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REBIRTH: A graphic novel born and bled in Johannesburg



Josh Ryba and Daniel Browde have rewritten history in their full-colour, full-length, pulp-fiction, graphic novel REBIRTH, that was launched in Joburg last month.


Wanting to create a graphic novel that’s on an international level but that takes place in his own country, Josh Ryba started writing the story based on the thought, “How cool would it be if Jan Van Riebeeck was a vampire?”


And so the story kicks off in 1651 when Dutch vampire Jan Van Riebeeck is exiled to the Dutch East India Company’s colonial station at the Cape. The story then jumps 350 years to present day Joburg (Africa’s gotham), where vampires have contracted a virus similar to HIV which makes them mortal. The vampires have to race to find a cure.


A pretty genius combination of local history, contemporary issues and the world’s current vampire obsession.


This is some of what’s been said about REBIRTH so far:


“Joburg’s dark underworld is festering with sinister characters beyond anyone’s imagination. It is an environment where vampires would thrive and prosper. REBIRTH brings what is possible in our imaginations to vivid life on its pages.” – Mandy Wiener (bestselling author of ‘Killing Kebble, An Underworld Exposed’)


“Jan van Riebeeck as a vampire? It all makes perfect sense. Disney meets Weird Science meets HIV/Aids paranoia in one of the most ambitious — and enjoyable — pieces of graphic fiction to come out of South Africa so far.” – Andy Mason, South African comics legend and noted author.


Find out more at and




Artist and co-writer: Josh Ryba
Co-writer and co-letterer: Daniel Browde
Co-letterer: Thenjiwe Nkosi







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