Growing up a comic book and D&D nerd set Les on a life of geekery. Starting out in IT, with forays into sales and training, Les eventually landed a gig doing webinars and online presentations before striking out and running his own business.
When it comes to art, South African artist Loyiso Mkize is a multi-threat. A successful stint as head illustrator for the world's biggest-selling monthly comic books - the proudly South African Supa Strikas; creating South Africa's first superhero comic book series, KWEZI through his own visual arts company (LM Art); projects for Archie comics, MTV Shuga, Disney and Standard Bank; plus multiple solo and group exhibitions around the world all add up to an impressive, and growing art CV. His experience has also led him to be named as a judge for the biggest online Art Tournament in Africa - the VX Art Tournament.Pulling from our 'found recordings archive', Loyiso was a guest at Fan Con back in 2018 and was kind enough to chat with us about many things including his path to art geekdom, the origin story of South Africa's first superhero and much more.
You can follow Loyiso on Twitter, and via his Facebook page.
Spencer Williams, and his wife Lara, are board game geeks of the highest order. With a shared passion for board games, the Williams created the "Married With Board Games" podcast which talked about games that can be played as a couple and as a family, especially games with a co-operative element. The world of content creation can have some substantial negative aspects to it - crummy attitudes, hate and negativity can make online experiences tough to navigate. Recently, Spencer has expanded his content creation strategy to address this particular topic with the "Lighten Up Initiative" - to quote from the website, its 'board game media with a lighter touch'. Spencer was kind enough to chat to us recently about many things including: his path to geekdom growing up in Texas and the origin story behind the 'Lighten Up Initiative'
You can find out more on the Lighten Up Initiative Facebook page, on their website, and you should also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
The comics industry is currently calling itself into account again. Multiple reports of predatory behaviour are being brought to light and with it the opportunity for voices in the comic book community to be heard about a range of issues - including the topic of diversity. While strides have been made in terms of representation in the industry, there is still a great deal that can be done.In 2018, I was fortunate enough to moderate a panel at Fan Con Comic Convention in Cape Town about diversity in comics, and it's a great time to revisit the discussion. On stage were convention guests Cape Town based artist Danelle Malan, and comic book industry veterans Loyiso Mkize and Declan Shalvey who were gracious enough to share their feelings and insights on the topic.