How do you keep your soul in a world intent on destroying it? Is a family’s love enough to negate the damaging chorus of messages a child faces when she steps outside the home? How does that child find power on her own? And how does that girl tell the difference between what she knows, what she learns and which of those things to keep?
Based on Egyptian mythology and her rich imagination, Chiamaka Onyemelukwe’s graphic novel, The Book of Answers, explores these questions and more. The story follows the adventures of Nwando, a fifteen-year-old girl who obtains a mystical tome that gives her all of the answers she wants but has its agenda, and what she does when faced with it.
The Book of Answers is Onyemelukwe’s answer to the dearth of black girls represented in comic and fantasy stories. A lover of heroes and magic since she was very young, the book started as a graduate school project then became a passion as she became excited about writing a visual novel where someone who looked like her, and millions of others in this country, was portrayed heroically and powerfully. Her goal was to tell a story that was true to her, and her struggles yet connected with kids now and provided an outlet for their exploration. She hopes this is just the beginning.
Chiamaka Onyemelukwe is a volunteer with AfroComicCon. An attendee at last year’s event, she was excited by the energy of the organization and the opportunities for expression created for marginalized communities. Her website will be up soon, and she is currently working on a follow up to The Book of Answers. Say hi to her at AfroComicCon October 20th and check this space to see what she does next!