Pre-Interview:Euwarnii Hughes is the CEO of Great Gale LLC, as well as the writer and illustrator of BOLDSAGA: BRAVE ONWARDS LIMIT DESTROYER. He is a husband, has an AAS in Commercial Art Digital Technology and has mentored others in this field as the Computer Graphics Club President. After a decade of experience in Graphic Design, Illustration and more he noticed a gap regarding the manga industry. So, he utilized all his creative skills to produce & self-publish an Afrofuturistic manga that celebrates African culture! A manga that will inspire & empower the next generation of young kings and queens!
Author Interview:1. What inspired me most to write is the gap in representation in manga. As a lifelong fan I've enjoyed seeing heroes of Asian and European descent go on swashbuckling adventures, ninja run and so much more. However, the African characters are either mocked, ridiculed, or annihilated. So, I chose to rewrite the narrative, creating a story that honored African Culture, with Black protagonists and characters so that young black kings and queens reading BOLDSAGA can see themselves authentically reflected and realize the honor, privilege, and majesty of being Black!
2.My favorite genre is Shonen manga. I love the story-lines, the consistent growth over time. The incredibly engaging and unforgettable story writing and worlds that draw you in so you don't want to leave. And I LOVE the action, it's so visceral, so real and authentic, especially with the martial arts styles.
3. One author I admire is Eiichiro Oda, he is the mangaka for One Piece. I love the fact that he writes and draws his manga (at least the living beings, his team handles the rest.) The reason why is that his story has substance over style. Whereas most of my friends mocked One Piece when I was a child, as an adult they realized what I intuited as a child. Under the jolly, silly, slapstick overtone lied deeper machinations. As you delve into the story, you get the most authentic portrayal of a world in a manga. Currently at 998 chapter, which I have all read, One Piece goes over real-world issues, war, history, government, politics, media, chemical weapons, genocide, slavery and so much more. It's so raw, so dark, so crazy that without the jolly and silly overtone it would be a horror story. That's one side. Oda masterfully writes characters that all grow overtime, a team that grows in cohesive power slowly but steadily and creates one of the greatest power systems of all. Currently Oda's masterpiece, One Piece, is valued at well over 20.515 billion. That's why I Eiichiro Oda, he took the time to write a story so incredible, so profound that a child can enjoy it up to (in my opinion) needing a PhD. level mindset to fully explain how the story cohesively works, like Mr. morj does.
4. I overcome blank writing spells by engaging with new information. To be honest I've only had 1 moment I can remember having a writing dry spell. However, by taking Black Sands 90 day book challenge I found out the tools I needed to help transform my ideas into BOLDSAGA chapter 1. That's why Dr. Eric Thomas is right, information changes situations.
5. My legal publishing advice I can give is, copyright first, tell the audience second. Many times, as creatives, we want to get the approval of others. To make sure our ideas are validated. That the story is worth writing. But as Lecrae says, if you live for their acceptance you'll die from their rejection. The fact is, once an idea is put out into the internet or you talk about it, without protecting it, that idea is public domain. So many times, I see new creators show off their OC or tell too much of their story. Why? The reality is that if it's your idea it's worth protecting. That's why in the MCU's first movie Iron-man Obadiah Stane says just because you have an idea doesn't make it yours. The idea will gravitate to whoever will protect it. If God gave it to you, safeguard it, get a copyright. Invest into getting an ISBN and barcode from Bowker. I know all of this because I self-published BOLDSAGA as well as discussed, a topic similar to this earlier this year at Schomburg Black Comic Book Festival during the kick starter breakaway segment on social media and crowdfunding!
6. I have written Chapter 1 of BOLDSAGA. In my mind I am claiming it's a bestseller before it is one! Lol but the reality is it's on the way. Currently BOLDSAGA chapter 1 is all I currently have published, Chapter 2 is in development now
7. If I had the chance to rewrite a movie script it would be Star Wars Episode 1/2. Why? Because Star Wars Episode 1/2 introduces characters like Jar Jar Binks and other aliens whose language is tantamount to a cross between Jamaican/Antiguan/Caribbean patois, Spanish and other languages. As an Antiguan I am annoyed with how they take the colorful and creative way of speaking from the Caribbean and connect it to insipid and irritatingly ignorant characters. The ones who must be saved over and over again. And since most of Episode 1 is whitewashed therein lies the issue. The other ethnicity that show up are utilized under the guise of aliens. This occurs again in episode 2 when the geonosians and other aliens do dental clicks and palatal clicks. These are the same sounds I've heard in Xhosa, seemingly the x, c and q click. They even put neck rings around one of the aliens, showcasing this culture from Africa, Thailand, etc. but not the actual people. I say all that to say That by adding more ethnicity into the story speaking their actual languages and showcasing their culture it would have elevated the movie. I would not make the ethnicity aliens. I would also not make them docile; I would have the ethnicity using their technology cohesively to eradicate their foes, not being easily overwhelmed. After all the ihawu shield was used by JarJar's people so they are referencing Zulu culture. Long story short I would remove racist undertones and add authentic representation with Cultures and show them as people. Making only aliens be animals’ monsters and aliens that look like humans speak either English or with a synthesizer, or European languages.
