This exhibition is part of Comics Brew an international festival of comic art that is being held in Southern Africa from May 2004 to March 2005. Pro Helvetia (Arts council of Switzerland), the French Institute of South Africa and the Royal Netherlands Embassy sponsor this event in association with the Goethe Institute Johannesburg, the University of Stellenbosch and Bitterkomix. Anton Kannemeyer is the festival co-ordinator.
The festival is an initiative to showcase, develop and establish comic strip drawing in Southern Africa. The potential of the medium as an educational tool as well as entertainment has been realized in most European countries, the USA and Japan. Recent developments in Europe and the USA have equated the art form with (high) literature, fine arts and film. The festival aims to bring professional artists, specialists, academics, as well as examples of their work to Southern Africa in order to showcase, stimulate and develop this much neglected art form.
One South African and five international comic strip artists make up the Comics Brew International Exhibition that will be travelling to Johannesburg, Maputo (Mozambique), Durban, Cape Town, Luanda (Angola) and Windhoek (Namibia). The artists are Joe Daly (South Africa), Anna Sommer (Switzerland), Henning Wagenbreth (Germany), Jacques Loustal (France), Willem (the Netherlands) , and Sergé Huo-Chao-Si (Reunion).
Joe Daly (South Africa) studied film animation for two years at City Varsity College in Cape Town before realizing that his passion lies with comics. Since then he has published in Africa Comics (Africa e Mediterraneo, Italy) and Bitterkomix 13. At the end of 2003 he published The Red Monkey: The Leaking Cello Case – a 32 page full colour comic about life in the underside of Cape Town. The Red Monkey was also serialized in SL magazine.
Anna Sommer (Switzerland) completed a pre-diploma course at the Zurich School of Art and Design where she specialized in graphic art. Presently she lives in Zurich where she has been working as a freelance comic strip artist and illustrator since 1996. She has published widely in international magazines such as Die Zeit, NZZ Folio, das Magazin, Du, WoZ, Vibrations, Lapin, L'imbécile deParis, Libération and Strapazin.
Henning Wagenbreth (Germany) received a diploma in graphic design at Kunsthochschule Berlin. During his career he completed a one year residence in Paris, worked as instructor for illustration at the Kunsthochschule Berlin and has been lecturer in Visual Communication at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin since 1994. He has published extensively on an international level, also as graphic artist (esp. posters, book covers and children’s books).
Jacques Loustal graduated in architecture from the School of Beaux-Arts. He currently works as a freelance illustrator for advertising and the press. Travelling forms an integral part of his life and he is internationally renowned for his travel sketchbooks. His other work includes numerous illustrated books, children’s books, graphic novels and editorial illustrations.
Willem was born in 1941 in the Netherlands. He studied in Arnhem and Den Bosch between 1962 and 1967. He has published more than 60 books and has been working since 1985 in Paris for Liberation (newspaper) as political-satarist. His work is often highly controversial because of its unyielding criticism and explicit content.
Sergé Huo-Chao-Si was born in 1968 in Reunion. He is a founding member of the comic group Cri du Margouillat and published extensively in the magazine (le Margouillat) until its end in 2002. His first graphic novel, Cases en Tôle, collects stories from this period. In 2003 he published the acclaimed La Grippe Coloniale with writer Appollo.
For more information about the festival visit < a href=http://www.comicsbrew.com>www.comicsbrew.com.