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A Desire to Make Cameroon the Land of Comic Books

Artist Francky Mindja of the Legend Arts Studio is creating a new story called ‘Samba’s Handkerchief’ on his iPad. It tells the tale of Martin Paul Samba, a hero of Cameroon’s resistance to German colonisation in the 19th century. Production of the book is funded entirely with money raised online. ‘The book will be produced in three volumes, followed by the animation stage, because we also aim to make it into a cartoon, so in 2D,’ he says. With two stories in bookstores, Legend Arts, is part of a new generation of comic book publishers who are changing the narrative. At the annual Mboa Comic Festival, currently underway in Yaounde and Douala, crowds come to see and take part in activities from conferences and animation, to exhibitions, visiting artists and workshops for children. The 13th edition of the Mboa Festival has as its theme ‘Heritage’, a sign that young local artists want to distinguish themselves in the face of competition from foreign comics. The annual festival is a meeting place for all stakeholders in the industry, the artists, authors, publishers, and comic strip enthusiasts.