Comics — manga, bandes desinées, strokiesprente, call them what you will — are probably the most egalitarian and democratic of all visual art forms. All you need to create one is a piece of paper and a pencil. They are usually cheap to consume (often free) and their conventions are easy to master; no literary-aesthetic code to crack, no discouraging arty elitism.

Of course, collector’s items such as rare vintage issues or expensive coffee table books can set you back a few thousand rand. And the popularity of more affordable publications means that there is a lot of money washing around the global comics industry, even without the billions attached to film, gaming and merchandise.

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