To promote the 9th African art online through a dynamic and modern approach, this is the mission that Vortex247 has given itself. Launched recently in Nigeria, this web platform for digital publishing highlights African comics and aims to give the replica to Comixology, the subsidiary of Amazon specialized in online comics.
From African-inspired comic books to the whole world
While the market for contemporary African art has experienced a strong resurgence of interest in recent years, the African-inspired comic book sector is still moving in the shadows. Apart from a few rare initiatives that often receive little media coverage, the 9th African art is often overshadowed by American comics and Belgian comics in particular.
It is on the basis of these observations, but also driven by his passion for graphic arts, that Somto Ajuluchukwu launched Vortex247. Behind this futuristic name is a web platform specialized in the publishing of digital African comics. Ambitious, the objective behind this project is to highlight the works of the continent’s creators. Clearly inspired by the Comixology model, the young Nigerian platform wants to be the driving force of a new era in which African culture and the fictions developed around it are exported internationally.
A catalog in full constitution
The catalog of digital comics available on Vortex247 currently features just over 70 titles from over 30 creators. The offer comes mainly from English-speaking countries, with authors mostly from Nigeria, but also from Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The diaspora also contributes to the constitution of this catalog which, it is hoped, will expand rapidly over the coming months.
The available works can be sorted using various filters. The site also offers an original way to discover the universe of these African illustrated fictions through the page “Original Characters” which presents some of their emblematic characters. A fun way to take your first steps in a universe with which many are not necessarily very familiar.
In order to optimize the experience of its users, Vortex247 has also opted for a page by page presentation of the comic book content. Subscribers can thus enjoy a truly realistic reading experience, as close as possible to that offered with a real physical book. This is clearly much more enjoyable than the usual vertical board display.
Vortex247: online, but also in the real world
Aware that the promotion of African-inspired comics creators also goes through the physical market, the CEO and founder of Vortex247 is also developing a project to create a small printing company for the production of Collector’s editions of some of the creations offered on the site. The objective is to offer additional visibility to these works by finding new distribution channels in Africa, but also in the United States and Europe.
Somto Ajuluchukwu does not hide its ambitions to see several of these African comics quickly adapted to cinema and/or video games. In this regard, the young promoter admits having already started various negotiations with the directors of Nollywood, the largest African film industry.
The subscription to the Vortex247 platform costs US$3 per month.