8. One difficulty I have experienced in my writing career is research and deadlines. I handle criticism well. I have done graphic design for almost 10 years so that prepped me lol! Since my story is based on African Empires and kingdoms, I have to do a lot of research to maintain authenticity and accuracy with the story I'm telling. Since these stories are seldom if ever told, I want to make sure BOLDSAGA exudes Black excellence cover to cover. Which is why it took over 6 months of research and research and even more research to make chapter 1. I was doing research all the way to the end to make sure I was right because at the end of BOLDSAGA chapter 1 I include 4 educational pages going further in depth on the African Empires and even Rulers who contribute or are connected to the story. I said I take criticism well because I had to do multiple spelling corrections before chapter 1 was released, multiple rewrites, multiple redraws and even scaling down the length of chapter 1. I originally wrote it longer and drew it to be over 40 pages, but my wife gave me helpful insight and I scaled it down. On top of all of that I had to resize chapter 24 times to meet amazon kdp guidelines, so much stress. But the end result is a completed book printed in excellent quality!
9. My best experiences in my writing career are when I can see young kings even babies, holding BOLDSAGA and reading it. That is the goal. So that as they get older, they don't have to rely on Marvel, DC, or Shonen Jump to say who they are. They can open BOLDSAGA as they see Masego, Shani and other characters that look like them, resonate with them and be inspired by. I love seeing parents as well as their kids enjoy a story that shows black love as well as black excellence! Just like the marathon continues and we continue the legacy of Nipsey Hussle and Even Chadwick Boseman, so too does BOLDSAGA continue this legacy of authentic Black Excellence that empowers, impacts and inspires young black kings and queens to see and honor their intrinsic worth and value! To realize how special, they truly are and Celebrate Black Excellence without always highlighting Black Pain! 10. I prefer to write with background music playing, preferably no words so I can formulate the words in my mind. I use mood music from trailers. When it's time to write action, I listen to epic cinematic music, when it's time for touching moments, calm dramatic cinematic music. This way the tone of music captures the feelings I aim to evoke with my words and communicates the story authentically!
11. My encouraging words for another author/writer is Grind relentlessly. It may not happen in the time you want but that's ok. If it was easy everyone would be authors. So, as you sacrifice time, sleep, watching the latest movies know that the latter will be greater than the past. That the end result of finishing the book is worth all the tests and trials. Speaking from experience I shouldn't even have finished BOLDSAGA this year. My grandfather passed away and I was part of making the funeral program, banners, etc. Throughout all of that I worked tirelessly on BOLDSAGA. The more pain I felt, the harder I grinded, relentlessly, until I saw BOLDSAGA published and for sale on Amazon. That's why BOLDSAGA begins with a very special quote, one that helped me get through!
12. I did extensive research on my competition to see what they charged and then modified my prices so that I had reasonable pricing. So that the end buyer wasn't over or underpaying. they were paying the exact value of my work! I went about promoting, advertising, and distributing my work by using my skill set. As a graphic designer I created so many posts for social media to showcase the very ethos of the story. Then I turned on my camera and did IG lives, FB lives, to speak to my audience and even strangers on interviews on their social media platforms to get the word out. I then did promotion on my podcast Elevate with to give further insight about the story. I also did a cinematic-style trailer for BOLDSAGA Ch1 with epic music, 3D logo and a blockbuster aesthetic to show the essence of why my target audience needed BOLDSAGA. Basically, my strategy was using what I already knew about the story and contextualizing it for the audience. So, when speaking to parents I showed the educational aspect and the emotional aspect with phrase like, show your sons & daughters heroes that look like them, and so much more. I employed what my brother Grandmaster FAQs said, to just keep talking! To keep talking about your story until you're heard. Even after 10, 20, 99 people ignore your story, yet 1 person resonates with it. You don't need everyone, just day ones who resonate with your story. Then build your tribe!
13. People should read BOLDSAGA because it is the best Afrofuturism Manga of 2020. Firstly It showcases A Black protagonist, Masego Umnatha on his adventure to become the next Anansi like his role model, Shaka Zulu, but must first overcome test, trials and a rite of passage where he finds out what it truly means to be BOLD. My book showcases A Black Nuclear Family for the main character, that tell him that they love him, while also imparting wisdom. It showcases Authentic depictions of Black women, Black men, and black children on Shonen Jump Level Quality (the highest quality, professional standard) It showcases black characters speaking African languages like Xhosa and Khoi. It also authentically showcases African Culture via Adinkra symbols like fawohodie, Osidan, Gye Nyame and more! On top of all of that it melds the best of both worlds Afrofuturism + Manga in one! After having a panel on Why Afrofuturism Matters in Oct with Indie Comic Veterans I truly understand what Afrofuturism is! In addition, as a lifelong manga fan I understand the fact that manga constantly has either stereotypical or racist depictions of black people. So, I, as a black owned business owner, rewrote the narrative to create a story with black centered cast that tells an unforgettably riveting story of resilience, perseverance, family and African Culture. So that young black kings and queens that love manga can finally have a place to enjoy themselves in the manga community without the negative scrutiny of trolls and haters for seeing and portraying themselves as the stereotypical Asian/European hero in manga. After multiple 5-star reviews new readers can see for themselves why BOLDSAGA is such an unforgettable story that you can enjoy again and again! On top of that, with 2020, the pandemic, the tragedies of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor we need stories that uplift, inspire and empower young black kings and queens to overcome the limits life throws at them. This is where BOLDSAGA shines, as it eloquently showcases Black Excellence in the midst of life's challenges, highlighting the incredibly resilient nature of Black people! This book is literally the clapback to 2020!
At the end of the day BOLDSAGA celebrates Black Excellence without always highlighting black pain!
14. I did not apply for one. Instead, I took the 90-day book challenge by Black Sands Entertainment. I failed the course, but I won with my book being released at the right time, 2020.
15. During school I loved multiple subjects like science, math, English but my all-time favorite was art.
16. I am a self-published author, as well the illustrator and marketer for BOLDSAGA. Currently I do all of these roles to gain the deepest insight into every facet of creating my book, almost like a game designer.