Obani u Wena

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The logo for Obani U Wena

Obani U Wena is a webcomic by Karli Martin loosely based on the founding members of The Who. The comic takes place in a game-park in Zambia and follows the lives of four residents of the park (a leopard, an impala, a buffalo, and an elephant) as well as their family and friends. The Who has made occasional appearances in the comic as well as a few dinosaurs and North American animals.

Main characters[edit]

Keith Loon[edit]

Keith Loon is an African Leopard and the youngest out of his group of friends. He is somewhat insane and is also somewhat of a kleptomaniac. He was the first animal in the game park to "own" an iPod and is usually behind any schemes to get out of the game-park. He has one half sister and barely knows his father. The cartoonist has described him as "most fun to draw, least fun to color". Keith is easy to spot out of the other leopards because of the Mod target sign on his chest. He is a big Who fan and is loosely based on Keith Moon. He shares many characteristics with the late drummer, such as his knack for destruction, his drumming ability, and his somewhat odd behavior. He originally used John and occasionally Rog as a straight man, but due to changes in the characters of Rog and John, Peter is now Keith's straight man.

Peter Thompson[edit]

Peter Thompson is an African Elephant. He is the third in age out of the group and is definitely the most level headed. He has been known to occasionally throw his weight around. He has very recently been forced to join Keith on his many misadventures out of the game park, possibly due to the relationship between Rog and John, robbing Keith of his original straight-man. Peter was originally based on Pete Townshend due to the personality and intelligence of the noble creatures (not because of the nose, contrary to popular belief). Peter has some knowledge of the guitar and also has two younger brothers.

Roger "Rog" Dodger[edit]

Rog is an Impala. He is the most uptight out of his four friends. He was closet homosexual until June of 2007 when he came out to Keith accidentally, admitting his feelings for John, his roommate since childhood. Before the time when his homosexuality became apparent, Rog was based on Roger Daltrey, lead singer for The Who. Rog has now evolved to be nothing like his original model. He has been caught singing at times, usually something by Gloria Gaynor or Judy Garland. He is easily distinguished by the other impala that appear in the comic by the cross that he had tattooed on his neck when he was younger. He is always subconsciously afraid that Keith will end up reverting to his natural instincts and eat him.

John Whistle[edit]

John Whistle is an African Buffalo. He is a rather deadpan character but is also the most expressive. He was raised by Rog's family and came out as homosexual in June 2007. He was originally Keith's straight-man and was originally going to have a very dark sense of humor much like his namesake, John Entwistle. Slowly John became a soft-hearted buffalo and it became more and more obvious that he enjoyed the company of his impala roommate. He is normally distinguishable from the other buffalo in the comic by the Union Jack jacket he wears as a reminder of his first encounter with The Who.

Other characters[edit]

Moon Loon[edit]

Moon is Keith's younger half sister. She is a Lionpard and is somewhat precocious. In the early months of the comic, Moon only had one friend as she was not accepted by the lions or the leopards (a reference to miscegenation). Now, with Moon being forced to go to school, she finally has a group of friends (whom the cartoonist based on friends she met through Who concerts and websites). Moon has a slight crush on Peter's younger "brother" Towser and a huge crush on Pete Townshend.


Lennon is a Giraffe. She is one of Moon's best friends. She is an optimistic giraffe, but is also very level headed. She, like Moon, has a huge crush on Pete Townshend. In a comic that only appeared on the site for Pete Townshend's birthday, she and Moon conspired to have Keith give Pete a present from them he was not too keen on giving.


Missy is a Spotted Hyena. She is a very friendly and intelligent friend of Moon. She is also very level headed and is often annoyed by her own kind when she is forced to be around them. She has a huge crush on Roger Daltrey.


Michelle is a Thompson's Gazelle. She is also very intelligent and friendly. She has such a crush on Roger Daltrey that, upon overhearing the possibility of meeting him, she jumped on the chance and proceeded to swoon upon meeting him.


Midnight is an African Wild Dog. He is about three months older than Keith and was a childhood friend of his when Keith lived with his mum south of the river. He knows his way around the game park better than anyone else. He once ran with a pack of wild dogs but they haven't been seen since. He has also been included in Keith's adventures on occasion.

Simon Thompson[edit]

Simon is Peter's biological younger brother. His only aspiration is to be in showbiz. This has gotten him and his friends into a lot of trouble. He is very protective of his "brother" Towser.

Towser Thompson[edit]

Towser is Peter's "brother". He was originally born to a lioness but switched at birth with Simon's twin brother. The Thompson family decided to raise him anyway and the fate of the real Thompson twin is left unknown (though it is assumed he was eaten by his new "mother"). Towser is known as the "most abused" character as he is usually on the receiving end of all of Keith's pranks.


Karli Martin intended Obani U Wena to be a graphic novel called "Kafue" about the animals in the Kafue Game Park in Zambia. The story of Keith, Rog, John, and Peter was going to only be in one chapter called "The Gnu" about an all animal Who tribute band. However, it didn't quite translate to graphic novel form. This was partly due to Karli's self described short attention span.

Karli decided to try and make it into a comic strip with the intention of selling it to her college newspaper. She renamed the comic strip to Obani U Wena after an extensive search for the translation of "Who Are You" (the last album Keith Moon played drums on) in any afican language (she finally settled on Zulu). She took it to the college newspaper and waited for a response. They did not accept it due to the fact that neither Chuck Norris nor ninjas appeared at all.

Karli was desperate to have her comics at least be seen so she began to put them up on the Internet, first on a Geocities site and then on the Tripod incarnation, obani-u-wena.com on December 1, 2006. This site was soon site of the month on The Who Tour.com. In January, Pete Townshend signed the site guestbook, much to the delight of Karli. Then, in February, for reasons that are still unclear, Tripod pulled the site away. Karli scrambled to find a new host and finally found one and created the new official site Obani U Wena.com. It is updated daily unless there are circumstances that prevent her (working overtime, staying out too late, death of friends).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]