|Marguerite Abouet was born in Abidjan in 1971. At the age of 12, she was sent with her older brother to study in France under the care of a great uncle. She now lives in Romainville, a suburb of Paris, where she works as a legal assistant and writes novels she has yet to show to publishers. Aya is her first comic. It taps into Abouet’s childhood memories of Ivory Coast in the 1970s, a prosperous, promising time in that country’s history, to tell an unpretentious and gently humorous story of an Africa we rarely see--spirited, hopeful and resilient.
Clément Oubrerie was born in Paris in 1966. After a stint in art school he spent two years in the United States doing a variety of odd jobs, publishing his first children’s books and serving jail time in New Mexico for working without papers. Back in France, he went on to a prolific career in illustration. With over 40 children’s books to his credit, he is also co-founder of the 3-D animation studio, Station OMD. A drummer in a funk band in his spare time, he still travels frequently, especially to Ivory Coast. In Aya, his first comic, Oubrerie’s warm colors and energetic, playful line connect expressively with Abouet’s vibrant writing.