Virtuous Con: The Magic of Iyanu!


This past weekend was Virtuous Con 2024 an online sci-fi and comic culture convention. We attended the con as press and got to sit in on this panel. The panelists were Roye Okupe, Davis Steward II, Kerri Grant, and Brandon Easton, moderated by Karama Horne (TheBlerdGurl). This panel was a discussion about the upcoming animation series Iyanu premiering on Cartoon Network on the Max streaming platform. Iyanu: Child of Wonder is a graphic novel that is published by Dark Horse Comics and YouNeek Studios.

Read more: Virtuous Con: The Magic of Iyanu!

The Panelists

Roye Okupe an Animation Producer and founder of YouNeek Studios, the Award-Winning graphic novel publisher of Award-Winning stories such as Malika: Warrior Queen and Iyanu: Child of Wonder. Animation Writer and Producer Kerri Grant worked on the animation as well she’s known for her previous work on Doc McStuffins, Ada Twist Scientist, and The Backyardians just to name a few. Brandon Easton is the Lead Writer on the series he’s known for his work on Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy, Avengers Assemble, Hearthstone: Deadmines, and more.

David Steward II is the CEO and Founder of The Lion Forge Entertainment. Some of the animations that Lion Forge has brought to life are Hair Love, Young Love, Rise Up, Sing Out, and Drawn In just to name a few. The vision to create comics for everyone is shown with the diversity and inclusion in a lot of the work that has been produced as well as behind the scenes. Lion Forge was also a sponsor for Virtuous Con helping bring together everything that Virtuous Con had to offer.

The Magic of Iyanu

The Magic of Iyanu is based on the graphic novel Iyanu: Child of Wonder by Roye Okupe. In the panel, Roye discussed how the creation of the graphic novel was about his daughter after she was born. Now creating it into an animation that many other children will enjoy. The graphic novel has been published since 2021 and has amazing reviews on Amazon.

I want to introduce the world of Iyanu since this was my first introduction to the series. Iyanu is set in a fantasy world with superhero elements. Inspired by mythology, African History, and culture (Yoruba to be specific). We follow Iyanu a teenage orphan who discovers she has powers that have only been heard of in folklore of her people. Following Iyanu on a journey to save the world we meet new friends, visit new places, and learn so much about her culture.

I love that Black girls get to have a coming-of-age story, Allowing young black girls to see themselves in a space where they have magic and fun. The graphic novel is a must-have for children to explore with their imagination. I’m only halfway through volume 1 and I already feel excited about this adventure with Iyanu so far. I did get a digital copy of the graphic novel; after this panel once I read the synopsis. I will be collecting the physical books once they finish the series, so I can share them with my young family members.

In the panel, we got to see some behind-the-scenes images of the animation. Storyboard images and sketches of a few of the characters. It was such an informative panel where the topics also covered a lot of their personal experiences with the industry. Talking about how some writers’ rooms are difficult to be in because your voice isn’t heard or acknowledged. Having to shop around different companies that would pick up your series pitches.

There is no release date for the series just yet but is set to release at some point in 2024. I thought by the end of the panel I would have a date to look forward to but was a bit disappointed about that. I’m still looking forward to it no matter the graphic novel will hold me over for a while as I catch up on the world of Iyanu. I hope that many of you will check out the series when it premieres on Max and Cartoon Network. If you love good reading Graphic Novels are available digital and physical whichever is your liking.

Will You be checking out Iyanu: Child of Wonder!?

Support The Iyanu: Child of Wonder Series!

Amazon | Youtube | YouNeek Studios

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