Living in different worlds and separated by an ocean, a father and son try to stay connected through the power of imagination as their distanced lives pull them further apart.
Awale takes a job as a cab driver in Canada’s remote city of Yellowknife in order to provide for his family back home in Gaalkaycyo, Somalia. As his wife Warsan and young son Afrah struggle with his absence, Awale creates a world-building epic inspired by the wonders of his new Arctic home, in order to keep his son close to him.
Afrah dives deep into this magical world of Jaÿrikas, and through his imagination, the myths, legends, and diversity of the north are brought to life in such powerful ways that when tragedy strikes and all the worlds start to collide, Afrah is left with only one choice: to become the King Warrior.
A story spanning the globe both imaginary and real, King Warrior celebrates the turbulent glory of boyhood while encouraging the reader to reconnect with that rich inner palace of youthful imagination that ultimately holds the key to our freedom.
‘King Warrior’s parallel universes, both real and imaginary, illuminate the icy wonders of an Arctic winter and the pain of a young boy living worlds away from his father. A sensitive look at the immigrant experience of one Somalian family, this spectacular debut is an action-packed adventure with unforgettable characters. A belching ptarmigan, the evil and foul-smelling Water Dog. I absolutely love this story!’
– Laurie Sarkadi – Author of “Voice in the Wild a memoir.
‘King Warrior is a truly epic tale. Stunning illustrations perfectly capture the northern landscape, a family full of heart and mythical creatures that are both quirky and ferocious. A page-turning story with a complex young hero struggling to keep his family strong even when they are worlds apart.’
About the creators:
Jay grew up in farm town Ontario, lived in France for a few years and finally made his way up north in 2001. There, he carved out a career as a filmmaker with his company Artless Collective, founded the Dead North Film Festival and learned to hunt. Originally written as a feature film, King Warrior is Jay’s first graphic novel. Jay lives and creates in Yellowknife with his wife Erika and their cats.
Erika grew up in Yellowknife and began her writing career in 2009 directing children’s plays for Yellowknife’s famous Snowking Winter Festival. The North, its animals and her Finnish heritage are the inspirations she draws from. Erika’s first book, “Gus and Pogo go to the Vet” was published in 2011. Erika’s next book “The Last Tree” will be yet another collaboration with the talented Lucas Green.
Lucas is a prairie-boy turned West Coast wanderer. As a freelance animator and illustrator, he creates fantastical worlds for film and TV; this is his first-ever graphic novel. Lucas illustrated the children’s book Tom in a Teacup, and is working on an upcoming sci-fi graphic novel The Constant Star. He lives in Vancouver, BC with his wife, pet dog, and longboard.