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Nnedi Okorafor. Image from Bella Naija.

The forthcoming Black Panther movie, starring Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, has generated a world of hype. To sustain the hype ahead of the film’s February 2018 release, Marvel announced two new comic-book miniseries: the first, written by Nnedi Okorafor, is Black Panther: Long Live The King, which saw its first issue released last December. The story is set in the fiction country of Wakanda, a technologically advanced African country, which Nnedi has now said is “close to” Turkana County in Kenya.

This is what she wrote on Facebook:

I wrote most of the first Issue of Black Panther: Long Live the King late at night in my room in Tanzania when I was at the TED Global Conference. I imagined that I was close to Wakanda (To me, Wakanda’s location is close to Turkana County in Kenya), heh. I also wrote some of it while at the HP Lovecraft Conference in Rhode Island, NecronomiCon Providence.

If you read it, you can see the effects of both places. 😉

Illustrated by Andre Araujo and colored by Criss O’Halloran, AV Club has called Black Panther: Long Live The King “a thrilling blend of sci-fi and superhero elements with an ambitious, highly skilled creative team,” writing that Nnedi’s work “is phenomenal, and her script gives readers an expansive, immersive perspective of the city and its people while allowing the art team to carry the majority of the storytelling.”

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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