Basi Affia Opens The First Black-Owned Motion Comic Book Company In Iowa

Basi Affia is setting the tone for Black comic book fans nationwide.

The Des Moines Register reports Affia has launched Sensi’il Studios L.L.C., a motion comic studio in Iowa, where creativity and the love of comic books combine and come to life. Affia says he wants the business to be “a central point for Black and minority comics in Iowa,” and really he wants to tell futuristic stories of people of color. “That’s why I chose sci-fi,” Affia said. “To show like, ‘Hey, minorities and Black people and members of the Pan African diaspora. We have a future.”

According to Little Village Magazine, a motion comic brings a comic book to life using animation, digital effects, voice-over, sound effects, and other storytelling tools. Producing a motion comic is a little different than using still-image stories, but Affia says he welcomes the challenge. “This is just me kind of testing out the waters, learning the system,” Affia said. “I loved it! It was definitely a learning process.”

The studio’s first production is “Lost With All Hands — The Motion Comic,” based on an original comic book written by Affia with the same title. The comic tells the story of The Achilles spaceship with the Kuppa Initiative’s fifth fleet. Things take a turn when monstrous aliens overtake their fleet.

While the characters and those who voice them represent diversity in the genre, the studio stands by the seven pillars of Kwanzaa – Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, and Imani. Affia seeks to bring “representation to the science fiction and fantasy genres. At Sensi’il Studios, we want to heal from the past and see the future,” Affia said. “We want to see people of color among the stars in all their cultural glory and highlight ethnicities that have yet to see the limelight.”

Standing on these principles has allowed Affia, who also goes by Aniekan White, to adapt African languages into his dialogue. He has also included different African stories in his work, including some stories released earlier this year. Aaru En Duat tells the tale of a young princess who goes on a colonization project to escape from under her father. RetCom: Rogues is a story of a dystopian fight between deadly mercenaries.