South African music icon Brenda Fassie is one of the women featured in a comic book anthology, Femme Magnifique. The anthology seeks to salute women who toppled the status quo. Veteran comics editor Shelly Bond put together an anthology of comics about 30 women from various fields. The areas include politics, science and entertainment. It also features astronauts, archaeologists, muckrakers and mathematicians.

The plan was for a full-colour hardcover book of more than a 100 pages, which would feature thirty stories about powerful women of the past and present. The anthology not only stimulates but also educates.

The story is a said to be a biographical look at Fassie’s life and cultural legacy. Like the rest of the comics in the anthology, it’s three pages long.

Read: Remembering The Queen of African Pop: Brenda Fassie

Femme magnifique

On the Hi-Fi Colour Design website, Bond explained that the idea was inspired by the US election.

“The idea came about immediately after the election. It was the perfect time to take a missed opportunity for women and channel our collective energy into something insightful, full of positivity, that we can pass on to future generations. Femme Magnifique is a graphic novel anthology designed to salute not only the fearless women who toppled the status quo, but also the outstanding writers and artists who infuse their personal stories of ambition and discovery onto the comic book page,” she said.

On Brenda Fassie, South African author Lauren Beukes wrote the comic and Anja “Nanna” Venter drew the artwork.

Speaking to Art Times Beukes said: “I was approached by US comic book editor Shelly Bond to write on a South African for the Femme Magnifique anthology”. She has previously worked with Bond on graphic novels Survivors’ Club and Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom.

Also Read: Brenda Fassie: I’m Not Your Weekend Special

Speaking on her choice of MaBree, Beukes said Fassie had an incredible voice, both in her singing and in how fearless she was in being herself describing her songs as making the personal political.

“From Black President to Too Late for Mama, she sang about the lived black experience…Nanna and I pitched Brenda Fassie, because we thought she would be the most fun to do.”

According to Master Digital, BOND has been driven to edit, crush deadlines and innovate since 1988. Bond has to date edited 950+ comic books and graphic novels by international superstars and novices. ‘She wields red pens and tap shoes with equal aplomb’.