What is Comexposed
Comexposed is the Zimbabwean Comic book and Digital Arts convention. It is the collective effort of Digital artists in Zimbabwe showcasing their work, progress and dreams. Comexposed aims to bring together Zimbabwean Digital artists under one banner to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing and growth in skills.
Digital art and more so Comic art has been largely ignored with it facing the same apathy as the Zimbabwean music industry once had. As with the music industry that apathy did not stop artists from being born and the passion and fire in their heats being ignited by one thing or another. These artists grow to have their hopes extinguished by the ‘realities’ of society and the realization that there was no industry for them to become a part of. After realizing that this problem was not naturally passing it became evident that we had to CREATE the industry we want.
The goal was obvious as it had been done and replicated many times before all around the world. The largest and most popular comic book convention in the western world is the San Francisco Comic Con. This convention has become so large and all encompassing that it is a hub for all new developments in comics, games, books, movies and pop culture. It’s model has been replicated in multiple cities and countries around the world. We aim to do the same and surpass it in Zimbabwe and Africa. As Comexposed we believe that the bedrock for a strong digital arts industry is in the appreciation of artistic creations and the artists who make them. By focusing on comics we foster the growth of a dynamic artistic industry that creates easily accessible commercial works. By the nature of comics these works have the ability to push the boundaries of expressive thought and in turn increase the public’s interest/appreciation for other related ‘out there’ art such as sci-fi movies, video games, VFX, etc. Furthermore the consumers and the artists themselves develop an understanding and respect for African Intellectual Property which is vital to the growth of our industry.
Comexposed’s agenda is to create and build a sustainable digital arts industry encapsulating Comic books, Gaming, Film, VFX, Merchandising and all their associated fields within Zimbabwe. To achieve this goal Comexposed relies on C4. Yes like the explosive!
The C4 are:
Community, Collaboration, Coaching and Capacity building.
To hold a convention and get the cooperation of foreign artists or even other conventions it became evident that we first needed a functional comic industry. To create this we needed to get artists to publish, advertisers to advertise, sponsors to participate and establish industry structures. This lead to the first C:
Comexposed is only as strong as its community. Zimbabwean digital artist were well known for not being known. Most people did not know where to find an artist for a particular need even amongst the artists themselves. Small cliques and groups of 2 or 3 friends were the order of the day and this lead to a general collection of ‘jacks of all trades’. Comexposed aims to create conversation and comradery amongst digital artists within Zimbabwe by assisting them to communicate with each other and create awareness of players within the industry.
Comexposed believes that an industry rests on many shoulders; collaboration is a natural route for growth of the whole. With group communication increased an ethos of ‘shared work’ is created in which artists are encouraged to work with other artists to create higher quality projects or even execute projects that were beyond their scope of expertise. Collaboration allows artists to leverage on the skills of their fellow artists.
You are only as good as what you know. Knowledge is a great liberator and captor as well. Africa has been disadvantaged with low access to information and skills development. Most comic and digital artist have struggled to improve their skills due to lack of guidance and access to materials. Comexposed will bridge this gap through initiatives to bring industry knowledge closer to those who need it. This is though materials, workshops, and directing its members to information most useful to them.
To ensure growth through generations capacity must be increased. Many artist lack the ability to sustain their projects either due to funds or resources. Comexposed will actively work to grow the capacity of dedicated artists to create, fund and resource their projects by creating linkages between the corporate world and the industry, creating vehicles for activation of projects and managing growth and development of digital arts practitioners.