Boston-based artist and illustrator Cagen Luse is the originator of Lunch Time ComiX, a biographical rendering of his family and growing up and living as a “racially ambiguous artist, father, foodie, sci-fi nerd and husband.” He is also a member of Comics In Color (CiC), an organization that promotes comics by and about people of color in Boston who love comics and comic book making. We recently caught up with Cagen to ask him a few questions about his work.
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever drawn?
I think the most exciting thing I have ever drawn was the first image from the Americana Noir series I did a few years ago. It was an illustration series based on historic photographs from the Library of Congress from the early 1900s. The first was an image of a sugar cane worker in Louisiana in 1900. I had just read a story about the extremely difficult lives of Sugar Cane workers. It was an amazing image to work from that started me on this journey to put my work out into the world and try to make an impact through art.
What’s the most surprising response to your comics you’ve ever received?
The most surprising response was from woman who recognized me on the street as the creator of LunchTime ComiX and she was really excited to meet me. She said that my comics on the Racially Ambiguous experience really made her feel that her experiences were valid and she was not alone in them. It still surprises me that my comics have affected people in such a positive way.
The unauthorized biography of your life is titled:
Finding Cagen: One Racially Ambiguous Man’s Journey to Find his Voice.
If forced to choose, would you be a magic marker, a crayon, or a #2 pencil?
I have always loved pencil. It was the first thing I used to draw and I still start all my artwork with a pencil sketch. I carry my pencil with me everywhere.
What do you listen to while you create?
I like to listen to mostly 90s Hip hop and R&B. But sometimes I like to listen to Nerdy podcasts like “For All Nerds.”
Next for my own personal work is a sci-fi adventure comic and producing Boston Comics in Color Festival a Comics Arts Festival for people of color right here in Boston!