Acclaimed Cape Town comics artist makes debut in the DC Universe with 'Batwing'
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Cape Town - Cape Town-based visual artist Loyiso Mkize has made a breakthrough, becoming the first South African to illustrate an international comic.
Mkize, 34, was originally from Butterworth in the Eastern Cape and studied graphic design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Partnering with Warner Bros’ DC Comics, he has illustrated a Batman comic, set to be released next month.
Mkize has illustrated volume 4 of “Batman: Urban Legends”, with Batwing, aka Luke Fox, taking on The Riddler, which is set to go on sale on June 8 in the US.
In the DC universe, Batwing is often referred to as the “Batman of Africa'', which has contributed to Mkize’s career being centred on comics since its inception.
Mkize worked as head illustrator of the popular soccer comic book series "Supa Strikas" until 2014, which is when he decided to start his own company and establish Mzansi's first superhero, “Kwezi”, alongside writer Mohale Mashigo, which has been a huge success and inspiration to the youth of South Africa.
“After seven years working on ’Kwezi’ (consisting of 15 episodes), the trailer for the animated series is set to exhibit for the first time at the Cape Town International Animation Festival this year,” said Mkize.
Mkize showcased the comic “Kwezi” at Comic Con Africa in 2018, which sparked his relationship with the DC team and led to the DC editor contacting him to take on this project.
“From my roots with ’Supa Strikas’, being commissioned by the Out of Africa Foundation for a portrait of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the anti-bullying comic book commissioned by the American comic book company Archie comics, and various other prolific work, DC is the highlight and graduation of my work as a visual artist,” said Mkize.
He said being added to the DC team was one of the best credentials he could ever dream of, and a huge nod to his career.
Sharing the news on social media, Mkize was met with overwhelming support from fans encouraging his achievement.
He said the opportunity provided him with a chance to meet and connect with amazing people in the industry, one of whom is actor and producer Camrus Johnson, who wrote the script for this volume and also made his DC debut with Mkize.
“As an artist, you are dependent on things happening at the right and with the right people, so I’m grateful to all those who I connected with in the past on this journey and those that I will connect with in future,” said Mkize.