Looking at the front cover of SECTOR, I was taken back to the time where I’d drop R3 on a comic book, R1 on those chewy hamburger sweets and 50c to get mercilessly beaten by Blanka in the Street Fighter 2 arcade game. Just flipping through the pages you can’t help but compare it to the older 2000 AD and pulp magazines of the past.
Created by eight creative minds and published in South Africa, SECTOR is a brand new, bimonthly magazine that contains serialised stories covering horror, sci-fi and fantasy. The first issue consists of three tales of treasure, cats and dragons: Uncharted Waters, Katnipp and the Illustrated Guide to the End of the World. The artwork of all three immediately grabs you, as each story’s style showcases enough diversity but maintains the same high calibre. The scripts are equally as strong and resounding. It’s evident that every writer took the time to plot out the story, but also to discuss and work closely with the artists to ensure the correct tone.
Out of the three, Katnipp, by Nas Who and Karl Mostert, stood out as the best of the lot. The story is highly original and exceptionally clever. Featuring no actual speech from the characters, but just signs and symbols, it requires multiple reads to truly understand what’s going on – even now, I think I get it but I’m probably wrong. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear it for Katnipp, the David Lynch of comics.
The first bite of SECTOR is tasty; it makes you crave for more. My only fear is that it might turn into another two-issues-and-die publication. South African audiences are fickle and don’t immediately latch on to new things, so SECTOR might struggle to find its readers initially. That being said, the first issue is impressive and if the forthcoming ones contain the same level of quality, I don’t foresee a lack of readership at all.