Juni Ba’s new graphic novel Djeliya: A West African Fantasy Epic is a dazzling display of contemporary African cartooning and Africanfuturistic storytelling. Djeliya is the story of two humbled royal elites—Awa Kouyaté, a female Djeli, or griot/counselor to the king, and Mansour Keita, disgraced son of Kouyaté’s deposed sovereign—on a desperate mission to restore their kingdom, which was destroyed by a mysterious wizard in a tower. Irresistibly complex and funny, Ba’s vividly illustrated tale combines African folklore, history, and mythology (including spirits and talking animals), with western sci-fi, visionary technology, and a crazy Africanized sense of humor straight out of Mad magazine (or maybe Evan Dorkin). In this seven-page excerpt we meet Kouyaté and Keita as they begin their unlikely quest with a meeting with a corrupt anthropomorphic wild pig warlord. Djeliya: A West African Fantasy Epic by Juni Ba will be published by TKO Studios in July.