Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics, AIPT can exclusively reveal process imagery for Windmaker Vol. 1. The graphic novel is part of a new collaboration between Dark Horse Comics and YouNeek Studios, revealed in January 2021. The partnership has seen Dark Horse publish previously self-published stories from YouNeek’s line of graphic novels. Headed by Roye Okupe, the stories are part of a universe of superheroes that span centuries and are centered on African stories crafted by African creators.
Volume 1 is available to purchase now! The process imagery below features art from the YouNeek Studios graphic novel written by Roye Okupe with art by Sunkanmi Akinboye.
But wait, what’s Windmaker about?
The West African nation of Atala is thrust into an era of unrest and dysfunction after their beloved president turns vicious dictator. With the country on the brink of civil war, the WindMaker–an ancient hero of the Ataliansmysteriously returns in what appears to be an effort to save his people. The only problem is that his spirit is reincarnated into the last person anyone expects to helpthe president’s head of security!
Envisioned below is Atala, but it’s a little different from its 15th-century version as the story is set in the 21st century. That’s 500 years difference, and Akinboye said it was a blast to envision:
It was so much fun re-imagining Atala in the 21st century. Honestly, world-building is the most exciting part of the process of creating for me. The (fun) challenge here was trying to figure out how to pay homage to the Kingdom of Atala (15th century) while at the same time making the Republic of Atala feel like a modern, bustling West African metropolis. To do so, I sat down with both Sunkanmi and Morby and what we did was extrapolate different motifs, patterns, figures and structures from both the art from previous WindMaker books (History of Atala and Birth of a King) set in the Kingdom as well as from Yoruba culture, as base ingredients to design things lie buildings, statues, outfits, vehicles, etc. A few examples are the Air Transport and Sky Trains/Shuttles used at the Floating Palace. If you look closely, the red materials that outline the windshields for both are inspiring by Yoruba coral beads.
Check out the process shots in the slideshow below.
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