His whole life, Jay has craved success. As a talented and ambitious young artist,
Jay attends the best school in his native country of China and becomes a great local success. Knowing there is more out there, and under great pressure from those closest to him, Jay travels to New York seeking the fame and fortune he feels he deserves. However, from the moment he arrives, his dreams and aspirations collapse into nightmares. He starts to run out of money. His girlfriend leaves him. No one in New York pays any attention to his artwork. Things hit bottom when his best friend commits suicide. In short, his world is over. While confused and lost, Jay runs into a stranger that offers him a detour from his troubles. Shang—a writer and vagabond—convinces Jay to hitchhike west along Route 66. As their surroundings change, Jay sees a different side of life. He and Shang join forces with Tony, an army veteran who wears Buddhist monk robes and carries his father’s ashes at all times. Jay and Shang follow him to the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. There, Jay faces death, his past and the chance for renewal.
Detour is a graphic novel based on Jie’s experience as a Chinese immigrant. Jie explores questions of identity, nationality, and alienation through an odyssey across an American landscape that is at once hospitable and hostile. Detour is a journey to the heart of the United States as seen through the eyes of a Chinese artist.
I come from China and graduated from Beijing Film Academy. Now I am an illustrator. I worked for a fashion magazine for three years. I have made great progress both in professional skills and comprehensive abilities. I dream of becoming a comic artist. I came to SVA to learn how to develop my own style of storytelling and better combine illustration with story.