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Kickstarting an African Superhero

by John Thomas

Quick – who’s your favorite African comic book superhero? No one jump to mind immediately? Well, Nigerian graphic novelist Roye Okupe wants to change that with his new creation, E.X.O.

I learned about Okupe from a great profile by Pete Guest on Forbes.com. The article inspired me to check out the writer’s site for more info. This led me to an amazing video trailer promoting his graphic novel. The slick animated clip features E.X.O., who lives in a future Africa circa 2025, donning his Ironman-esque flying suit and battling legions of nasty villains in order “to save my people” from oppression.

Okupe could not find a backer for his project, so he turned to Kickstarter – and he’s already overfunded! That means the 130-page graphic novel is a go. The book is set for release in August, and you can read the first chapter for free on his site. I was hooked from the very beginning, right as the narrator sets the stage — “I wasn’t born a hero. I had to become one.”

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