Has comic book culture become darker? Comic super-fan Zain Motala weighs in
Comic book culture has grown in South Africa in recent years, with the world of fandom and cosplay slowly entering the mainstream.
With the success of global blockbuster franchises such as Marvel and the Justice League, fans have become engrossed in comic books, and the sales of comic paraphernalia has soared.
Comic book enthusiasts will be able to revel in the art form when the annual Comic Con comes to South Africa in September.
The four-day festival focusses on all the elements of comic and pop culture. It will be bringing international and local comic artists, film and TV celebrities, and cosplayers, to the country.
Lester Kiewit chatted to comic super-fan Zain Motala, about the growth of comic culture in South Africa. Motala is a member of the Comic Con Africa team.
What we're seeing is this symbiosis, where epic ideas are created in comic books, and make their way onto the big screen. People see it there and they want to get more of that dose. For the price of a Woolies rotisserie chicken, you can get your monthly fix of comic books.Zain Motala, Member of the Comic Comic Con Africa team
In the comics of yesteryear, the adventures of superheroes were characterized by humour, wit, and lampooned storylines.
Over the past decade, comic culture has become increasingly dark. Some people might even say they've morphed into psychological thrillers.
Robert Pattinson's recent version of Batman is a more violent, grittier, emotional, and cynical depiction, than that of Michael Keaton's Batman in the nineties.
In the late seventies, we started seeing people move away from the hippie vibe and became hyperaware of the darker elements of society. These ideas started filtering into books. In the eighties, we started seeing comic book heroes dying. Or something would happen in the book which was echoing what was happening in society.Zain Motala, Member of the Comic Comic Con Africa team
Comic books started becoming a commentary of society but at the same time, it was a fantasized or hyper-fictionalised version of what's going on. It was commentary, while also being entertainment.Zain Motala, Member of the Comic Comic Con Africa team
Today, avid comic consumers will find more 'woke' comics. But there are also comic books purely for entertainment purposes.
The proliferation of comic books in popular culture has sparked a renewed interest in vintage comic collections.
The internet has become a space where you can trade with anyone across the planet. Twenty years ago, some of the books one found were probably South African reprints. There's an entire market of people who collect just re-prints. And now you find there is a demand out there.Zain Motala, Member of the Comic Comic Con Africa team
The Comic Con Africa takes place from 22 - 25 September at the Johannesburg Expo Centre.
Scroll up to listen to the conversation.
Source : https://www.facebook.com/AfricaComicCon/photos/a.416989712048725/1371575816590105
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