COMICArtAfrica: Entrevista a Alistair Brauns

Andrew Lamprecht, el recientemente nombrado editor de ARTsouthAFRICA's nueva publicación hermana, ComicArteÁfrica, sent out a series of questions to a number of comic art practitioners for comment. This is the response of Alistair Brauns (Cape Town-based architect and illustrator). Selected extracts from other respondents are included in pull-quotes throughout the supplement and will be published online and in ARTsouthAFRICA's ediciones digitales durante los próximos meses.

ABOVE: Artwork by Alistair Brauns from Crimson. Courtesy of the artist.

¿Cuál es la posición actual de los cómics y otros medios relacionados en Sudáfrica y el continente africano? ¿Hemos llegado o todavía estamos en camino?

The local scene is highly fragmented, yet growing quite rapidly in the last 5-6 years. There are attempts to create a stronger ‘community ‘ by people like Andy Mason and Moray Rhoda. As such. South African comics is a niche within a niche market, the most popular perception of the medium still held as ‘kiddy fare’ but slowly this is changing by appreciation of the educational and commercial benefits often at the expense of creator independence.

¿Qué pueden hacer los cómics que otras formas artísticas y literarias no pueden hacer en nuestro contexto local?

Comics have the ability to communicate through primarily through the power of images which is important in our country with 11 official languages and varied education levels in the population.

¿Nos inspiramos en EE. UU. Y Europa más que en el resto del continente? ¿Deberíamos comprometernos más estrechamente con los creativos de África?

The medium has been most developed and refined in the US. This (comic books) is one of the American invented mediums according to Harlan Ellison, (an American writer _Star Trek , Outer Limits), and there is some truth to that. Inspiration can come from anywhere but the mechanics of panels and text are highly developed in the US publication. Plotlines and archetypal characters, often seen as conventional by the masses, are challenged by European comics, taking a more philosophical approach, which one may argue is more engaging to an adult contemporary audience.

¿Existe un estilo sudafricano reconocible en el arte del cómic?

Worldwide the trend in term of an art style seems influenced by the digital tools at the artists disposal, more animation like, consisting of a crisp outlines and computer colours. Local artists seem of a European/American hybrid.

Si es así, ¿cómo caracterizaría esto? Si no es así, ¿por qué cree que puede ser así?

This may have to do with the influences and visual exposure of the artists who, at this point in time, stem from a similar demographic sector of the nation. The most popular artists of the medium seem to lay the foundation of what to follow.

¿Qué desafíos enfrentamos para crear una cultura de cómics viable?

We need publishers! we need patrons!

¿Algún otro comentario relacionado con nuestras producciones de cómics locales que le gustaría hacer?

Local comic artist would like more of the same opportunities and attention as other ‘high brow’ artists get for exposure.

Por último, describe lo que estás haciendo actualmente en relación con los cómics, los dibujos animados o la narrativa secuencial. Enumere sus publicaciones recientes o proyectos actuales.

Currently developing the 3rd book of Crimson, searching for a credible writer as we speak! Also looking at developing a 2nd book title aimed at younger audience which is educational in content at the same time. Also looking at collaborating with local writers.


Crimson 1 – self published .2013

Crimson 2 – self published. 2014

Crimson 3 – in production

Thanks for the opportunity to be included and for your interest in South African comics!