’ G.I. Joe, Danger Girl, and DC Comics’ Power Girl, Harley Quinn, Justice League, Green Lanterns and Batman. He has also done conceptual work for Longship Armoury, Phoenix Age Gaming and Bandai Namco.
Completing the team is Moray Rhoda – a Cape Town based instigator of independent comics in South Africa and is currently the Head of Animation at CityVarsity Cape Town. He was one of the founding members of the Igubu Comic Book Collective and was the man behind Insurrection Studios in the early 2000s. Moray is a contributing member to SECTOR, South Africa’s only on-going bi-monthly comic and is also associated with producing and creating content for The Lil5 comic and the Australian/SA collab, Velocity Graphic Anthology. Moray and team Velocity hosted the first SA comic panel at San Diego Comic Con in 2013 (and a follow up panel in 2014).
The Comic Con Africa experience will include the Artist Alley – a space for independent artists who are producing original artwork in the form of comics, prints, posters and self-published novels, and books.
Comic Con Africa will be held from 14 – 16 September 2018 at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit & International Convention Centre. Comic Con Africa is a multi-genre entertainment and comic convention that features comic books, games, arts, movies, pop culture elements and so much more.
More information about autograph sessions as well as ticket pricing will be announced at a later stage.
Android arrives on SA TVs
The arrival of the first name-brand Android TV in South African stores symbolises the shift to smart TVs, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.
You probably have a good idea of what operating system (OS) runs on your phone, and may even know the version number. After all, Android and iOS almost define our relationships with our phones.
Not many, on the other hand, know anything about the OS on their TVs. Older TVs don’t even have names for their OS. Newer TVs with Internet connectivity, generally known as smart TVs, all have operating systems, but in most cases do not make a big deal of it. Only Samsung, with its Tizen OS, and LG, with webOS, are well-known. Then again, not all that well-known either.
Before Sony pulled out of the local TV market, it was about to introduce Android, the OS made by Google for smartphones, to the big box. A number of no-name brands have also debuted with Android, but consumers have tended to avoid them precisely because they were such an unknown quantity.
Enter Skyworth. It’s an $8-billion dollar business listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, but is only beginning to emerge as a presence in the South African market. It bought out Sinotec, the most popular budget big-screen TVs locally, and introduced the parent brand to the country in the last two years.
It keeps costs down because it brings in components from China, but assembles the TV sets at a local factory, thereby avoiding import duties on luxury items. Quality has rarely been an issue for Sinotec devices, and Skyworth seems to be benefiting from its long relationship with retailers.
Continue reading about the first Android TV contender in South Africa.
SA rises as Spotify turns 10
October 2018 marks 10 years since Spotify officially launched its music streaming platform and to celebrate this milestone, Spotify has taken a look at some of its biggest discoveries in music.
Spotify provided the following information:
The service only launched in South Africa in March this year, so this country is not included in the retrospective, but Spotify supplied Gadget with the following local streaming landmarks:
· Most streamed South African artist – Jeremy Loops
· Most streamed female South African artist – Shekhinah
· Highest first-day streaming record – AKA’s Beyonce
Since launch Spotify now sits at 180 million monthly active listeners across 65 countries. These Spotify users can enjoy a music library of over 40 million songs and podcasts, and over 3 billion-plus user-created playlists. As of 31 August 2018, Spotify has also paid over 10 billion euros to rights holders since launch.
To date, over 2 000 genres of music have been identified on Spotify, among them Wonky (electronic music characterised by synths with unusual time signatures), Shimmer Pop (a Swedish cousin of indie pop and indietronica), and British Blues (the blues…with a British flavour).
Spotify has also done an assessment of “listening diversity,” – the number of artists the average user streams per month – which has risen on Spotify over the past 10 years, at an average of about 8% per year. In the past three years alone, listening diversity increased about 40% on the strength of new personalised and editorial playlists – meaning people are listening to an increased number of artists on a regular basis.
An official Decade of Discovery playlist features the most-streamed songs over the past decade, including favourites like Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” Hozier’s “Take Me To Church,” Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.,” Rihanna’s “Work,” Sia’s “Chandelier,” Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” and the star-studded “Despacito Remix”.