Comic Republic, a Nigerian firm acclaimed to be Africa’s largest publisher of independent comic books, has signed a production deal to adapt its catalogue of African superheroes for film and TV.
According to Hollywood Reporter, the firm partnered with Emagine Content and JackieBoy Entertainment, two US-based companies, in a bid to “portray a positive global influence of Africa and negate previous misconceptions.”
Comic Republic has put out African-based titles such as ‘Ireti’, about a university student blessed with superpowers; ‘Aje’, inspired by Yoruba spirituality and mysticism; and ‘The Vanguards’, which focuses on a team of superheroes.
Most of the Nigerian publisher’s titles are often rooted in traditional African mythology, folktales, and culture.
Speaking on the new production deal, Comic Republic was quoted as saying the first project planned under the partnership is a feature film adaptation of ‘Ireti’, which the companies bill as the first “African female superhero”.
“It’s a great time to be alive. We are in a world where diversity has taken center stage,” said Jide Martin, its CEO.
“We are thrilled to be working with Emagine Content and Jackie Boy to bring our heroes and stories to the big screen but mostly because we get the chance to be a part of black history.”
Ben Phelps, Emagine CEO, who runs the LA-based group together with Kimberly Boyd, the company’s head of originals, similarly said: “This deal is a major push towards diversity on the silver screen for black superheroes.
“The time is now to showcase heroes of all different backgrounds. To create role models for future generations to come is a unique opportunity that comes with an important responsibility to make sure the storytelling is authentic.
“For us, finding a partnership that is looking to be a disruptive force with good morals is everything.”
John Tillery, JackieBoy founder, added: “[We’re] excited to bring the three companies together and embark on this moment in comic book culture, connecting the voices of African stories to universal themes for all to enjoy.
“We look forward to working with the stellar teams of Emagine Content and Comic Republic to strengthen the alliance between African-based creatives and comic enthusiasts with genuine characters and storylines.”
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