By Alex Wilson
Sons Of Fate is an independent book, which is written and drawn by Jean-Paul Deshong. The story flows through the pivotal time in ancient Japanese history and is a perfect example of period story telling in the comic book medium. I had a chance to talk with Deshong about Sons of Fate.
Alex Wilson: What drew you to the older oriental setting of the book?
Jean-Paul Deshong: I have always been fascinated in the lifestyle of the samurai. Their beliefs, way of life, and moral code, to me was some of the most fascinating lore in history. In creating a book, it has to start with some thing that greatly interest the creator. The dream idea if you will. Mine was creating a samurai graphic novel… with a twist.
AW: What research did you do in preparation as writer and artist?
JPD: The story takes place mainly in Japan, and is in the Tokugawa era, so firstly I had to research that era extensively. Form anything and everything from clothing to hairstyles, bushido stances, etc.,.. ..I wanted to make sure the book had and kept a real authenticity. Beyond that there are other themes tackled, including the history of trade exploration, and countries involved. Slavery also plays a key. All of these things had to be researched as well. I pretty much researched everything down to the Kamau’s name (which means silent warrior) in order to make sure it kept a grounded level.
AW: What works have inspired your and why?
JPD: There are a ton a of inspirational standpoints that helped me to create Sons Of Fate. Growing up a kid in the 80’s i had the greats like Byrne, Golden, Adams, and Miller to name a few. I was also a huge fan of Anime then and now. I’m told i have a anime flair to my work. I don’t see it, but I won’t deny it. I am a fan of classical artist, pop culture artist in general also influenced me.
AW: What do you hope readers will take away from Sons of Fate?
JPD: I want everyone who reads Sons Of Fate to realize that it is something more than just trilogy of books. Although in comic format, in creating Sons Of Fate, I wanted to make something different than a superhero comic. There are sooooo many people doing a great job at that, I felt that to dip my finger in that creative pot would no only be a disservice to the myself, and those interested in reading my book, but to the industry as well. In creating the story I wanted Sons Of Fate to be intertwining: The graphic novels being the main core stories, but also the web series extending and continuing the main story with parallels stories all made to give the reader a greater understanding on Sons Of Fate‘s characters. Both giving ongoing story content for the entire three year run of the series.
Although the planned books that come after Sons Of Fate, will not be a samurai book, but is contained in one universe. The narrative will continue and the reader will see how Sons Of Fate has influenced the other books that proceed. I want the reader to have universe, cohesive, and complex. One that contains stories that drive the human condition. I want the reader to experience those feeling and see that through the conflict, and strife, there remains a core mantra to whatever story I tell. In Sons Of Fate is the idea that regardless of a persons success’ and failures, and no matter how random things may seem, there are reasons and outcomes that justify those events.
You can check out the art work of Deshong along with Sons of Fate at blackberryjuice.net.