First Comics News: How was Brown Roof Studios started?
Adedayo Erivic: Brown Roof Studios is an amalgamation of two studios: MC Multiverse and Inspiron Studios. I created and co-founded MC Multiverse and eventually, there was the need to change our direction of storytelling and production and this seems to be the same idea Inspiron Studios have so we decided, why have two studios doing the same thing when we can come together and put all the energy and productivity into one?. Brown Roof is also a significant name, it’s named after the city of Ibadan which is often regarded as the city of brown roofs.
1st: Can you tell us about Jakuta who is he?
Adedayo: Jakuta is not a myth as many people think him to be, he is real, he is an African king who ruled over the old Oyo empire and later became the Yoruba god of thunder and lightning. Many people call him SANGO also. He is known for his immense power and wrath on the battlefield and this was one of the reasons the Oyo empire witnessed one of the greatest military reform under him. As a king, his reign over Oyo also helped Oyo in becoming a fearful empire among neighboring cities and Nations.
1st: What is the storyline in “Jakuta”?
Adedayo: Many people and creators have said something about SANGO or Jakuta, but we intend to say the story in a different way. It’s going to be a blend of fact and fiction but we are so careful not to derail from the actual historical tale. I don’t want to release any spoiler yet but the storyline will contain many themes. Love, war, action, betrayal, feud, and many more that you can think of.
1st: How does your art bring out the Godly presence of Jakuta?
Adedayo: Jakuta is a god and also a king so there is a need to portray him as one. When I was doing the character design, I had to do a lot of research and make sure my design correlates with history. Jakuta is known for wearing the color red and white, royal beads, and I try to do that with the design. As a god, he emits lightning and that’s what I did with the design also. The shell on his left shoulder, the battle-ax, and more are things that portray the godly feature of Jakuta. And also, the design helps to create a focal point. The entire team tries to make sure that Jakuta stands out differently in every panel or pages where he’s drawn because he is not just a normal human, he’s a kind and god.
1st: What villains do you get to draw in “Jakuta” and what characteristics do you give them?
Adedayo: Presently we are still doing the world-building and yes, I wouldn’t want to release any spoiler. But one villain we will be focusing on right now is the King of Owu who happens to be Jakuta’s cousin. He happens to be a major threat to the old Oyo empire before Jakuta came to the scene. More villains still coming.
1st: What is important to remember when you draw a big battle scene?
Adedayo: When I draw a battle scene, the first thing that comes to my mind is destruction. You can’t have an epic battle without destruction so the environment, characters, and every other element in the art needs to scream that. That’s one thing I usually have in mind as I draw and I want the readers to see. And also, I wish to show through my art that war is destructive and people should try to avoid it.
1st: Who is the writer on “Jakuta” and how do you two work together?
Adedayo: Presently we are keeping the writing team small. Although I’m chipping in creative ideas to guide the writer so he can understand what I had in mind when creating the character, the present writer and the creative director are doing very awesome. The writer is Ayegbusi Tobiloba and the creative director is Thalib Morayo, they are creating an awesome story for Jakuta.
1st: What about drawing do you most enjoy?
Adedayo: I enjoy every stage of my drawing process though some stages seem challenging than the other. But the stage I enjoy the most is the rendering stage when I pencil and add all the possible details. The inking stage is also one I often look forward to.
1st: What is Comics Archive Africa and why does it exist?
Adedayo: Comics Archive Africa is a platform dedicated to the promotion of African comics, animation, and the entire creative industry in Africa. Started out around 8 months ago and the progress has been tremendous as we are close to hitting 8,000 followers on Instagram and we will be releasing our first magazine soon which will be the first African magazine that’s exclusively on the African creative industry. I started Comics Archive because I noticed the African creative industry keeps having more and more contents but there are few platforms that promote and showcase and also make people see these contents so I decided to come in on that.
1st: What are some of the main differences between African and North American comics?
Adedayo: Well, if there is something I can point out as a difference between the African and North American comics, I’d basically say it’s the story, contents, and focus. While North American comics focus more on entertainment, many African comics these days are focusing beyond just entertainment, they try to reconstruct the negative worldview and stereotype about Africa which some of the European media had done for so long. Black Sands Entertainment and many more African comics are starting to promote African culture and history positively and that’s what Brown Roof Studios is aiming at presently; to portray African history and culture positively as it ought to be rather than as the media had most times done. African comics want to tell African stories from the point of view of an African.
1st: What else are you working on or will be in the near future?
Adedayo: For the future, I will be focusing my energy on creating more and more content on Jakuta and also developing Brown Roof Studios with my fellow co-founders. Will also be expanding Comics Archive Africa and possibly, I will be getting on some things which I might not be able to reveal yet.
1st: If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
Adedayo: If I could have one superpower, it’d be a hyper intellect and smartness, that’s why Batman is still my favorite. Many people don’t see this as a superpower but truth is, it is (in my opinion) This is because I believe strong reasoning and intellect beats any other superpower. Every Avengers has Tony Stark, every Justice League has Batman, Prison Break has Micheal Scofield, Money Heist has Professor. Even strong characters and heroes have one smart guy in the chair behind computers who gives strategies and directions.
1st: What would you like to say to anyone who has enjoyed your art?
Adedayo: One thing I would say to everyone who has enjoyed my art is “Thank you so much”. This is because even when my art has so many flaws, the belief and interest people have in my work is something that makes me believe I could always keep on and get better. And yes, I’d continuously do my best and improve my craft to suit everyone better.