African Comic Creators Mine the Countries’ Rich Histories & Mythologies


The Financial Times ran a story about a creator in Ethiopia who’s created some heroes set in the African continent:


Growing up reading the only available comic books in Addis Ababa at the turn of the century — American superheroes — Beserat Debebe asked himself a deep question: “Why have I never seen in my entire life of love for comics a story that had an Ethiopian protagonist hero, or Ethiopian history included in it?”

“I was only able to find Black Panther, which is based on a fictional country conglomerating 54 African countries into one. It’s like combining all of Europe into one character and saying, ‘This is your history now, and you can get this one character’,” says the Ethiopian founder of Etan Comics“That was just absurd to me, shocking even. So that meant I had to create what was lacking.”

In 2018, Beserat became the publisher of the first Ethiopian superheroes — Jember and Hawi, each with an eponymous comic book — retelling episodes in his country’s 3,000-year history with a twist. With seven books in English and Amharic achieving $128,000 in sales, Etan Comics hails itself as the “home of African superheroes”.


There’s some pictorial samples available at the article, and the guy’s raised an important point with regards to most USA superhero comics: their whole approach to nationality and ethnicity – especially today – is superficial at worst, and doesn’t go beyond mere skin color to explore other nationalities overseas, let alone immigrants to the USA from those same places. That’s the enormous double-standard prevalent in the political correctness SJWs in the USA go by, and exactly why there’s such a dearth of creativity.

So congratulations to Debebe for producing what mainstream USA publishers won’t, and we’ll see how this continues to develop in the future, though I hope he and other artists in Africa make sure to create more than just superheroes, because of how overused the theme’s become for many years.


Originally published here.


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Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1