Sobolo in Squidtropolis: Chit Chat with MAD! Comics Writer, Hafeez Oluwa

The folks over at MAD! Comics have something epic on the way. The art for their upcoming comics have piqued our interest so much so, we hang out with Hafeez Oluwa, the writer behind the upcoming beauties deep in Squidtropolis (that’s our home). What follows are excerpts from the fun chat we had. 

SM: Who is Oro? What is Osita? Heck, what is the title? We ask because, you’ve called it different names in your promo.

Lol! We are MAD! comics (with the exclamation mark). Oro and Osita are different titles that will be released simultaneously, hence the simultaneous promotion. We are creating a universe – a bunch of independent stories, all interlinked. We have Oro, Osita and the Disciples just like how DC has Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman.

SM: Uh oh…we’re so lost. That wasn’t clear at all.  Anyhow, what are the comics about?

Osita is a med student who discovers he can summon an ancient spirit of a war masquerade. The war masquerade is sought after by many sorcerers, for he who controls the war masquerade will be invincible. The story basically follows Osita as he comes to terms with controlling his Eku (masquerade) and using it to protect people.

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Nobody messes with Oro

SM: And this guy?

Now, this guy is a prince who was born deformed, so he was abandoned in the forest and raised by spirits. He is mentored by the spirit of a scarmarker (ancient weapon makers). He builds a powerful weapon called a Leech and protects the kingdom that rejected him.

But we are bringing both Oro and Osita to modern day Nigeria. The comics are going to be laced with social and political commentary, and very disturbing images.

The way I am excited to hear BANKAI! I want an American child to jump for joy at a Yoruba or African word.

SM: We like! There’s something to be said about the surge in African created comics inspired by the continent’s mythological lore (we see you Sango) that borders on stale and overwhelming – don’t get us wrong, we’re suckers for elaborate powers and epic battles – Oro feels like it might be different. Please prove us right.

I will give you 5 reasons why we would be different:

  1. The ART: Gbenle Maverick and Keshinro Oluwaseun pushed the boundaries on the art to keep it fresh and surprising with a unique style exclusive to us.
  1. The STORY: while Oro is based on African Mythology, it turns to fiction to keep it interesting. We drew villains from history books and the news, for example, the villain called Doctor is based loosely on a notorious criminal from the 70’s. We’re mixing things up, keeping it exciting.
  1. No spandex. anybody wears spandex in my comic; they are killed in the second panel.
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Oro

SM: Who are the major players in the comics?

We have introduced the main Villain in Oro, The Doctor. There is also the son of Death Omooku. Many more will spring up as the series moves along.

SM: Squirttastic! Can you give us their back story, something to ginger readers?  

Wow! We would like the story to unfold to our readers gradually. I will disclose a bit on Omooku, the son of death who is back from the grave for vengeance. He is brandishing Sango’s axe and the grim reaper’s sickle and would stop at nothing, until his death is avenged.

SM: Oh wow! You got us with the axe & sickle. What inspired the comics? Any cultural attachments?

I once heard someone recite an Oro ewi (Yoruba poetry) and I have since been fascinated by the demi-god. This fascination led to my decision to tell my own version of the story.

SM: How far will the character base for MAD! Comics grow, considering your upcoming comics are based on Nigerian history? Also how far back does/will it go and is there a possible expansion to other cultures across Africa?                       

It’s not based on Nigerian history, but borrows some story elements from the past and the present, mixed with fiction. The characters will span the continent – North, West, East and South Africa.

SM: Sweet! What’s your vision for African comics?

I look forward to a future when African Comics will be one of our major cultural  exports to the world. That’s why it is important for me that we are unique in our story telling and brand of humor.

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Osita

SM: Tell us more.                        

The way I am excited to hear BANKAI! I want an American child to jump for joy at a Yoruba or African word.

SM: Awesome, thanks for your time Hafeez. We really appreciate you hanging out with us.

Thank you for having me.

Oro and Osita are scheduled for release on Thursday, November 17.  Subscribe to MAD!’s mailing list here to stay in the loop on all their releases.

Keep an eye on the blog for the full interview to better understand the upcoming titles as well as MAD! Comic’s future plans. You can also follow MAD! on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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Squirt Creativity!

 

 

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