Skip to main content

Afri-Comics were published in 1975-1977 as part of a “five-year secret propaganda war” led by Eschel Rhoodie, Secretary of the Department of Information in the South African government from 1972 until 1977, to defend apartheid. The company was established in 1975 by Rhoodie using a South African business partner, Jan van Zyl Alberts, as a front to disguise government participation. Afri-Comics published two titles, Mighty Man and Tiger Ingwe, in large press runs, 47,000 copies a month at 15 cents each for Mighty Man, and 43,000 monthly for Tiger Ingwe, and aimed, in the words of one of Rhoodie’s US collaborators, “to help educate the black man in the ways of Western society, social concerns and free enterprise.”

Few if any of the target audience were fooled. During and after the Soweto student uprising Africans “’’burned down the newsstands … They threw the things on the ground, and we [the US publisher] had to stop publishing them.’” Very few copies of the comics remain in existence. The digital collection at UCLA, based on hard copies collected by Professor William H. Worger, and scanned material contributed by a number of comic book enthusiasts, is the only publicly accessble online library collection currently known of this material in the world.  Read more

William Worger, Professor, Department of History, UCLA

May 1, 2018