Russell Chandonnet

Warriors of the New Dawn

Ever since I was a little tyrant running around my house playing with my GI Joes, I’ve always loved to create characters and dream up adventures. After enlisting in the Army 2011, I have experienced so much that has made me grow as an individual. While working as a Corrections Officer at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men, I fell in love with reading manga. This was when I started to create most of my story ideas and began to build my world. After moving to San Francisco for one year to attend art school, I have since moved back to New Hampshire to attend the Institute of Art and design at New England College for a BFA in Comic Arts. Since my time started at art school, I have taken my manga influence and honed my creative abilities to make the best American manga I can.

The biggest influences of mine where certainly the Shonen Jump animes and Mangas when they first started to premiere in the United States in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The first ones that stick out were “Dragon Ball Z” and “Yu Yu Hakusho”. I was drawn to them for their extremely intense and fierce battle sequences. As I grew older and started to read manga, there was one that stood out from the rest and almost single handedly inspired me to pursue this dream of creating my own story. This influence is none other than Eiichiro Oda’s “One Piece”. This story has it all from great comedy and funny gags to heart stopping fights between unique characters with crazy powers to the wonderful adventure of sailing around this magical world. I have taken a lot of inspiration from this and other forms of storytelling to create an adventurous story that follows a young warrior and his band of friends.

My story titled “Warriors of the New Dawn” follows a lot of the themes found in Shonen mangas. The world is pretty expansive and has taken many years to get everything in line. The story follows Jack Dawn, a boy who break a magic stone that gave him the power of light, as well as his gifted friends as they go on a continuous search for the most powerful stone said to exist. Along the way of course they will have to overcome obstacles and battle powerful foes who aim for the same prize of becoming the strongest. Along with these themes and plot devices, there is one major overarching theme or moral is proving your doubters wrong by navigating the rough roads in life to accomplish your dreams.

While gaining experiences as an infantryman in the United States Army and as a Corrections Officer for the NHDOC, I have a better understanding for what these fields entail and that causes me to be a better writer. I will use this workplace knowledge to better my story that is focused mostly in military terms. Through life experiences, the great manga influences and the drive to create this original story, I know someday I will get to share this world I’ve created with the world we live in, all the while proving my own doubters wrong in the process. 

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See more at: @russell_chandonnet_art

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