Jember: An Ethiopian Kickstarter Comic Book
What inspired you to write Jember?
I have always loved fantasy stories. Even as a kid, I was exposed to a lot. The thing that was always missing for me though was fantasy that centered around African mythology and characters.
That’s why I wrote Jember. I realized no one was going to write these stories if we didn’t write them ourselves. All our stories, and folktale are being passed down orally from our parents generations. If we don’t tell these stories and preserve them in a new way, they will disappear. That’s why I got to working. I hope others join in too.
The hero starts as an unemployed graduate, which is a
problem all across Africa. Did it come from your own experience?
Not my own but it is the experience of my closest relatives. I think I would have had a very similar experience as them if I hadn’t moved to the US. My goal was to tell the story from a very authentic place and the highly educated yet unemployed African youth is an appropriate starting point.
Any chance that Jember might do some superhero work in other
African countries in future issues?
In the words of the great Stan Lee “A person who helps others simply because it or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.” That’s all Jember needs to be.
Thank you very much, and I wish you the most success for your Kickstarter campaign. I'm looking forward to receiving my own copy of Jember and writing a review on my blog soon!
**Extract from the Jember Kickstarter page**
What makes this story unique is its setting. Not only is the environment physically more complex, the culture and values of society are different. Ethiopian culture is a collectivist culture. Everyone looks out for one another. But this could also lead to less diversity in ideas. Change could be hard to come by as what is acceptable is defined and limited by the group.