Lagos - Nigerian animator, Roye Okupe has been featured on American news site Wasghington Post for his founding a comic book company, YouNeek Studios.
Okupe, now 31, arrived in the United States in 2002, attending George Washington University and earning a bachelors and master’s degree in computer science in 2007 and 2009.
In between those degrees he took a class in animation at the Art Institute of Washington.
After college, while working as a web developer for International Software Systems in Greenbelt in the United States, Okupe was able to put together an eight-minute animated trailer featuring his first superhero creation, Wale Williams, a young, 20-something Nigerian who suits up in high-tech armor to become the African superhero E.X.O. (Endogenic Xoskeletal Ordnance).
“E.X.O. The Legend of Wale Williams” was the first superhero to debut from Roye Okupe’s YouNeek Studios in 2015.
Okupe recruited four artists in Nigeria to help him produce his first E.X.O. comic. Ayodele Elegba would edit his writing. Sunkanmi Akinboye would be his interior pages artist. Raphael Kazeem worked on coloring and Godwin Akpan did cover art.
The first E.X.O. comic debuted on Aug. 31, 2015, and a second arrived on Wednesday. Instead of publishing monthly like many comics, YouNeek Studios produces chapters as graphic novels, a format Okupe hopes gives potential new readers an easy jumping-on point without having to worry about catching up on back issues.
In the future, Okupe hopes YouNeek Studios will publish two graphic novels a year.