Hey 'Star Wars' Fans, There’s An African-Inspired Futuristic Space Opera In The Works

Paul Louise-Julie's new graphic novel is a futuristic “space opera” inspired by and aesthetically derived from ancient African cultures.

Poster for Paul Louise-Julie's 'Yohancé Pt.1: The Ekangeni Crystal'

After launching an African graphic novel series grounded in ancient mythology earlier this year, author and illustrator Paul Louise-Julie now has his sights set on a faraway galaxy.

The New Jersey-based, French-Caribbean artist behind The Pack will soon begin work on Yohancé, a futuristic “space opera” inspired by and aesthetically derived from ancient African cultures. The mini-series–comprised of several acts–will tell the story of an interstellar thief known as Yohancé–aka “The Monkey.”

Louise-Julie, a huge Star Wars fan, says he’s been enamored with the “space opera”–a subgenre of science-fiction that by definition “emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space, and often chivalric romance”–since he was a child.

Like Star Wars, Yohancé is set in a far-off galaxy, though Louise-Julie says everything in this galaxy is integrally rooted in his research of ancient African cultures, like his hero’s Central African Fang Mask-inspired head gear for instance. That same research is the backbone of his Pack graphic novel, which Louise-Julie says is part of his larger goal of “creating a new mythology for the Black Diaspora.”

“As with The Pack and High Fantasy, I felt that this beloved genre significantly lacked diversity not only in the characters but in the underlying source of design,” Louise-Julie writes in a press release. “It was only natural that I use the same research I use on The Pack and push it in the other direction of science fiction. When I started this journey, I made peace with the fact that The Pack would occupy most of my adult life. I had no idea that there would be an equal excitement for an African-inspired Space Opera. After I wrote the script, it quickly became apparent that I had to do this, even if it meant running it parallel to The Pack.”

Louise-Julie recently wrapped up pre-production on the series and hopes to release Yohancé Pt.1: The Ekangeni Crystal sometime in early 2016. He plans to release a new installment of The Pack in the next couple of weeks. Keep up with Yohancé on Facebook.

For more, read our interview with Paul Louise-Julie on his work creating a new mythology for the African Diaspora.


The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Black Sherif, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, M3NSA x M.anifest, and more.

As the summer winds down releases have slowed down just a tad, but it's nothing to fear because a number of our Ghanaian music faves are in album mode, and it's only a matter of time before they let loose! In the meantime the rest of our faves have been steady dishing out that fire, making for another month of dope releases. Want the scoop? Check out the best Ghanaian songs of the month below!

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Nandy, Juicee Mann, Alikiba, Diamond Platnumz and more.