It’s not a seahorse, it’s not a ship, it’s a cow – a squid cow. Hold your fins, that’s just Squid Comic of the Week! This week’s comic is Red Hunter by Kolanut Productions.
Know anything about the Mole-Dagbani, Naa Gbewaa or Tohazie? No? Then you’re in for a wild ride. KolaNut Productions’ Red Hunter webtoon takes a stab at reimagining the Dagomba founder, Tohazie.
The Red Hunter, Tohazie, was a great hunter of the 15th century. No enemy or animal could escape his arrows. He is believed to have fought many wars undefeated. Now asleep deep underground for decades, he was awakened by a sound. Upon resurfacing into a NeoAfrican future his descendants the Dagombas, now a small meek family that lives in a forgotten slum help him adapt. The past and future constantly merge as Tohazie tries to make sense of this new world and his lost legacy.
Red Hunter Background Info
Initial Release: February 20, 2021
Creators: Obichukwu Udeh
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Kolanut Productions
One thing that stood out for me was the amount of work that went into the research and culture appropriateness for this webcomic. It was so on point it felt out of this world to have a Nigerian studio tell a Ghanaian story so well. The diction is easy to take in with translations for the uninitiated in the Dagomba dialect.
Imagine in the distant future, we have a northern Ghana that has hover-bikes and hyper-jump buses for a transport system, that’s an environment worth living in and that’s what is known as NeoAfrica. An area with advanced technology but a rift with the foundation of an endangered ethnic group ready for revolt. The premise is so relatable, it can be traced to current happenings, there is still tribal unrest in the north of Ghana to this day.
My preferred takeaways will be portrayal of the fusion of juju and technology, colourful shea butter and the Juju Crimes Department, a police department that investigates crimes committed using unlawful juju quite practical consideration the public lynching of witches in modern Ghana. I was in total awe when Granny gave a last-minute showdown summoning of the great Tohazie’s spirit and the marvelous reflex defense move she gave to conclude the last episode for the season.
There were some really cool re-imaginations of tech. Bicycles, scooters and motorbikes are common in northern Ghana, and I was excited to see the incorporation of gourds as wheels on the bikes. Not sure about the physics of it but I loved it.
I loved the concept of merging Juju with electronics and especially for the Juju Crimes Unit. There’s a part in the story where the villain gloats about his Juju-cyborg combo and that totally knocked my knickers off! I won’t spoil it further, you should go read the comic to catch it.
The art wasn’t up there for me because my expectations for a Tohazie inspired story should have some pumped up designs, not over the top though. I wanted to be wowed beyond measure with the landscapes and fight scenes but what was offered wasn’t below par at all. The episodes were also pretty short.
I detected some slight cultural, religious and geographic inaccuracies in the depictions of the north. But, that could just be creative liberty at play. Then again, given what I know of Dagomba-Gonja relations, this might not go down well with most northerners, especially those who are rooted in the past. I would have loved to see more interpretations of northern architecture beyond the one panel that was teased in the very beginning.
A curious issue I had with this webtoon is why some people still dressed like what you’d see in a Nollywood movie about pre-colonial eras. As much as I enjoyed some of the fashion choices, others left much to be desired.
The other thing that struck me as odd is that the north isn’t such an arid region that there’ll be water shortages in a future Africa, where tech is better, and many improvements. This sounds like a perpetuation of a stereotype I had growing up until I lived there for a year.
Infinity and Beyond ?
It was quite an interesting read. This webcomic makes me think of what the future holds for the advancement of technology and how that will clash with humans’ primary urge to survive.
There is probably more in store in the second chapter of the plight of the Dagombas. Hopefully, Kolanut Productions pulls out an unexpected ploy and satisfy us as soon as possible.
Until we meet again, For Dagomba.
I’m excited for the Juju Crimes Unit and really want to see how exactly they tackle Juju-enabled crimes. That’s bound to be a fun roller-coaster.
Tohazie has been teased through all the chapters but is yet to make an appearance. Let’s just say I’m more than ready to see this Ghanaian mythological hero come to life.
Red Hunter is part of the NeoAfrican Comic Universe (NCU for short), an interconnected universe in the fashion of the MCU that Kolanut Productions is building on Webtoon. I’m excited to see how all of these link together, especially on Kisi the Electron Girl, another webtoon set in Ghana as well.
Where to read Red Hunter
Red Hunter is available to read on Webtoon.