Nigerian prodco Youneek Studios has signed a 10-book deal with US publisher Dark Horse Comics and is developing an animated series with heroes based on African mythology.
The studio’s parent company, Youneek, was founded by Roye Okupe, who also created the graphic novels the series will be based on. The first instalment, Iyanu: Child of Wonder, features a young black female lead and draws on Nigerian history.
Youneek has obtained venture funding from Impact X Capital. Erica Motley, creative partner at the VC firm, is onboard the series. Doug Schwalbe, formerly senior VP of coproductions at DreamWorks, is also attached as executive producer and will oversee distribution.
Johannesburg-based Forefront Media Group and Cape Town’s Triggerfish Animation will work with Youneek, Impact X Capital and Schwalbe on the project.
Okupe said: “Our mission has always been to empower African creatives and storytelling. We’ve done it successfully in the comic book industry and with Impact X Capital we’re excited at the opportunity to do it in the animation space.”