Nigerian graphic artist, Etubi Onucheyo, is fast making a mark in the growing Nigerian graphics and comics industry. We have followed his journey for a while now, and were pleased when he started releasing spoilers and characters for his first major project, Mumu Juju. His artwork has always held both artistic talent and a thread of humour, but this humour has been even more evident with this longer storyline. Mumu Juju is supported by comic content body Vortex 24/7, so watch out for it to go huge.
We had the opportunity to interview Etubi about his journey, inspiration, and plans for the future.
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Etubi Onucheyo and I have been illustrating since I was a kid but started professionally in 2010. Formally, I studied fine art and applied arts in the University of Nigeria Nsukka and specialized in graphic design.
Growing up I was heavying influenced by my older brothers and every thing animated on the tube. Even now, I am still under the same influences but now I have attached names to them. I am inspired by life in general, anime, manga, cartoons, my art buddies (Ifesinachi Orijiekwe, Harrison Yinfaowei, Mohammed Agbadi and Bolaji Olaloye) and a lot of random artists (Edwin Huang, Jeffrey ‘chamba’ Cruz, Oda Echiiro, Sean Galloway, Patrick Brown, Joey “joverine” Vriens, Lesean Thomas, Joe “JOeMAD” Madureira, Park Yong- je, Dave Rapoza just to mention a few).
As for my passion, I would call it a fear actually (snickers) because I have been fortunate in my life that all I have received for my work is support from my family, friends and fans so I am really just scared (of) letting down so many people down.
What pushed/motivated you to start Mumu Juju?
Apart from the craving of pounded yam and vegetable soup *hehe*, I wanted to start pushing my own stuff rather than just fan art and commissions. I didn’t like that nobody had seen anything that is truly mine.
Why is Mumu Juju important to you?
Mumu Juju is very important to me not just because it is my first official project, but because it is basically a love letter to all my influences. And even though the characters seem random, almost all are based on people and relationships that are quite dear to me.
What’s the one main thing you want people who read this comic to take away from it?
Friendship!!!!! (Giggles) but seriously I want people to go away with nothing but valuing their relationships more and (having) a good laugh.
Where do you see Mumu Juju in about a year to two years’ time? And should we be looking forward to other similar projects?
I really can’t say because it is still just getting off the ground. But it is getting an awesome reception and feedback. It is already bigger than what I had originally planned so when that is put in perspective, I can only see greater things. And as for other similar projects, “them dey pot dey cook”.
Guys, get a doze of the Mumu Juju graphic series via Amazon, and check your app stores for copies as well! You can follow Mumu Juju via the Facebook page, and see a lot of inside thoughts, sketches, and characters on Etubi’s Instagram. He takes commissions from anywhere in the world.
Many thanks to Etubi for taking the time to talk to us!