In a continent plagued in the media by reports of corruption and vice, stories of bravery and good old African values like respect and honor are gravely lacking, especially for the next generation of African readers. One major voice trying to change the conversation about Africa and indeed, Nigeria through the ancient art of visual storytelling is Comic Republic, arguably Nigeria’s foremost comic studio.
Based in the city of Lagos, Comic Republic, or CR as its referred to by their fanatic fanbase, led by Jide Martin and his ‘elite special forces’ crew of writers, artists and colorists, have created award-winning stories and comic characters that are deeply rooted in African lore and culture. These titles, like the best-selling ‘Guardian Prime’ and the newly released ‘Ireti‘ and ‘Visionary’ series have expanded CR’s local fan-base and gained them global recognition.
These successes don’t come easy or cheap, as is it is with every growing brand and business in Nigeria. Farabale was at CR’s studios in Lekki a few weeks ago and we asked the CEO a few pertinent questions about the growth potential of the comic industry in Nigeria, challenges of running a start-up in Africa and some essential tips on how to run your own comic studio.
Check out some excerpts of the interview below and hit play on the video above to watch the full chat.
Before starting a comic business, you must know one of the arts first. How to either draw, write or colour. Passion for comics is important because you need to know what comics are all about. You must figure out what fans would like, basically how to set up a comic.
You need investments to see that you can reach people and hence their brands can also reach people you can meet, that’s how you make money in this industry. The comic business is not really from comic sales, which is a mistake a lot of people have been making.
Because we’re in a highly religious and sensitive region which is Nigeria where things of religion, both Christians and Muslims are held really, we try to make our concepts more universal. We take religious concepts and we make them more universal and that way we don’t dwell too much on spiritual or religious issues.