Lately I’ve been on a graphic novel kick, and whew, child, this one takes the cake! I read Vol. 1 of Nani, published by Kugali, which is a growing publisher. It’s set in Nigeria, which, YASSSSSSS, more stories NOT focused on the USA please! This story is about Mina, a girl who is trying to heal from being attacked and being made to feel totally powerless. So, she takes up martial arts and learns to kick some a$$. Throw in a magical forest and a parallel universe dotted with mythical creatures and living legends and you have yourself a powerful graphic novel.
I have to say right off the bat that the illustrations gave me LIFE!!! The book makes full use of the color spectrum and its just gorgeous. However, I loved seeing Black characters drawn with deep brown tones and lots of pinks and purples. There’s also a lot of green imagery as the book focuses on this magical forest and it just makes the reader feel like you’re right there with them, surrounded by ancient gods and deities and creatures we’ve only ever read about in fairy tale books.
I loved that on top of the gorgeous illustrations and creatively drawn characters—their fashion sense was off the chain by the way—that the book really does deal with some intense issues. Issues that affect Black girls and seeing those issues addressed really filled my heart up to the top. So please read this book. Support this growing Black comic publisher so they can make more dope books like these! They’ll need lots of support if Vol. 2 is going to come out anytime soon, and I need y’all to come through!
*Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
By Jesse E