WE ARE FUNDED!!!
Now, on to some awesome stretch goals :) To see additional details on each stretch goal, scroll all the way down to the Stretch Goal section.
*NOTE: FREE SHIPPING for U.S. customers!
Set in fifteenth-century West Africa, Malika (pronounced "Ma-LIE-ka"): Warrior Queen follows the exploits of queen and military commander Malika, who struggles to keep the peace in her ever-expanding empire. In Part Two of the hit graphic novel series, Malika uncovers a painful betrayal by one of the people closest to her. The treachery unnerves a usually stoic and composed Malika, allowing her enemies both known and unknown, internal as well as external, encircle her, positioning themselves for the destruction of Azzaz, the empire she spent her entire adult life building. Can Malika recompose herself and save her people once again? Or is this betrayal the beginning of the end for Malika and the people of Azzaz? Only time will tell.
It's been amazing to see how well Malika has been received since it's release in May. One of the most rewarding experiences was having chapter one of the graphic novel selected for Diamond Comic's Free Comic Book Day event in May, where it was one of the most sought-after and best-reviewed books of the bunch!
Producing this series has definitely been the most painstaking for me as a writer. The last two years have been filled with sleepless nights, months of research, moments of self-doubt and more. But I've loved every minute of it. Why? Because as much as this is a fictional story, it is both heavily inspired and framed by African history. I drew inspiration for some aspects of Malika's story from one of West Africa's most significant female rulers. Queen Amina of Zazzau. In addition to that, Malika's empire, Azzaz, is surrounded by African kingdoms and empires that existed before colonization. Africa has a wealth of history and mythology that is yet to become mainstream knowledge for everyone to experience and be inspired by. My hope is that the Malika series slowly begins to change that.
Hi, guys! My name is Roye Okupe, and I'm the Co-Founder/CEO of YouNeek Studios as well as the Writer/Creator of Malika - Warrior Queen. Some of you may know me from my graphic novel series E.X.O. and Malika. If so, then you know I have a huge passion for creating amazing stories across different mediums (comics, animation, etc.). In the past five years, I've had the incredible privilege of living my dream of creating superhero and fantasy stories based on African culture. Stories of which I didn't see growing up back home in Lagos, Nigeria.
After releasing chapter one of my first graphic novel E.X.O. - The Legend of Wale Williams in 2015, I was humbled by the positive reception from people, blogs and various media outlets around the world. I quit my job not too long after that to focus on comics and animation full-time, and I haven't looked back since then. My goal is now to inspire people to chase their dreams while living mine.
WHAT WE NEED
The book is about halfway done. As with ALL my previous Kickstarter projects (4 in total), all the funds (minus Kickstarter fees and rewards manufacturing) will go directly towards printing the books. All other production costs have been taken care of, and the book will be ready for print and delivery March 2018. A full two months before it's official release in June 2018. We require an estimated $6,500 to print a minimum of 1,000 books. Scroll down to see a complete breakdown of how the funds will be used in the "Where Does The Money Go" section.
Without getting into a lengthy financial rant, simply put, it's the fastest way to get my books out to the fans. One of the most consistent feedback I've received till date is people want the graphic novels consistently and more frequently. Kickstarter allows me to do that.
The Malika series is part of a huge world. A world that also contains my other graphic novel series E.X.O. and WindMaker. This world is called The YouNeek YouNiverse.
The YouNeek YouNiverse is a series of stories featuring a very diverse list of awesome heroes, villains, and locations with continuity and inter-connectivity from story to story. Dubbed "The MCU of graphic novels," (by me, lol) The YouNeek YouNiverse is a combination of individual graphic novel series (E.X.O., Malika, WindMaker, etc.) tied together with one continuous, overall plot that weaves through each particular story.
Currently, you do not have to read the books in a specific order to follow the overall plot, but if you love Malika, I strongly recommend you try at the very least The WindMaker - The History of Atala, a companion hardcover book that gives additional backstory on key characters in the Malika series. I've made a conscious effort to make it very affordable to get all my books via this Kickstarter. With a pledge of just $20, you can get my entire library (5 graphic novels. Over 500+ pages of remarkable stories from the Malika, WindMaker and E.X.O. series) of books!
