AfterShock Comics have announced “Land of the Living Gods,” a fantasy series by South African writer and producer Isaac Mogajane (Matwetwe, Catching Feelings), and Brazilian artist Santtos (“Night Shift”). Set during “the last days of humanity,” the book follows Naledi, a teenage girl living in the deserted city of Johannesburg, who believes in a hidden land where the gods still reside. Hoping the gods may be able to restore the world to life, Naledi “will head out into the unknown with little to hold onto but her faith – and her magical pet plant, Buyo.”
Mogajane said, “We’ve seen post-apocalyptic before, but not quite like this. This book pulls from African cultures, traditional beliefs and superstitions and uses them to underpin its unique narrative and characters.” He described the seminal anime film Akira as a major influence, explaining “I loved how this film created a wholly believable future that was so deeply steeped in Japanese aesthetics and culture. Seeing it as a child made me want to do the same by telling genre stories that come from South Africa and feel wholly specific to here.”
Read on for the full Q&A with Mogajane, after the incentive cover and interior art preview below. “Land of the Living Gods” #1 will be released on February 2, 2022, and will retail for $4.99.
ISAAC MOGAJANE ON WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHY HE’S EXCITED FOR IT TO BE RELEASED:
“Land of the Living Gods is set in an African dystopian future and explores a world where the end has arrived and the remaining human population has embraced spirituality and superstition as a way of confronting their eventual extinction. Chief amongst these beliefs is the legend of the Living Gods, celestial beings that are said to live in a hidden land here on earth. Many believe that the living gods have the means to revive the earth, rejuvenating its soils, atmosphere and wildlife but have so far chosen not to.
Naledi, a young girl who has lived a sheltered life in what’s left of Johannesburg, will set out to find the living gods. Armed with little more than her faith and her best friend, an intelligent pot-plant named Buyo, she will traverse a hostile landscape, make new allies and confront both the worst and the best of humanity.”
ISAAC MOGAJANE ON SOME OF HIS INSPIRATIONS BEHIND CREATING THE BOOK:
“One of my major influences is the manga and feature film, Akira. I loved how this film created a wholly believable future that was so deeply steeped in Japanese aesthetics and culture. Seeing it as a child made me want to do the same by telling genre stories that come from South Africa and feel wholly specific to here.”
ISAAC MOGAJANE ON THIS BEING HIS FIRST BOOK WITH AFTERSHOCK, WHEN/HOW HE FIRST HEARD ABOUT AFTERSHOCK AND HOW IT HAS BEEN SO FAR WORKING WITH THE PUBLISHER:
“I’ve been aware of AfterShock over the past few years through their outstanding comic books, so when I got the opportunity to work on my first book with them, I was beyond excited. My writing background is primarily for television and film, so the opportunity to tell stories in comic book form was both daunting and exhilarating – something that I’ve been waiting to do my entire life.
Luckily, the team at AfterShock has been amazing and really supportive in helping us get Naledi’s story told in the best way possible. I also have to give a massive shoutout to Santtos, the artist working with me on this book. His designs, panels and overall tone are mind-blowing and far exceeded any expectations that I had going in.”
ISAAC MOGAJANE ON (3) REASONS WHY COMIC READERS SHOULD ADD THIS BOOK TO THEIR PULL LIST:
1. Something new: We’ve seen post-apocalyptic before, but not quite like this. This book pulls from African cultures, traditional beliefs and superstitions and uses them to underpin its unique narrative and characters.
2. Surprising outcomes: This is a book that is built on the blurring of perception and misperception. Not everything that readers experience will be quite what it seems to be, and I’m hyped to see how some of the major twists and turns we have planned play out.
3. Buyo: One of our lead characters is an intelligent pot-plant. What more do I need to say?