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About Papa Mfumu'Eto 1er Papers

The Papa Mfumu'Eto 1er Papers include original art, manuscripts, and production papers from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) street comic book artist Papa Mfumu’Eto 1er. These Bandes Dessinées (BDs) offer humorous, satirical, political, and moral perspectives on everyday life in Kinshasa (primarily in the urban Lingala language). These are a rich source to investigate urban culture and social issues including war, history, poverty, health, entertainment, emigration, religion, class, rumor, and domestic life in the former Zaire and post-Mobutu DRC. Included are concept and story notes, character and creative sketches, drafts in pencil and ink, and production materials by the popular artist Jaspe-Saphir Nkou-Ntoula also known as Papa Mfumu’Eto 1er. He claims to have created the best-selling comic books ever in Congo from 1990-2005. The collection offers visual evidence of his production of handmade, ink-on-paper comic books in urban Africa during the nineteen-nineties and early twenty-first century. Many sheets are attached as printer’s or reader’s pairs and printer’s spreads. Included are two complete printer’s impositions, with examples of story ideas, layout designs, planning and production notes, and promotional materials, along with press-check or proof-pages and about 35 complete printed comic booklets. This digitized collection includes images of the physical manuscripts, which are accessible to researchers on-site in the Smathers Library, Department of Special and Area Studies Collections.