Have you noticed the increase in the desire for African Superhero comics? It's time for Africa! Recently, Comic Republic, a Nigerian comic start-up increased awareness on the Nigerian comic industry with Quartz, BBC, Ventures Africa, The Guardian, Independent UK, Comic Alliance, Bella Naija, Onobello, Linda Ikeji, Zikoko, Black Girl Nerds, Comic Panel and other blogs showcasing their Nigerian superheroes. In 2015, CNN was talking about the Legend of Wale Williams and so was Mashable and Forbes. We saw some innovative content in comics like Misfits, Red Origins and Mumu JuJu but what does this visibility really mean for African Superhero comics?
Beyond the hashtags, retweets and shares, how can we, as Africans leverage on this visibility the industry now experiences. I have always said this, success comes when opportunity meets preparation. Brand visibility is amazing but only when you are prepared. The movie deals, the cosplays, the awareness and everything we dream about for the world of African Super hero comics is here. It is time! ...hums the lion king theme song. "Everything you think you know about Africa is about to change forever". Love that quote on Ebonylife TV. Seriously though, It is time for us to tell our story! Sadly, this is not a post about why black has come to stay. I am black though... this is a post about how quality must be associated with Africa. We want to tell our stories, we want to change the narrative of Africa, then we need to do just that. Spend time honing our skills, studying our craft, preparing, strategising, losing sleep, being the best, because this has to work and we have to make it work. It is beyond comics, it is culture preservation. I know my grandmother could tell me better about growing up in my home town than any studies on the internet could. Rest her soul. So Africans should tell the African story but not without great content and quality.
Who are we? We are Africans! What will we be known for? Quality! Quality! Quality and more Quality! I don't want my art to be treated with sentiments where people look and say "chai, this is not so good but he is Nigerian o, at all at all na im bad pass, let us support him, he tried sha". No! I want them to say "this is very well done" first and then my origin becomes secondary and if it is not well done, you deserve the right to not read it, doesn't matter if you're black or white. #moonwalks. lol. You can hate me now but I won't stop now. #nodshead . Okay, I'm done with the cheesy quotes back to the story. Truth is, I am for Quality over diversity anyday! Diversity is important but common guys, so is Quality. Finn was great in star wars to me and it was not just about his color. The pressure though, I wonder how these black stars cope... all that responsibility and scrutiny about race first before talent. I cannot wait till there is equal representation of blacks and whites in superhero comics so we can really just focus on talent irrespective of skin tone. Sorry, I digressed, where was I? Here! Do not bring me a book and say "read this because you are black and it is black", no, bring me a book with black or white quality art and then I'll be drooling. #dodgesbullets. I am black o! I expect some Africans to question my Africanness after this post. I am just really tired of settling for less, all I desire is more good quality comic books out of Africa.
I guess the only thing left to say is - Are we ready? Are we consistent? Are we willing to toil, to go with limited funds, to go the extra mile, go hard on this till we achieve our dream of better quality comics and an improved comic reading culture in Nigeria and Africa? The Franchises, the buy outs, the deals, They are not just coming to America, they are coming to Africa! Africa will look up to us, the investors will look deeply at us and we will need to be prepared to put Africa's best foot forward in comics and entertainment. Please guys, don't fall my hand! "Back to back needs to be a hitz". Talk soon