Andy Mason (N.D.MAZIN)

Andy Mason (N.D.MAZIN)

Creative Director @ ToonZA

Other Noms de plume: Pooh, Poynton Shute

Andy has been making and self-publishing underground-style comix since 1975. On the brink of 70, he is busy collecting all his comix into a big anthology entitled The Azaniamania Trilogy, featuring stories that view the last 50 years of South Africa's turbulent history through a funny mirror inspired by the work of underground comix icons R.Crumb, Gilbert Shelton and Rick Griffin. Andy's stories have four major components: Surfing, Counterculture, Politics and Philosophy.

The first book in the Trilogy, The Legend of Blue Mamba (still in print) was published in 2013, and a preview edition of the second book, Apocalypse Wow! Part One is being launched at Comic Con 2024 in Cape Town.

Andy's career began in Jo'burg in the early 1980's, working for anti-apartheid organisations in the 'alternative press' of the period, including Ravan Press, the Sached Trust, Learn and Teach and the Environmental and Development Agency (EDA), on publications like Staffrider, Learn and Teach, Gold and Workers, The People's Workbook and New Ground. This experience laid the foundation for more than a decade of alternative comics, illustrated training manuals and campaign materials for anti-apartheid publishing organisations like Lawyers for Human Rights, the Durban-based Community Law Centre and the National Association of Law Societies' Street Law (volumes 1-6).

In 1983 Andy moved to back to Durban, his hometown and SA's surfing capital (known as Tegwen and Zurban in his comix) and set up the Durban Cartoon Project and the comix-zine PAX: Pre-Azanaian Comix (six issues, 1985-188) in which Rico of Madam and Eve other legendary South African cartoonists first published their work. A few years later he co-founded Artworks Communications, Durban's first desktop publishing agency, where he worked as creative director for 20 years.

In 1999, he went back to university part-time to get his MA degree in Media and Cultural Studies, and set up the Durban Cartoon Project and Mamba Comix (five issues, 2003-2007), continuing the PAX tradition with work by a new generation of SA cartoonists like Sifiso Yalo, Themba Siwela, Luke Molver, Alastair Laird, Tyron Love, Jason Bronkhorst, Mike Scott, Nikhil Singh and many others. All of these zines are out of print except Mamba Comix No 5, which features work by Jason Bronkhorst, Alastair Findlay, Mogorosi Motshumi, Leonora van Staden, Andrew Mogridge, Rico, Jerm, Wild Beast and others.

In 2007 Andy moved to Muizenberg, Cape Town's surfing village, co-founded the Centre for Comic, Illustrative and Book Art (CCIBA) at Stellenbosch University and published two issues of Graflit featuring artists like Daniel Hugo, Su Opperman, Roberto Millan, Jean de Wet and many others. The second issue sold out but the first, Graveyard Literature in Black & White, is still in print.

Working with John Curtis, founder of Africartoons, Andy co-edited two ground-breaking anthologies of South African political cartoons, Don't Joke and Just for Kicks (Jacana Media 2009-2010), featuring a new generation of political cartoonists. In 2010, his critical history of South African cartooning and comic art from colonial days to the present, What's So Funny? Under the Skin of South African Cartooning (now out of print) was published by Double Storey Books, and is widely regarded as the most authoritative work on the subject.

Now semi-retired, Andy lives in a small town in the Karoo, where he is concentrating on the Azaniamania Trilogy and a project called Lost Comics from the Dark Decades 1976-1994, featuring comics commissioned by externally-funded anti-apartheid NGOs for public education and conscientisation during the transition period.

For more info please write to Andy Mason at ndmazin@gmail.com


The Apocolypse WOW! Comic Cover

All Sessions by Andy Mason (N.D.MAZIN)