Comics Fest – celebrating South African artists


Comics Fest celebrates artists, illustrators and comic book creators, providing an opportunity to engage with them through workshops, discussions and demonstrations. Some exciting additions to the line-up this year include sessions on creating your own GIF and experiencing the magic of VR, as well as hearing about the work that goes into creating a VR experience.

Open Book Festival Cape Town
Join The Book Lounge and The Fugard Theatre for Open Book Festival which takes place from 4 to 8 September this year.

Comics Fest will again be running from the D6 Homecoming Centre and surrounding venues in Cape Town.

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Get inspired to create your own comic with Canadian-born writer and comic book artist Nathan Vyklicky, who presents a hands-on workshop for 12-14-year olds. Or hone your skills in the Watercolour Workshop with Danelle Malan with a beginners’ class on working with watercolours. Learn how to create a fully rounded comic character with Samantha van Riet at the Characterisation Workshop on Wednesday the 4th. Round your Sunday off with the Handcantrol graffiti crew to improve your skills or to sit back and watch amazing art happen.

Learn how to create your own Gif with Roberto Millan (GetSmarter) and Su Opperman (SAE), who will teach you how to use your smartphone as a creative tool, or catch the AFK.gif animated gif exhibition exploring the moments that unfold when we step away from our keyboards. Both these events are free. On Sunday 8 September, Jean Jacques Rossouw (exhibit.gif) and Roberto Millan discuss accessible tech and how that allows for different kinds of storytelling in GIF Potential.

For the first time at Comics Fest, experience the magic of VR. You are The Lost Botanist, misplaced in a world that’s forgotten all about nature. While researching the lost marvels of the natural world, you open a grimoire that transports you to the Under-Garden, the dream-like home of the spirits of all forgotten things. Then catch the creators of The Lost Botanist, taking you behind the scenes.

All this in addition to the bustling Comics Fest Marketplace where you can enjoy the work of more than twenty South African artists and snap up some of their amazing work. Look out for the limited-edition Festival bags, which feature the winning illustration selected from artists who were invited to redesign a cover of a short story by authors taking part at Open Book. Proceeds from the sale of the bags go towards the Open Box Library Project.

Comics Fest will take place on 7 September from 09:30 to 18:00 and on 8 September from 09:30 to 15:00.

Bookings can be made at Webtickets

Ticket prices start at R45. There are some free events. Festival Day passes cost R150 and provides access to six events (Day passes for 8 September cost R100 with access to four events). A full festival pass costs R600 and gives access to 30 events. All events require a ticket for access.

To view the full line up of artists taking part in Comics Fest, visit

The ninth Open Book Festival will be hosted by The Book Lounge and the Fugard Theatre, and events will also take place at the District Six Homecoming Centre and the A4 Arts Foundation, from 10:00 to 21:00 each day from 4 to 8 September.

For further information and the full programme, visit

Open Book Festival is organised in partnership with The Fugard Theatre, the District 6 Museum, the A4 Arts Foundation, the Townhouse Hotel, Novus Holdings, the Embassy of Sweden, the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the HCI Foundation and is sponsored by Leopard’s Leap, Open Society Foundation, City of Cape Town, Pan Macmillan, NB Publishers, Jonathan Ball, Penguin Random House, African Centre for Cities, UCT Creative Writing Department, University of Stellenbosch English Department, Canada Council of the Arts, Western Cape Government and the Windham Campbell Prizes.

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