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Get Graphic: The Maestro Behind The YouNeek Universe, Sunkanmi Akinboye

Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye 

Dedicated to spotlighting African-inspired stories, YouNeek Studios is the home of characters such as Malika, E.X.O., Iyanu: Child Wonder, and more. This ever-expanding multi-media publisher is now bringing its impressive library of characters to Dark Horse Comics.

Throughout the month of September, PREVIEWSworld is zeroing in on the artists behind YouNeek Studios' upcoming slate of titles. Last week, we introduced you to artist Godwin Akpan and colorist Etubi Onucheyo. Now, let's gawk at the Honest Trailers-loving "maestro" of YouNeek...Mr. Sunkanmi Akinboye.

 

Sunkanmi Akinboye

"Hi, my name is Akinboye Sunkanmi and I’m a Nigerian illustrator based in Lagos, Nigeria. I’m currently the lead artist for YouNeek Studios."

-Sunkanmi Akinboye

 

Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye

"I met [YouNeek PublisherRoye Okupe in 2014 through [SPOOF Animation CEO] Ayodele Elegba. Ayodele called me up and said, he had a guy looking to do something new but strictly with Nigerian artists. He wanted to prove the talent existed to showcase Nigerian content in a way never seen before. I said 'Okay, let’s do this.' I was working in corporate communications at the time and it seemed a great opportunity to pursue my passion. I did a couple of test pages for him and haven’t looked back since."

-Sunkanmi Akinboye

 

Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye

"Roye had very distinct ideas about what he wanted each character to project to and evoke in the readers, but was open to creative input on the actual details. It was fun helping him evolve some of his designs to what we have today."

-Sunkanmi Akinboye

 

Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye

"Professionally, I started doing comic illustration in 2002 with some local publishers who hired me while I was studying Fine & Applied Arts in Yaba College of Technology [in] Lagos. I was there full-time till 2007, learning and growing before going solo. I’ve been working freelance ever since, doing comic books, magazine illustrations, book covers, and graphic design."

-Sunkanmi Akinboye

 


Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye

Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye

"I try to infuse my martial arts training and my love for animated movies into my action scenes. I love to tell stories with my art and I really hope to take the readers on a ride with each chapter."

-Sunkanmi Akinboye


Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye

Malika Warrior Queen Vol. 1 hits comic shops on September 8th. Malika Warrior Queen Vol. 2 arrives on December 22nd.

If you've enjoyed this quick trip through Sunkanmi Akinboye's career, give him a follow on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. Before you do, though...take a further look at his illustrations below.

 Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye

 Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye

Art by Sunkanmi Akinboye 

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram for more artist spotlights! 

If you want to find more from YouNeek Studios then be sure to check out these titles at your local comic shop...

DARK HORSE COMICS
IYANU CHILD OF WONDER TP VOL 01
(W) Roye Okupe (A/CA) Godwin Akpan
Iyanu, a teenage orphan with no recollection of her past, suddenly discovers that she has abilities that rival the ancient deities told in the folklore of her people. It is these abilities that are the key to bringing back an "age of wonders," as Iyanu begins her journey to save a world on the brink of destruction! The Corrupt-cursed wildlife and strange, divine beasts-are determined to destroy humanity, unless Iyanu can stop them.

Dark Horse and YouNeek Studios launch a shared universe of African fantasy and superhero stories-the YouNeek YouNiverse!

Extraordinary stories about extraordinary characters inspired by African history, culture, and mythology.
In Shops: Sep 22, 2021
SRP: $19.99
PREVIEWS Page #98

DARK HORSE COMICS
MALIKA WARRIOR QUEEN TP VOL 01
(W) Roye Okupe (A) Chima Kalu (CA) Godwin Akpan
Following the exploits of queen and military commander Malika, who struggles to keep the peace in her ever-expanding empire, Azzaz, this historical fantasy is set in fifteenth-century West Africa and created by an all-star team from Nigeria. In this action-packed graphic novel, African history mixes with drama, politics, betrayal, romance, and dragons!
Over 300 story pages!
A movement of African-inspired comics & storytelling!
In Shops: Sep 08, 2021
SRP: $24.99
PREVIEWS Page #99

DARK HORSE COMICS
EXO LEGEND OF WALE WILLIAMS TP VOL 01
(W) Roye Okupe (A) Sunkanmi Akinboye (CA) Godwin Akpan
The oldest son of a world-renowned scientist, Wale Williams-aka tech-savvy superhero EXO-tries to save Lagoon City from a deadly group of emerging extremists. But before this "pending" superhero can do any good for his city, there is one person he must save first-himself! An Afrofuturist superhero story about redemption set in the bustling metropolis that is Lagos, Nigeria-with a creative team that's also from Lagos!
•  Dark Horse and YouNeek Studios launch a shared universe of African fantasy and superhero stories-the YouNeek YouNiverse!
•  Extraordinary stories about extraordinary characters inspired by African history, culture, and mythology.
In Shops: Oct 20, 2021
SRP: $24.99
PREVIEWS Page #101

DARK HORSE COMICS
MALIKA WARRIOR QUEEN TP VOL 02
(W) Roye Okupe (A/CA) Akinboye Sunkanmi
Malika, queen and commander of the fifteenth-century West-African empire Azzaz, has been flung into the year 2025. After years of moving in the shadows, Malika is forced out of hiding by the Olon Jin-ancient sorcerers imprisoned for centuries because of their obsession with dark magic. Malika uncovers a sinister plot that predates her own five-hundred-year-old legend as Warrior Queen and threatens to end humanity.

"Our mission is and always has been about empowering African creatives and storytelling while bringing both to a global audience." -Roye Okupe
In Shops: Jan 26, 2022
SRP: $24.99
PREVIEWS Page #107

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Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. He is also the Consumer Marketing Manager for Geppi Family Enterprises. Troy's comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, The Glyph Award-nominated Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Award-nominated Magic Bullet.

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