E.X.O. – The Legend of Wale Williams is an epic superhero tale about redemption, which is set in a futuristic 2025 Africa. E.X.O. Part One is a 130 page, full-color graphic novel. Roye Okupe is the writer/creator of E.X.O.; he was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and fell in love with superhero stories the first time he laid his eyes on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. According to Roye in 2008, after noticing there was little diversity in superhero narratives, he decided to tell a story about a hero from Nigeria/Africa. he wanted to add something unique to the genre. To do so, he started YouNeek Studios and began work on E.X.O. — The Legend of Wale Williams Part One. Interested parties can read the first chapter for free right here on his website.
Lagoon City, Nigeria 2025: Tricked into returning home to Nigeria after a five year absence, an impetuous young man named Wale (pronounced Wah-leh) Williams embarks on a journey to investigate his father’s mysterious disappearance. His only clue is a cryptic Nanosuit left behind for him by his father, a suit which grants superhuman abilities. As he comes to understand the suit’s powers, Wale realizes he must restore hope to the city by preventing catastrophic attacks from the sociopathic extremist, Oniku.
Roye’s mission with E.X.O. – The Legend of Wale Williams is to put Africa on the map when it comes to telling superhero stories. This project actually started out as an animated project about three years ago, but due to several difficulties (financing, distribution etc.) Roye decided to make it a book first. “We have so many people with a wealth of creative and appealing stories on the continent, but they never really get the proper commercial exposure.” Roye experienced this when he first approached investors and distributors. he was told it was a great idea, but there was no fan base for this sort of product. However, Roye refused to believe that. He felt that if it was done properly (with great script, good production values, etc.), people all over the world will be receptive. “We don’t necessarily love characters like Superman, Batman or Spiderman because of where they are from. We love them because they have great stories we can identify with.” That’s why he took my time in developing the story and characters. He hopes that E.X.O. will fulfil his lifelong goal of adding something unique to the superhero genre.
Roye began this Kickstarter campaign because he is on the last leg of this very long and amazing journey. All of the production costs have already been taken care of and all that’s left is printing. Now he needs backers to help get this project over the finish line. he plans to send a completed part one (130 pages) of the book for print by the end of June. The estimated cost for 1,000 copies is about $3,500. Hence Roye is asking fans all over the world for help in making his lifelong dream come true by guaranteeing that E.X.O. becomes a reality!
His hope is for everything to go according to plan without any hiccups, but in reality he is aware that he cannot plan for every contingency. There are certain factors that could get in the way of progress (e.g.; international printing/shipping issues). However his goal is to handle any issues, should they arise in a professional manner by sending out daily messages via the Kickstarter updates thread. Roye believes in 100% transparency and his backers deserve nothing less. he intends to keep every backer, fan and supporter informed by providing updates on a regular and timely manner.
This project will be funded on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.