The founders, donors, and board of Creators for Creators are proud to announce Wale Matuluko as the recipient of our final grant for his project The Ones With Wicked Heads (Àwọn Olóríburúkú), an intimate look at a young boy facing a monumental choice.
Matuluko’s been a comics fan since he was very young. “Comics have always been around me,” he said. “When I was much younger, everyone was reading either superhero comics, Archie comics, Supa Strikas, or anything else we could get our hands on.” Doodling as a kid gave way to making things as an adult, and indie comics opened a new doorway for creativity for him. With The Ones With Wicked Heads, Matuluko seeks to use real-life inspiration to dig into the myriad ways that the supernatural can affect our lives, and the ways we find to survive.
Nick Dragotta praised Matuluko’s work. “When I first read Wale Matuluko’s The Ones With Wicked Heads, I was drawn in. His bold lines create a distinctly detailed and believable world. It’s effective for a comic that plays with our perceptions in a story that takes us between myth and reality. I can’t wait to read the completed work.”
Creators for Creators is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization intended to encourage, support, and promote original works through grants and education. Once a year, a $30,000 grant is awarded to a single cartoonist or writer/artist duo in order to support the creation of a new and original work of a length between sixty-four and one hundred pages. The recipient is selected by a committee of comics creators according to rigorous criteria.
Previous recipients include M. Dean for the project I Am Young in 2017, Desvitio for David’s Gate in 2018, Shobo and Shofela Coker for Outcasts of Jupiter in 2019, and skelehime for The Acorn in 2020. Recipients of the grant have total control over how and where they choose to publish their project once it is completed, as long as they retain the rights to their work.
The Creators for Creators grant was fully funded and operated by a group of comics creators who seek to give back to their community. You can find more information about the grant at http://creatorsforcreators.org, though this year is its final year of operation. Follow Matuluko on Instagram and Twitter.
CREATORS FOR CREATORS: Congratulations, Wale, on being the 2022 recipient of the Creators for Creators Grant. Please tell us a little bit about yourself!
WALE MATULUKO: Hello, and thank you! I’m Wale Matuluko, a writer and artist from Lagos, Nigeria, where I’ve lived pretty much all my life. I’m a bit obsessed with making things and engaging with things other people make. So a good part of my life is spent interacting with comics, cinema, music, books, visual art, food etc. I like a lot of stuff, and in a weird way, that’s the best way to describe me.
CREATORS FOR CREATORS: What initially drew you to comics? What keeps you making them?
WALE MATULUKO: Comics have always been around me. When I was much younger, everyone was reading either superhero comics, Archie comics, Supa Strikas, or anything else we could get our hands on. As kids, we just passed books around from whoever bought them till they got torn or disappeared somehow. So, inspired by the stuff I read, I used to make these comics that rarely ever got finished, in little notebooks, as a kid who could draw. However, I never really saw myself making one professionally until I discovered indie comics, read stories that captured my attention like nothing else, and consequently realized how expressive the medium was and how much you could do with it. “How much” being that you can tell any kind of story you want, rendered visually, without any limitations besides the artist’s pen. That’s an amazing thing, and it’s why I’m specifically interested in comics. I’m also involved with film, and when I think about my location and the kind of budgetary limitations we face by default here, I get excited about the existence of this creative outlet: comics.
CREATORS FOR CREATORS: You mentioned wanting to tell “authentic Nigerian stories” in your proposal. What makes a story authentically Nigerian to you?
WALE MATULUKO: The simplest way to put it would be: a Nigerian story that’s primarily inspired by real life and real people. It sounds like that would be every story, but I personally feel that there’s actually not enough of that kind of story out there. So I’d like to try and tell a few.
CREATORS FOR CREATORS: Any final words you’d like to share with your readers?
WALE MATULUKO: I’d just like to say that I’m honoured to have this opportunity, extremely grateful to everyone involved with the Creators for Creators Grant, and very excited to begin work on the book. Thank you.