"On the battlefield, Malika can take out five rebels with a single swing of her sword (and a jaguar with a well-placed kick). And she’s just as assured when facing questioning from her council, though readers also see her struggle with how best to show strength, which comes to a head with the arrival of the king of Atala, Malika’s secret husband, who possesses supernatural wind-based powers. Okupe balances exposition, plot progression, and action within each chapter, providing a smooth introduction to the machinations and mythologies of this world (interspersed notes touch on the real-life inspirations behind Azzaz). Befitting the story of a fierce, confident queen who rules from the front lines as much as from her throne, Kalu’s cinematic artwork is dominated by battle scenes but also highlights the empire’s landscape of sand, rocks, and forests, as well as the cultural diversity of its people."
"...None of the independent books really caught my eye until I noticed Malika... ....We need to bring attention to those, like Okupe, who are doing it right and support them in their endeavors to show those with the will to look, how massive and incredible and diverse the world is."
...By the end of the last chapter, I was disappointed that only Part 1 is available now since I wanted to see what happened next!"
"The artwork in Malika is absolutely stunning. The colors of the clothes, scenery, and artillery are gorgeous and complimentary to the characters’ skin tones. She changes outfits and headwraps frequently; it’s very refreshing and bold. My favorite look on Malika is her turquoise outfit; it pops on every page. We mostly see her turquoise clothing in battle. The panels flow together seamlessly, I love the variation of panel setups per page. My favorite pages are the ones where a single panel will take up most of the space, which causes panels to be stacked. This catches my attention because I’m forced to inspect the details."
*U.S. BACKERS ONLY
You can add any of the items below to ANY reward package by simply increasing your pledge by the amount beside the item and then stating the reward you want in the survey after the campaign is over. If you want to add an add-on for as an international backer, please contact me directly.
EXAMPLE: If you select the $25 reward package and you want to add the E.X.O. Part One graphic novel, select the $25 package BUT type $40 (25 + 15) in as your pledge. Once the campaign is over, surveys will be sent out for you to fill where you will be asked what you want for the extra $15 you pledged. Then you can select the E.X.O. part one graphic novel from the options.
This series would not be what it is today with these amazing set of talented people.
- Roye Okupe - Editor in Chief/Writer
- Ayodele Elegba | Founder/Organiser of Lagos Comic Con) - Editor
- Chima Kalu | Comic Panel award-winning artist - Pencils & Inks
- Raphael Kazem | 2-time Comic Panel award-winning colorist
- Alitha Martinez | Black Panther World of Wakanda, Iron Man, X-Men: Black Sun, Batgirl - Variant Cover
- Paul Louis-Julie | Creator/Writer/Artist of The Pack & Yohance - Map and Logo design
- Kaiju Den LLP, Singapore | Ming Dynasty concept art
- Godwin Akpan | Concept art/Poster
- Mohammed Abgadi - Cover Art
I have some amazing stretch goals planned should we exceed the main goal.
Stretch Goal #1 - $8,000
Should we reach this mark, we'll be donating 20 books to a local Boys & Girls Club. One of the most rewarding parts of doing what I do is sometimes, I get to donate my graphic novels to organizations (libraries, bookstores, after-school programs) that cater to kids & teen reading and literacy. Check out the image below from my last visit to the Boys and Girls Club in Charlottesville, VA. You can also watch the video here.
Stretch Goal #2 - $10,000
Should we reach this goal, the YouNeek YouNiverse Poster/Wallpaper will be available to everyone (digital for pledges below $25. Digital AND SIGNED physical copies for pledges above $25.
Stretch Goal #3 - $13,000
Should we reach this goal, we’ll be giving out PDF copies of Malika - Dragon Trials. A story that takes place between the events of Malika Part 1 & 2.
After waking up in an alternate dimension, Malika, Queen and military commander of the Azzazian Empire, tries to make sense of her dire predicament. Before she can do so, however, Malika is approached by Oris, an Atalian deity who instructs her that the only way out of her current nightmare is passing what he calls "The Dragon Trials."
Stretch Goal #3 - $17,000
To be unlocked if we cross $13,000.
Risks and challenges
Having run 3 successful Kickstarter (and delivering all rewards to all backers) before, I am fully confident and also very well prepared to run this Kickstarter smoothly. However, should any issues arise, I plan on handling them in a professional manner. I will also be sending frequent messages via the Kickstarter updates thread to keep everyone informed on progress. I believe in 100% transparency and you guys deserve nothing less.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (26 days)