The emphasis is on quality artwork and narration. Congolese artists are amongst the best today and if you need to see their works, google one of the following names:
- Barly Baruti
- Oubrerie & Abouet (Aya de Yupougon)
- Pat Masioni (Rwanda 1994 Vol. 1 & 2)
- Hallain Paluku (Missy)
- Pahe (Bitam)
Religious bigotry, tedious moralising, sexism, racism, pornography, provincialism, men in tights, flying superheroes, ramboism, homophobia, etc. should be avoided. Think of a narrative that can cross geographic and cultural borders and be understood in Mongolia, Botswana and Guam (you don’t have to water it down to make it accessible).
If you need any references from Nigeria, think about the great works by Amos Tutuola, Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, Chris Abani, Chimamanda Adichie and Helon Habila. Think of the music of Fela Kuti, Keziah Jones and Lagbaja. Check out Seth Tobocman’s ‘The curse of Nakedness’ which was inspired by the mess in the Niger Delta.
There are no technical limitations. Black and white or colour illustrations are accepted and works should be at least 36 pages long.
Scan (low definition obviously) about 4 pages of your graphic novel and forward it to email@example.com as soon as possible.
Francis M Bissong
PS: Spam merchants and 419ers should stay away. There’s no advance fee here.