We’ve come a long way since Lothar, the African sidekick in Lee Falk’s 1934 comic, Mandrake the Magician. Today, an increasing number of writers and illustrators on the continent are drawing inspiration from Africa’s rich history and diverse cultures to create comic book projects.
Earlier this week, Roy Okupe, the creative specialist at YouNeek Studio, announced that he had completed his second comic book story titled Malika: Warrior Queen. The story is set in fifteenth-century West Africa, in a fictional kingdom called Azzazz. Malika, the Queen and Military Commander has inherited the kingdom from her father. In her father’s rule, the kingdom was split into two. But when Malika gains power, she does the unthinkable and joins the two kingdoms into one. She not only does that, being a bad ass that she is, she also expands it to a point where the legendary Chinese Ming Dynasty takes a notice. The story is set in a fictitious kingdom, but a good bit of the political drama involves real kingdoms such as the Benin Empire, Timbuktu, the Songhai Empire, the Oyo Empire, and so on.
Click HERE to read the first chapter.
Nigerian born Okupe is both writer and creator of this pioneering project. He already proved himself with the publication of the graphic novel E.X.O: The Legend of Wale Williams, a super-hero story set in a futuristic Lagos.
With Malika, Okupe does something different. He shifts focus from the future to the past. Instead of the masculine figure of the superhero, he features a woman as a powerful political figure, an equestrian warrior queen who is both hungry for power and just in her rulership.
For those of you itching to get a copy, head to the Kickstarter page HERE. Ten dollars can get you the ebook.
Meanwhile feast you eyes on some of the gorgeous images.