A CHALLENGE is inspired by the 1964 private match between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man in San Francisco’s Chinatown, mythologized by martial arts fans for decades. This fictional story re-imagines the circumstances leading to this mysterious and controversial fight, centering around the relationship between three friends: martial arts prodigy Jack Wong (inspired by Wong Jack Man), his volatile roommate Frank Yuen, and dancer/actress Nancy Wing.
Jack is counter-balanced by the free-spirited Frank as they vie for the attention of the charming Nancy. Each of them are struggling to define themselves as young adults in this new world. Their lives are immediately affected after witnessing a martial arts demonstration by the charismatic Bruce Lee at a local theater. Tensions between the four main characters eventually lead to Jack challenging Bruce to a “friendly match of skills”. After the fight, Jack, Bruce, Nancy, and Frank are forced to reckon with the ramifications.
I’m Jeremy Arambulo, a cartoonist based in Los Angeles. My previous comics include the “Rogue Soup & Bug” graphic novel with Kaiju Big Battel, comic art for the Emmy-nominated HBO Documentary “Superheroes”, and many years of minicomics and anthology contributions.
A CHALLENGE took over 4 years to research, write, and draw all 224 pages. My main purpose was to tell an Asian-American story, expressing some personal themes and experiences within a historical fiction. I also wanted to examine Asian-American masculinity, through Bruce Lee’s bravado and notorious temper, Frank’s insatiable desire to exert his physical dominance, and Jack’s struggle to honestly express himself.
Growing up as a nerdy Asian kid in New York, I was always fascinated with the intense level of self-confidence, skill, and charisma it took for Bruce Lee to rise to prominence during his time in the 1960’s-70s. Since then, I spent a lifetime desperate to see myself in any form of media. I'm happy to finally see more representation in recent years through a great variety of platforms. A CHALLENGE is my attempt at creating a story I always wanted to experience and I hope this Kickstarter is the first step in sharing it with you.
2̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ [UNLOCKED!]: My first graphic novel, “Rogue Soup & Bug” will be available to purchase! This book’s been out-of-print for years and Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle longs to wreak havoc on the bookshelves once again.
3̶,̶0̶0̶0̶: [UNLOCKED!] My 2nd book, “Let’s Do This” will be available to purchase! Like “Rogue Soup”, this collection of my minicomics and anthology contributions has been long out-of-print. Some of my personal favorite comics work are contained here.
4̶,̶0̶0̶0̶: [UNLOCKED!] CUSTOMIZED PORTRAITS! Send me a photo of yourself, along with a character request (can be a character from "A Challenge", a character of your choosing, or simply a solo pose) and I will create a high-res printable digital drawing of your request. Please keep requests simple. I reserve the right to refuse any request I consider inappropriate or offensive.
Video shot by Norbert Shieh.
Music by Bad in Bed.
Risks and challenges
A CHALLENGE is finished and ready to print. This campaign will supply the funds to print the book. Original art commissions may be delayed depending on the requests and potential stretch goal achievements. Please feel free to contact me with any questions at jeremy [at] jeremyarambulo.comLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)