Yohancé, Paul Louise-Julie’s, Afro-Futurist Space Opera Epic is finally coming to print following on from 2016’s successful digital launch for Kindle and a crowdfunding campaign which raised over $15 000.
Yohancé: The Ekangeni Crystal is the first chapter in Louise-Julie’s saga of the titular Yohancé. It’s a somewhat familiar story of a charming rogue scheming on his next big score who is accidentally drawn into a secret conflict between the eternal forces of light and darkness.
Mastermind Paul Louise-Julie has plenty of cards in his deck and tricks ups his sleeve as he breaths life, character and colour into the star-sprawling, galaxy-spanning Space Opera that presents familiar Science Fiction elements through a distinctly African lens.
Paul Louise-Julie is already an accomplished visual artist through a variety of media including painting and sculpture. His sense of design, combining West African symbols, imagery and style clearly carries over into his comic book and graphic storytelling.
Yohancé’s story is Louise-Julie’s second comic book offering after his Egyptian and Nubian inspired Werewolf series “The Pack”. Both series are self published through the creator’s Midas Monkee Studios
The character, vehicle and world design are all informed by Paul’s experience of African Culture, Art, Myth and Legend. He draws on everything from the African Art which his parents collected when he was a child to his own time spent traveling through and living in Africa.
The character designs are a combination of bold, clear, modernist Space Opera Designs and the bold geometry and strong design elements of West African Art and Culture.
The art possess a grandness of size and scale which evokes some of the best New Wave Science Fiction stories. Louise-Julie combines seamlessly combines traditional and digital art techniques to create vast Star Systems sprawl across panel and page spiralling endlessly into infinity. Massive Monoliths float in defiance of the laws of physics and nature dwarfing our heroes ship the Ki Wara.
This is complimented by an amazing colour pallet which fully exploits the potential of a digital format to create colour palettes ranging from the icy blues for the uncaring vastness of space to the stark white of Yohancé’s spacesuit to the rich red and orange hues of the planet where much of the story unfolds.
The universe feels infinite, cinematic, textured, lived in and full of adventure and opportunity for our intrepid hero.
This is a story that deserves a wide audience, especially in the current political and cultural climate. It is bold, daring and different in an era when so much Sci Fi and genre fiction in general is played out and by the numbers.
This is an exceptional first chapter, baiting the hook and setting the trap to leave you wanting to know more about the hero’s next adventure.