People dressed as comic book characters at Comic Con Africa, a three-day comic book and pop culture convention in South Africa. Picture: AP Photo/Christopher Torchia

Cape Town - As South Africans will once again unite under the geek culture flag at Comic Con Africa, twelve local authors will be engaging in various talks as well as have their books available in the Artist Alley.

Kelan Gerriety published her first book titled Crimson Skies in 2015. Gerriety is also the founder of Sera Blue, an exciting platform that helps local authors publish their fantasy, sci-fi and horror books. Gerriety has written several books to date and has spoken on a number of panels and podcasts in South Africa and abroad, tackling writing and publishing.

Nikita Boshoff was born and bred in Johannesburg and is the author of The Dragon Child. Her wild imagination and love for all things fictional started when she made up stories for her sister based on the pictures in books. The BA in Creative Writing graduate has also published a short story called Finding Maggie in the Ethereal anthology by Sera Blue.

The Sera Blue team can not be without a cover artist. Gina-Rae Proxy is a woman of many talents (aren't they all?) and does storyboards, animation, tattoo designs, t-shirt designs, gig posters and apparel. She is dabbler in writing but comics take preference as she considers herself a 'professional arting starvist'. Proxy is the artist for Sera Blue’s first comic book; Two Against the Galaxy.

Jason Hes is a Johannesburg-based author whose debut novel titled Our Immaculate promises to be well, immaculate. The novel is an occult and Lovecraftian-inspired story set in an all-girls school in Magaliesburg. Hes has also had a story featured in the Ethereal anthology, which went on to be nominated for the African Speculative Fiction Society Award for Best Speculative Short Story of 2019.

Hes' comic book Two Against the Galaxy, illustrated by arting starvist Gina-Rae Proxy, will be launched at Comic Con Africa in September and will definitely be out of this world.

Ilse V Rensburg is the author of Blood Sipper and an 8 book fantasy series called The Lost Days Saga. She specialises in young-adult, urban and dark fantasy novels and joined forces with Johannesburg-based author Jason Hes to write Sleight of Hand.

Zimbabwean comic book writer and artist Bill Masuku has been self-publishing captivating comics since 2016, most notably Razor-Man and Captain South Africa. Razor-Man has been featured in both volumes of the Kugali anthology, a collection of African comic books from across the continent. His first novel titled Misfortunism was published by Sera Blue and debuted in 2019. 

Thalia Lopes is a high-fantasy and dark-fantasy author of Sera Blue and is the author of The Progenitor Trilogy. The first book, Shadows of Carnage was released this year. Lopes is currently double majoring in genetics and microbiology at the University of Pretoria and is a member of the Golden Key Society. She has has three other planned series to be released in the future called The Seraphim Series, The Precursor Series, and The Requiem Series.

Former paramedic Ashleigh Hattingh Macfie has been writing since she was a child. Her love for words grew and she is now focussing on theatre scripts and fantasy. She has recently ventured into the edgy and exciting world of steampunk-inspired fiction with her first two novellas released earlier this year; Clockwork Renegades Vol 1 & 2. 

Nichola Millen is an English literature lecturer who brought her love for the English language to a love for writing. Millen is the author of The Black Cube, which launched in January this year. Her biggest goal? She hopes to pass along her passion for reading to the next generation. 

Vittorio Leonardi became the head writer on Last Say on Sunday - a political satire show way ahead of its time - in 2009. He has been writing for SABC 1’s local celebrity gossip show The Real Goboza; for children’s television on Let’s Get Quizzical and on various sitcoms. Leonardi is the co-host of the GeekXP podcast Release the Geek and even has his own podcast entitled Urbane Myths.

Abigail Godsell, a woman convinced that society will not last long in the zombie apocalypse, has been writing sci-fi, horror and urban magic short stories since 2006. She has a number of books under her belt, including the Idea War series, Relative Scale and her Comic Con release, The Geomancer and the Large Rock.

Dennis Dvornak is a comic, novel and short fiction author. He is also a filmmaker and storyteller who can engross you into worlds of fantasy, magical unrealism, sci-fi and mythic fiction. His mythic fiction novelette Heka and the Colour Thief, debuted at Comic Con 2018. His short comic, Hexer is an urban fantasy and esoteric horror set in the dark side of SA's collective unconscious.

Caldon Mull has a long run in the publishing career in technology and gaming under different nom de plumes, as well as under his own name. When he is not working tirelessly in the field of technology, he is writing science fiction and fantasy. He has been nominated for a number of literacy awards and recently published Hacked – a South African set science fiction novella.

All twelve authors (and arting starvist) will be at the Comic Con Africa Artist Alley between 21 and 24 September at the Gallagher Convention Centre. 

IOL