Writer and Artist in Los Angeles
For years, I’ve spent my life exploring the art of storytelling both visually and in the written word. Having also been a diehard fan of comic books and graduating last year with a partially finished thesis novel, I’m excited to announce my plans to release a graphic novel version of “Soledad.” The story, which I’ve already written about 250 pages worth of material for my master’s program, follows Anthony “Mute” Soledad, a member of the Far East Boys, and Asian-American gang in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond. Growing tired of a life filled with violence and crime, Anthony meets a woman who reminds him of the life he’d long yearned for, and develops a relationship that puts him at a crossroad in which he must choose between the life he wants and the life that was determined for him.
Let me share with you some concept art with that I hope will give you an idea of what I have in store.
Meet the Far East Boys. What I find interesting about Asian-American gangs is not just the fact that I too am Asian-American, but also that they are unlike any other gangs of any other race. Many Latino or African-American gang members are often forced into their lives of crime because of poverty, rough neighborhoods, etc., but not so with Asian-American gang members. A lot of them come from the suburbs, even getting A’s in school or going to college, but join gangs–sure for similar reasons–but more times than not for a sense of pride in a country where they still feel like the outsiders, operating in the dark and exploiting the idea that they are seen as model citizens.
Here’s a preview of the main character, Anthony “Mute” Soledad, and the woman who changes everything for him.
And here’s Anthony again, the lonely protagonist. I intend the art to remain black-and-white, using inks and watercolor to emphasize a sense of longing.
The graphic novel will feature mostly Asian-American characters, something relatively rare in comic books, but will try to avoid the traditional motifs prevalent in stories that depict Asian-Americans, i.e. the otherness of their culture. The plan as of yet is to release the novel in issues–so, not really a graphic novel yet–but compiled after all are released, so that we won’t have to wait months. The issues will also be available digitally as early as February, through platforms such as Amazon and Comixology with potential for print versions to be later released.
In the meantime, keep up with any updates via my new website: www.nathanielcayanan.com (Note: please don’t judge me for having a whole website with my name as its heading. I am told it is the best way for me to get the news out about my projects.) or follow me on Twitter: @n8thnielcayanan or my Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/NathanielCayanan.