Graphic novels or comics have always been a dark horse in literature, reserved for children and nerds! Movie adaptations brought some of these characters to life – such as Superman, Batman … – yet the (literary) world refused to fully accept them. But the art community embraced them, so did Hollywood as Comics & Graphic Novels have become a pot of gold for studios, and most importantly, the gaming industry, who has exponentially profited from their adaptation of these characters; thus the literary world, like it or not, have to accept these works. While the global literary society is still struggling to accept the dominance of comics; Nigerian comics are nearly invisible in the country’s literary scene. Are you a fan, perhaps inquisitive … here are five graphic novels/comics created by Nigerians that you should read 1. PAX NIGERIANA: Alternatively referred to as Nigeria’s pioneer graphic novel. A graphic novel trilogy comprising - PAX NIGERIANA PAST which is set in an alternate 1967 and tries to show opportunities missed during the events of the Civil War; PAX NIGERIANA PRESENT – set some 20 years after showing the results of the good decisions made in the past; and PAX NIGERIANA FUTURE which tells a story set in the not too distant future based on how decisions that made today can better our future. By Steve Osai, Bolaji Owayemi, Ninja-X and Jide Olusanya. 2. JUNE 12 1993: ANNULMENT: June 12, 1993 is quite a significant date in Nigerian history. The book covers the annulment days of June 21st -23rd 1993 to the Palace Coup days of November 15th – 18th1993. It is set in the following – Aso Rock, Aguda Guest House, MKO Abiola’s private jet and Ikeja mansion, Yar Adua’s compound, the National Assembly, Lagos State Governor’s Office, Dodan Barracks, Babangida’s mansion in Minna, and all other places where Nigeria was decided. The struggle for federal power, the complicity of the royal leaders, and a record of the cash and carry politics of the political and military leaders. All the saints are villains, and all the bad guys are doing their best for Nigeria. By Abraham Oshoko.
3. 3BUTE’s BOMBAY’S REPUBLIC:
3bute, as the name suggests, is a tribute and an online anthology to writers, whose works are transformed into 3 pages of mashable, narrative art (making sure their words remain intact). Here, the 3bute is for Rotimi Babatunde’s 2012 Caine Prize winning story – Bombay’s Republic about Nigerian soldiers who fought in the Burma campaign during World War II.4. VERSUS: VOLUME ONE: Nigeria’s first Sci-Fi adventure follows the tale of Telema, one that has resounded throughout the heavens. The man, whose will defied a universe and would give birth to what has now become known as the August Idyll, the holy scriptures of a brave new universe. Centuries later, Mamadan Butu – prophet and founder of the religious Order of Mamadans – through his extensive studies of the tenets of Telema, reveals a prophecy that would be the beginning of an age old struggle. Now, led by the Legendary Deathly Saint Iyan’gura, the followers of Mamadan seek to bring an end to the rapid technological advancement of all sentient life in the known universe and The Galactic Alliance are forced to send saints of their own, to do battle with Iyan’gura and his formidable disciples. Created/Written by Adeniyi Adeniji, with Pencils/Inks by Dayo Animashaun 5. THE MANGA BIBLE: FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION: An Original English language manga adaptation of the Bible; a narrative summary of the Bible into a 200 page graphic novel including the Old Testament and the New Testament, which includes ironic scenes such as when Adam sees the tree of good and evil in the Garden of Eden and his response is “Cool!”; or when Noah loses count of the animals heading to the ark, after counting up to 11,344, so he has to start all over again. Created by Nigerian/British artist, Ajinbayo "Siku" Akinsiku, and script writer, Akin Akinsiku. BY: Olusola Agbaje