Shaka Rising: Legend of a Warrior Prince
Luke W. Molver (Author & Illustrator)
Mason O’Connor (Co-author)
LAPA is proud to announce the launch of a brand-new African History series in graphic-novel format at Comic Con Africa this weekend.
This full-colour graphic novel places Shaka’s rule against the slave trade that was expanding from the East African coast, and the Europeans spreading inland from the south. It draws on the recent research of Prof. Dan Wylie and explores the rise to power of a shrewd young prince who had to consolidate a new kingdom through warfare, mediation, and political alliances in order to defend his people against the expanding slave trade.
All the research is expertly repackaged in 96 full-colour pictures by the young South African graphic novelist Luke Molver and co-author Mason O’Connor, with a foreword by Prof. Mbongeni Malaba.
Molver explains: “I believe that people are inherently the same: we feel the same emotions, burn under the same sun and bleed the same red. Shaka Rising is an epic tale set in a different age, but its characters and themes are as familiar to us as sibling rivalry, the heartache of a lost love, or simply a yearning to belong. It is as much a coming-of-age tale as it is a saga of war and politics.”
Molver lives in Durban. He says: “I was misled to think I knew the significance of the tale I was taking on. I was, like most, only familiar with pop-culture’s Shaka Zulu: a warrior prince, violent and terrific. I knew very little of the nuanced and complex figure whose legacy has shaped South African history. I was to learn not only the immensity of Shaka's influence on warfare, but also his ground-breaking innovations in politics and leadership.
“Graphic novels are the ultimate medium of communication, education and entertainment. And, if one considers the ancient cave paintings of San bushmen, sequential art has roots in Africa. So, Shaka Rising is the ultimate portrayal of our history; visceral, visual and informative. I look forward to sharing its significance with the wider world.”
Story Press Africa is a proudly South African imprint. This book has recently been launched in the USA to much acclaim. Meghan Cox Gurdon, from the Wall Street Journal, said: “The men and women in this story are shown with admirable nuance, as the principal actors in their own lives and era rather than as moving parts in a modern-day morality play. A sequel is planned for this first installment of Shaka’s story, which itself marks the launch of a welcome historical graphic-novel series set in Africa.”
LAPA is proud to help present it to South African audiences.
This weekend marks the biggest Comic Convention ever in Africa. Story Press Africa will be at Comic Con Africa from 14 – 16 September at stand AA43. Luke Molver will be at stand AA07.