Taking African Cartoons Seriously cover
Taking African Cartoons Seriously
Politics, Satire, and Culture
Edited by Peter Limb, and Tejumola Olaniyan
Cartoonists make us laugh—and think—by caricaturing daily events and politics. The essays, interviews, and cartoons presented in this innovative book vividly demonstrate the rich diversity of cartooning across Africa and highlight issues facing its cartoonists today, such as sociopolitical trends, censorship, and use of new technologies. Celebrated African cartoonists including Zapiro of South Africa, Gado of Kenya, and Asukwo of Nigeria join top scholars and a new generation of scholar-cartoonists from the fields of literature, comic studies and fine arts, animation studies, social sciences, and history to take the analysis of African cartooning forward. Taking African Cartoons Seriously presents critical thematic studies to chart new approaches to how African cartoonists trade in fun, irony, and satire. The book brings together the traditional press editorial cartoon with rapidly diverging subgenres of the art in the graphic novel and animation, and applications on social media. Interviews with bold and successful cartoonists provide insights into their work, their humor, and the dilemmas they face. This book will delight and inform readers from all backgrounds, providing a highly readable and visual introduction to key cartoonists and styles, as well as critical engagement with current themes to show where African political cartooning is going and why.
Publication Date: October 1st, 2018
308 pages| 6 in x 9 in
PETER LIMB is emeritus Africana Bibliographer and Associate Professor in History and a Distinguished Faculty Member at Michigan State University.  

TEJUMOLA OLANIYAN is Louise Durham Mead Professor at University of Wisconsin–Madison.  

Early Praise

“With this collection of insightful essays, comic art scholarship of Africa has taken a long stride in its development. The editors have assembled top-notch, indigenous researchers from different sectors of the continent to discuss, through in-depth case studies and evocative interviews, serious issues and consequences faced by cartoonists and animators while doing their jobs. The result is a book of lucid and thoughtful writings that goes a long way in encouraging the taking of African cartoons seriously.”
John A. Lent, founding publisher/editor-in-chief of International Journal of Comic Art, and editor of Cartooning in Africa
“‘Teary eyes do not occlude seeing.’ This African proverb aptly captures the attempt by Limb and Olaniyan in this volume to strike a balance in examining the context within which African cartoonists work. Focusing on English-speaking African countries, the authors explore critical issues—including racism, self-censorship, corruption, emerging technologies, and new media and platforms—in an effort to produce “a synergy between critic and artist.” What emerges is the picture of a book that attempts to place cartooning in Africa squarely within a global critical space.’
dele jegede, Professor Emeritus, Department of Art, Miami University
“At a historical juncture where spaces of dissent and opposition are coming under increasing pressure around the world, this book provides an urgent reminder not only of the importance of a critical public sphere but also—specifically—of why African cartoons matter. By including the voices of both scholars and cartoonists, this book provides a unique set of insights into the evolving landscapes of political satire across the African continent.”
Daniel Hammett, Senior Lecturer and Programme Director for Post-Graduate International Development Programmes, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield

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