RIP Nelson Mandela

Mandela: The Authorized ComicOn Thursday came news of the death of Nelson Mandela. One of the great modern civil rights leaders, Mandela’s famed for his fight against the apartheid regime of South Africa.

Much has been written or portrayed about Mandela in various forms of media, including in comics and animation. Off the top of my head, the earliest episodes of “The Simpsons” featured an “End Apartheid Now” poster on the wall of Lisa’s bedroom. Sometime by the mid-90s (with Mandela’s freedom/the end of apartheid), the poster eventually vanished.

Histeria” also featured an appearance by Mandela. In the episode “The Know-It-Alls,” focusing on great thinkers of the past, Confucius leads a roundtable asking Plato, Charles Darwin, and (“live via satellite from South Africa”) Nelson Mandela an important question… “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Mandela’s shown somewhat annoyed at such a question (noting he’s “trying to run a country,” briefly describing his achievements on ending apartheid), but tries to answer it anyway, though Mandela fares no better than the other guests. Mandela in this episode was voiced by Dorian Harewood, an African-American actor that played Jesse Owens in “The Jesse Owens Story,” as well as appearing in “Roots: The Next Generations.” Harewood’s also voiced various cartoon characters, including Michael Jordan‘s animated self in “ProStars.”

Mandela’s also been the subject of comic books. The most prominent example is “Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book,” a comic telling the life story of Mandela, that’s approved by Mandela’s own foundation. A few sample pages are available on Bleeding Cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *