As an African writer, artist and a bit of everything there are times when I wonder, is it worth it? In fact I am sure every creator from every corner of the globe has asked this question before.
In the end what’s the point? We love art and lore, we love telling new stories and creating new characters but is that all there is to it? In the end the million dollar questions: what are comics really worth? what need do they serve? Are we inevitably just wasting our time?
Yes, I’m sure those questions sound familiar. Every creator reaches that point, especially when it seems you’re putting in all the effort but your work takes more than it returns, so that’s why I’m here to remind not just the creators but everyone who’s ever invested in a comic one way or another, especially our African creators, who work tirelessly to get us on the map. I’m here to remind you, why your work matters and why you just should not stop, no matter what, because in the end the work we do is very important and we simply cannot afford to overlook it.
Stan Lee recently passed away. He lived a life that many envy, he died a legend and millions will miss him, but before he rose to such heights even he had to deal with these demons. What some don’t know is he almost quit right before marvel published the book that would catapult them to stardom.
The Fantastic four was a miracle born from necessity. Stan had always wanted to write, but he most certainly didn’t want to write comics, he wanted to write novels and have his name tossed along side the likes of Dickens and Twain, he may have had one dream but he ended up creating a league of his own, but this article is not just a promise of success, this article is to remind you that your work is of great essence, in every sense of the word and it is for this reason that Stan was able to make it where he made it. Stan’s work mattered as did Disney’s, Kirby’s, and so many others.
They rose to such fame because their work was truly important, as is yours and that’s why you have a duty to make sure you see it through to the end. Comics have never just been entertainment, they have always been platforms from which we dared to dream. Places from which mere men could take a minute and change the world.
They have been tales that have reminded us time and time again that anything is possible and for the past few decades they have actively contributed to shaping the world view of the upcoming and even current generations. It is for these reasons that African comics might even matter the most.
Africa is a place that needs to dream again, more than anything. It’s a place that needs to look beyond what the multimillion broadcasting corporations are saying and see for itself the future which is possible. Her children need to know who they are and remember the place from which they come. A place of wonder and awe, a place of myth and legend, a place of beauty and splendor.
credit: Youneek studios, Vortex comics, pedacomics, comic republic, leti arts, rookiepencil.
African comics matter because they’re going to give her back her dreams, her inspiration, her heroes that will strengthen her and enable her to rise to her former glory. The work you’re doing, the work you’re supporting, it will set the foundation for the generation of dreamers that will ultimately change their world, and it is for this reason that African comics will ultimately be triumphant in their quest for greatness.
So continue to write, draw, animate, whatever and don’t ever stop, Africa needs you and it’s your duty to fight for her till the very end. So don’t you ever stop, never stop, for anything.
Making the future with my own hands