Before the comic books became established in Nigeria, the comic book market was overrun with comics and graphic novels from foreign companies like Marvel Comics, DC comics, Image Comics and a host of others. Recently, Nigerians at home and Diaspora have decided to come back to base and do something. What exactly?
FOUNDING THE NIGERIAN COMICS’ INDUSTRY
Frontline company Comic Republic launched its first title—Might of Guardian Prime—in June, 2013. Chaired by Jide Martin, Comic republic took the Nigerian comics’ scene by surprise. Running just alongside them was Vortex Inc and Ayodele Elegba. Vortex’s most popular title Strikeguard hit double digits issue in 2017 thus being the first recognized longest running series. Ayodele Elegba frontlined 2D animation in the Nigerian comics’ scene.
IN THE LONG RUN
The comic book scene in Nigeria has experienced the boob needed to push it to required heights. Hundreds are joining the game either under existing companies, or creating theirs or even as freelancers.
I will give a quick rundown of some groups below:
Recognized for their absolute consistency in publishing both digital and paper versions of their comics. They are also great when it comes to keeping in touch with their fanbase.
Some key personalities include: Jide Martin, Oz Ezeogu, Tobe “Mad Max” Ezeogu, Micheal Balogun, Wale Alewenje, Stanley “Stanch” Obende, Eduvie Martin
Also recognized for consistency and their awesome (I mean AWESOME) host of titles, Vortex 247 is ranked by most as the best Nigerian comics firm. With over twelve titles under their belt, Vortex has managed to push forward a title for every age, class or social strata. Strikeguard, Spirit Wars, June XII, Agbara, Local Champions (formally Hero Lomo), these titles have swept hearts away.
Key Personalities include: Ayodele Elegba, Somto Ajuluchukwu, Murewa Ayodele, Toyin Ajetunmobi, and a host of others.
This relatively new company is the brain child of Nigerian Comics frontierman Ayodele Elegba. Started out as Spoof Animation but has since grown to accommodate Spoof Comics. It recently released some new titles that are growing their loyalty list. Central Attack, Teen techs, Vantage, Voyager, Boxsa and Jinx all available on OkadaBooks, AmazonKindle, Kugali and Konga.
I don’t know too much about these people but honestly they make very good, awesome looking, delicious (I’m hitting it hard) looking and tasting titles.
Malika really threw the population off balance—I had never seen something so good.
Key Personality: Roye Okupe.
Famous publishers of the Black Thunder series and others, these ones are on an indefinite break but still made waves with their most popular title Black Thunder.
Since its inception, the Lagos Comic Convention—the biggest comic event in West Africa has attracted lot of media attention and tourists who come to watch African tradition being incorporated into modern day media.
The Comic Panel FIST Awards serve as a medium to recognize people who contributed meaningfully to the growth and development of Nigerian comics in the past year.
The 2017 Comic Panel FIST Awards categories include:
Best Artist, Best Colourist, Best Writer, International Comic, Best Science Fiction, Fan Choice Award, Most African Oriented, Best Packaged Book, Neophyte Award, Most Consistent, Best Web Series, Best Newspaper Cartoon.
The future holds a lot for Nigerian Comics and offshoots like Nigerian comic book themed animation. Top world big-shots like Marvel and DC have been around over 50 years and are just getting into movies. I don’t think it will take Nigerian Comics that long.
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