Why Comics are Important to African Societies

Comics have been around for centuries, and they continue to capture the hearts and minds of people all over the world. From Superman to Spiderman, comics have entertained us with their stories, captured our imaginations with their illustrations, and taught us valuable lessons about life. In recent years, African comics have joined the trend while presenting a unique perspective on African societies. One may wonder if this growing industry is worth recognition by African societies. Here are some points that can enlighten us on the matter. But first, a short history lesson.

A Brief History of Comics

Comics have been around since the early 19th century when they were primarily used for political satire in newspapers and magazines. Over time, comics have evolved, and they have become a popular medium for storytelling. The first superhero comic book, Action Comics #1, was released in June 1938 and featured Superman. Since then, comics have become a staple of popular culture, inspiring movies, TV shows, and video games. Today, the global comics industry is worth billions of dollars, and it continues to grow. From an entertainment medium meant for kids, the comic book industry has evolved to include more complex stories, and now adults make up a significant portion of the comic book audience.

Telling Authentic African Stories

One of the main reasons why comics are important to African societies is that they offer a platform for African creators to tell authentic African stories. For a long time, African stories were told through the lens of Western media, which did not always accurately portray African cultures and traditions. Western media has dominated African airwaves and bookshelves, leaving little room for African stories to be told. African comics allow for the exploration of African history. Mainstream media tends to misrepresent African societies in their stories because they are produced by people who don’t live the experiences of the people they are writing about. By showcasing African heroes and heroines, African creators can inspire a new generation and help foster a sense of pride in African identity. They are a perfect medium that allows Africans to tell their stories in their own voices and share their unique experiences with the world. The richness of African culture and history, as well as the struggles and triumphs of African people, will be portrayed best by those who live it daily.

A Revenue Stream

Another reason why comics are important to African societies is that they provide a means for African creators to make money. Yes, the shiny bags! The comic book industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide, and African creators can tap into this market by creating their own comics. The Global Comic Book Market Size was worth USD 7.87 Billion in 2022 and is estimated to grow to USD 17.12 Billion by 2030. As the industry grows, so too will the number of jobs available to Africans in the comic book industry. African creators can create and sell their comics, either online or in print, and earn a living doing what they love. By telling African stories, these creators can reach a wider audience and make a name for themselves within the industry.


The comic book industry has also shown that it can spill over into the film industry. Marvel and DC Comics have been successful in creating blockbuster films based on their comic book characters, and African comics have the potential to do the same. This means that African creators can create comics that can be turned into other forms of entertainment, creating even more jobs and revenue for Africans. From popular live-action shows like The Boys, The Umbrella Academy, Hellbound, The Walking Dead, and All of Us Are Dead, to animation such as Attack on Titan, many comic books, webtoons and manga have moved from page to screen. Likewise, as the game industry expands, the options expand even further. African societies must embrace this wave and ride it.

Alternative to Western Media

Another reason why African societies should encourage the comic book industry is that they can provide material for the younger generation to grow up with. Rather than being saturated with Western media, African children can grow up reading comics that reflect their own experiences and cultures. Comics provide an alternative to the often-saturated market that is prevalent in African countries. By having comics that are created by Africans, for Africans, the industry can provide material for the younger generation to grow up with. This can help promote a sense of pride in African identity and foster a new generation of African creators. African comics are the perfect alternative for children on the continent who might be inspired to become creators themselves. These stories provide material for them to grow up with and broaden their perspectives on African culture and history.

Preserving African Folklore

Comics can serve as a means of preserving African folklore. We all remember when our grandparents and parents sat us around bonfires to pass on legends and fables. Many of them are still engraved in our memories. However, so many of them have been lost to the abyss of forgotten memories and inaccuracies. Comics have the potential to preserve African folklore in a way that previous mediums could not. African folklore is an important aspect of African culture, but many more of these stories are in danger of being lost over time. By using visual storytelling, African creators can ensure that these stories are passed down through the generations and remain a part of African culture forever. This can help preserve African traditions and ensure that they are not lost to time.


Comics are an important aspect of African societies, from their ability to preserve culture to their potential for creating jobs and revenue. They provide a platform for African stories and culture to be shared with the world, and they can help children learn through entertainment. As the comics industry in Africa continues to grow, it is important to recognize the value of comics in African societies and support their development. A lot is being done with the advent of comic book publishers and online platforms such as Zebra Comics, Kugali Media, Raptures, YouNeek Studios and many others. Nonetheless, these African comic book creators still have mountains to climb before they can cross their arms over their chest and scream ‘Wakanda Forever’. 

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