African Cartoon Art: Voices & Visions

An exhibit at the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies,
Northwestern University, Fall Quarter 2015.
Curated by Gene Kannenberg, Jr.


This exhibit highlights comics and cartoon art from and about Africa. The continent has long held a fascination for foreign cartoonists, including illustrations in century-old French humor magazines; the Belgian cartoonist HergĂ©’s controversial Tintin in the Congo (1931); and even the Marvel Comics character The Black Panther (1966, and soon to star in a motion picture). Yet cartoon art also plays an increasing role in how African artists view and define their own culture, from Senegalese cartoonist T. T. Fons’ wildly popular character Goorgoorlou, to a Nigerian multi-volume comic-book biography of Barack Obama, to the testimony-bearing comics narratives produced by Diaspora artists.

This exhibit provides introductions to both the voices of African cartoonists and the visions of Africa imagined by cartoonists from elsewhere. The iPad display, replicated here, features interviews with–and speeches by–African editorial cartoonists. Finally, our African Comics, Graphic Novels, and Cartoons LibGuide offers more resources for the study of African comic art.

Exhibit Panorama