02 / THE LIL FIVE and The Secret of the Black Cave:
THE LIL FIVE and The Journal of Lightning Jack:

The Lil Five

AUTHORS:                    Franz Scholl and Michael Crafford
ILLUSTRATED BY:      Karl Mostert
ISBN:                              978 0 620 551137
Reviewer :                     Dr Dawn Gould

The above titles are, I presume, the first two in a series relating the adventures of THE LIL FIVE - Leo, Ellie, Hoofer, Rox, Kitty produced by THEY DID THIS a Cape Town “ comic, illustration and design studio”.

The story lines are easily read simple tales, well told. The illustrations are dramatic and well defined. As the action proceeds the character of each of THE LIL FIVE comes alive. Both books make reference to themes of present and past family members. It is these themes that are the reasons for the various exciting undertakings. (book 1) a birthday gift for the mother of Hoofer T, (book 2) genealogy – Kitty, is proud of the social status of her family but is somewhat taken aback when she realizes that, the creator of the wealth, her great, great- uncle Jonathan ‘Jack’ Goodspot had been a pirate. Suddenly he was not quite the relative one wishes to brag about. As further details unfold the adventures begin.

The creativity of these works is impressive.

Background info on those involved with Lil Five:

They Did This! – Illustration and Design (TDT) was born from the ashes of Media 24’s Beat Comics division, the ill-fated yet widely popular magazine Mshana was host to some of SA’s most unique comic stories where the intrusive brand placements and formulaic storylines that most “SA comics” suffered were noticeably missing. Five creatives, who had all worked together at various other mainstream “comic media” companies, decided that it was time for a change and time to take matters into their own hands. They decided that they could do this type of work on their own and joined forces (and their collective talents) to form a unique creative studio.

As the name of the studio suggests, TDT is equipped to handle anything from illustration to design. This could include any manner of creative work ranging from DTP, logo design, conceptual art, editorial illustration, children’s book illustrations as well as their forte... comic books! (Including illustration, inking, digital colouring, magazine/comic layout and even lettering.)

The Lil Five

TDT is comprised of five founding members. Andrew Cramer, Moray Rhoda, Karl Mostert, Michael Crafford and Ryan Carolisen.

All five members are accomplished artists in their own right. Karl Mostert is an expert illustrator and has worked on many of South Africa's corporate comics as well as many educational books. The same can be said about Ryan Carolisen who has worked at every comic company in the Western Cape and boasts a very funky, urban art style.  Michael Crafford is a master of inking, an inkers job is to take an artist’s finished pencils and refine it with solid black lines. The ink may be applied with a pen or a brush — many inkers use both — or even digitally, a process gaining in popularity.  Andrew Cramer is an experienced digital colourist and graphic designer who has worked on both local and international comics and is also the creator of the comic strip 'Week Daze'.  Moray Rhoda, the "godfather of SA comics" is a multi-talented artist, writer and editor. He plays a huge part in the comic book industry in South Africa. His series of Velocity Anthology graphic novels is a unique series showcasing many talented artists from both South Africa and Australia. 

TDT currently have their own property that they are working on. The Lil’ Five is a series of adventure books in the same vein as Asterix and Tintin. The stories revolve around five youngsters based on Africa’s Big Five. They are Hoofer, Leo, Rox, Ellie and Kitty. Conceptualised by Andrew Cramer and further developed with the entire TDT team, The Lil Five serves to provide exciting, fun adventures that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.  The TDT crew aim to make The Lil Five as synonymous with South Africa as Asterix is to France and TinTin to Belgium.

The Lil Five have a website www.lilfive.com and a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheLilFive