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.
The VPN path to Netflix
In January 2016, Netflix announced that they were expanding their global offerings. In one day, the company simultaneously launched in 130 new countries, bringing the total number of countries with access to the streaming service to 190.
It was an announcement that was met with excitement; it meant that hundreds of countries that weren’t previously able to access any content from the streaming site would now have access. But it came with a catch: due to agreements with content owners, who license titles by region, not all Netflix libraries would be the same. So, while a multitude of countries now had access to the streaming service, content libraries could be extremely limited. For example, when Netflix launched in South Africa in 2016, users in the country only had access to 678 titles — a strong contrast to the then-U.S. library, which had over 5,600.
To get around limited content libraries, users took to using virtual private networks, or VPNs, which enable users to change their IP address to a different location, effectively tricking the streaming service into thinking they’re in a country with more titles. Shortly after the launch date, however, Netflix began clamping down on VPNs, implementing a VPN ban meant to stop users from circumventing the geo-blocks.
Today, two years after Netflix’s global expansion, users are still facing limited content libraries. According to Finder, in June of 2017 — more than a year after Netflix launched in South Africa — the country still didn’t have access to 93 percent of the titles in the United States. To access them, they now also have to get around the Netflix VPN ban, a tricky process that involves figuring out which VPN providers can still get access to the streaming site.
To help simplify the process, TheBestVPN tested 67 VPN providers to see which ones could still access Netflix, two years into the ban. View their findings, as well as an overview of the Netflix VPN ban and the best VPNs for accessing Netflix in 2018, in the full infographic below.
Incredible animation landmark
The Walt Disney Company Africa is pleased to share that, in its sixth week of release, Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2 has become the biggest animated film of all time at the South African Box Office, with over R47.4 million and 676k attendances.
Disney releases now account for 4 of the top 10 films of all time at the local Box Office, with 3 coming from 2018 alone, including Marvel Studios’ Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War in number 1 and 2 positions respectively and Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2filling the 8th position. The 2015 release of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens currently sits in the 7th position.
Now in cinemas, Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2 sees Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) being called upon to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose superpowers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible. Incredibles 2 is written and directed by Brad Bird (“Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille”) and produced by John Walker (“The Incredibles,” “Tomorrowland”) and Nicole Grindle (“Sanjay’s Super Team” short, “Toy Story 3” associate producer).
Also in cinemas is Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp, a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink. In the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from the past. Ant-Man and The Wasp is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, with Michelle Pfeiffer, with Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Douglas. Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard are producing, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd & Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari wrote the screenplay.