Every sphere has its leaders and role models. Just over a month ago, the comic industry paid tribute to one of their own. Having influenced our childhood with characters like Fantastic Four, Spider-man and others, it was a name that would not fade from our memory for quite a while; Stan Leiber, better known as Stan Lee.
His legacy will remain for quite awhile as many comic readers and lovers today were one way or another inspired by his works. So, celebrating a life well lived is not out place. This was clearly seen on many social media timelines and statuses. The creative industry could not have had a better way to say thank you to the legend.
But just like Stan Lee, who toiled to make the creative space worth using to propose to a better half, every country has their own Stan Lees and they need not leave us before they are celebrated. So, this write up celebrates some of those Stan Lees who have consciously brought the creative space to life in Nigeria.
Call her a super woman, Banwo Bolanle is a brand identity, user interface/ user experience designer,illustrator and animator. She is the founder of The Female Designer Movement (TFDM), an initiative geared towards increasing the participation of women in the design and tech space.
As a child, she had strong passion for art. She has risen through the Nigerian stereotype of creatives, especially female creatives and hopes to help others through her initiatives. To her,designing is her work and leisure.
In an interview with Tech Chicks by Alat, she tells of how she built confidence in herself as a result of getting her first huge pay from designing a logo. Since then, she saw value in design and decided to take it as a profession. Today, she is building communities of more designers, especially for women through TFDM.
Bolanle Banwo is an icon that encourages other young women not to give up on themselves as she advised in another interview with The Guardian to never look down on oneself and to never allow oneself feel like nothing can be done. “You can be anything. You can do anything”. Not to forget, Stan Lee also made us believe that with his Superhero characters.
Founder and CEO of one of Nigeria’s most celebrated start-ups; Comic Republic, Jide Martins has been a geek for as long as he can remember. He feels we do not have a lot of coloured people who are superheroes and took it upon himself and his team at the republic to create them.
He does not only use comics to tell the African story, he and his team also uses them to entertain as well as pass moral values. No wonder the young ones, even at the orphanage, seem to be influenced by Comic Republic’s characters as he revealed in an interview with UNICEF Change Makers. If there’s anything to take out of this, just like Stan Lee he is influencing many.
Deriving joy in seeing other creative minds thrive, Ayodele Elegba started Mustard Seed Communications in 2008.Today, the company boasts of over 300% participation increase in the creative space in Nigeria through its annual Lagos Comic Convention. But with this increase, Ayo believes there’s still enough room for more creative to join the industry.
Ayo is also the CEO of “Spoof!” – a comic, consulting and animation firm. Having helped other firms like Yooneeq studios work on their popular comic titles, and also having titles of their own, he offers those interested advice and guidance through the industry and also inspires others to take the creative profession with pride.
In an interview with Legit TV, he sees himself and his works as a midwife to help others grow. Now that sound like another Stan Lee.
The list has no end
Our Stan Lees are not limited to those mentioned above and we have not deliberately omitted their names. We have just succeeded in waking your consciousness that there are many more of them.So let us know who your Stan Lee is in the comment session. Ciao.