IVY HUONG NGUYEN was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, and immigrated to America with her family at the age of 10. She is currently attending the University of California, San Diego, surrounded by creatives and beautiful sunsets. Ivy has always found solace through various kinds of creative mediums, whether it be creative writing, filmmaking, photography, graphic design, or digital art. This is the first comic that she has ever created.
It’s been such a joyful and enlightening experience dipping my toes into the field of comics. I’ve only done creative work relating to other media in the past (i.e. filmmaking, photography, etc). This was actually my first time trying comics because I wanted to visually express the piece without adapting it into a screenplay or simply keeping it in a conventional text format. And I’ve done some personal artwork before on a physical canvas, but this was also my first time experimenting with digital art.
“Capistrano” is a name that I used to personify Capistrano Beach, or San Juan Capistrano in general. It was originally inspired by my experience taking the train up North toward Los Angeles to visit home, and when the train was reaching San Juan Capistrano, I could not help but become mesmerized by all the beauty and simplicity that it had to offer. I tried to capture the exact feeling at the moment that Capistrano Beach was flashing before my eyes and the sun was setting, and this prose came out. So I chose the word “Capistrano” as the word that accurately describes the contradictions that exist between all of my emotions.
“Capistrano” is a term I created to describe my experience with loneliness, feeling out of place, depression; an experience that is often reduced to “sadness” by many people who aren’t so familiar with what it entails, and what it means to different people. I realized, at the time, that there was a feeling that I couldn’t describe; that even though I could recognize and see that the world in front of me was beautiful, I couldn’t help but feel empty inside. “Capistrano” helps me describe the feeling of being out of place in this world, a never-ending cycle; hence the line “then tomorrow will come, and she will stand, waving at us again.” It helps me describe the helplessness that I was facing while seeing something so beautiful that I could not feel or experience wholeheartedly. No matter how much I tried to understand and recognize the beauty of this world, I could not help but feel distant and out of place. In the end, just as the train quickly passed by the beautiful San Juan Capistrano, I realized that I have been wasting away my youth–not truly feeling all the beautiful emotions that were supposed to be felt at the time when they were offered. And the cycle continues.
Want to be considered for future installments of The New Comics? Send your work to Comics Curator Keith McCleary via the Entropy submissions page.