By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
A workshop for thirteen writers and illustrators aimed at spearheading a renaissance in the production and publishing of comic novels in Ghana ended recently at the Susanna Lodge Hotel in Accra.
Organized and sponsored by the Goethe-Institut in Accra, the workshop, which comprised participants from Nigeria and Ghana, dilated among others the literary choices of author’s, narration or plot and funny or satirical regardless of the putative seriousness of the topics addressed.
Moderated by Michael Ross (Germany) and Nana Akosua Hanson (Ghana), other topics discussed include “a brief history of graphic novels”, “types of graphic novels”, “how to tell a good story”, “creating compelling characters”, “world building”, “creating plot twists” and “pacing in storytelling”.
Participants were equally made to develop concepts / story ideas, which will be transformed into graphic novels, reading some graphic novel scripts before illustration while exploring different styles / techniques and discovering which styles and techniques they resonate with.
Others are “structure in writing for graphic novels”, “definitions of the technical terms such as, panels, spread, gutter and borders”, “creating a visual style guide”, story boarding (for writers and for illustrators), “tips for writers who are not illustrators and “tips for illustrators who are not writers”.
Participants, who commenced preparatory work on their graphic novels have a total of thirty days to work and develop their own graphic novel which will be published by the Goethe-Institut and distributed widely in Africa and beyond.
In Ghana, Leti Arts has digitally published a number of graphic novels with the aim of bringing an authentic Africa to a worldwide audience through digital comics and games while celebrating the containment’s diverse culture, history, folklore and culture.
Dubbed Afri Comics, the project encompasses a number of African countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Namibia, Togo, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo.