MAJOR KEY ALERT 🔑🔑 *DJ Khaled voice*
After MONTHS of waiting, Paul Louise Julie’s space opera epic Yohancé is finally on shelves! And by shelves, I do mean iBook shelves for Free 99 (and amazon books for 9.99)! In Louise-Julie’s own words, this graphic novel “is a Space Opera Graphic Novel inspired by a fully African Aesthetic.” While this first issue was a very quick read, it’s certainly drew me in. So many get the “space opera” thing wrong, so I was extremely relieved and overjoyed that this wasn’t the case. The artwork is truly splendid and does the does this genre of fiction justice. We aren’t given a backstory as to how our protagonist ended up in his current predicament but we’re too busy enjoying the adventure to worry about that.Just understand that, as the author puts it, that this is the story of a master thief who gets caught up in an Intergalactic conflict that reveals some deep dark truth about our hero (sound familiar?). Interesting enough, right? I’m a sucker for anything relating to Atlantis, or any underwater environment, so I was screaming when he visited water planet. Sidenote- my aunt used to run a store that sold Afrocentric antiques, and I was reminded of this while reading Yohancé.
I also really love how black people, well really every non-white group, are identifying more and more as nerds or geeks. There isn’t one show that Black Twitter hasn’t made its own space for. As SyFy produces more content, as CW essentially becomes the DC Comic network, as FX has us loving everything on air, it is becoming impossible, for me at least, to not geek out and scream everytime I turn on my television. I’m happy that Louise-Julie carved up his own space and gently set down Yohancé. Within the coming year, I really hope this picks up a lot more traction, and before these United States collapses under HRC or Drumpf, there will be talks of a major motion picture. I understand that art cannot be rushed, but I’m just really happy that Paul Louise-Julie didn’t play with my heart like Jay Electronica or Frank Ocean. It’s absolutely wonderful how we were lucky enough to witness Formation, LEMONADE, The Formation World Tour, Queen Sugar, Atlanta, Roots, Luke Cage, A Seat At The Table, and so many more projects that make the case for 2016 being the blackest year ever.
Full disclosure: I have ADD and when I made my brother download it on is iPhone for me I read it in a single sitting. Of all the things running through my mind I was able to stop, lay down, and enjoy a masterpiece. You can check out more information about Yohancé and more of Louise-Julie’s projects, including The Pack, which is about African werewolves (African! Werewolves!) at https://midasmonkee.com
Written by Jelani A. Price.
Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a neuroscience nerd turned Creative Consultant and Executive Director of Off Colour!
You’ve probably seen her on TikTok or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels. From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.