We spoke with Tristan Whitehouse of Art Knight Studios! He’s currently part of Accidental Aliens Comic Anthology which had it’s orgins at San Diego Comic Fest. He’ll also be part of a panel, Drawing Inspiration on Thursday July 19, from 3-4pm in room 29AB. Let’s catch up with Tristan and all that is going on at Art Knight Studios!
Let’s start with the intro.. What is Art Knight Studios?
Art Knight Studios is the ‘company’ name my wife Krystle and I use for our collective artworks; years ago it began as Art Night, when we would get together with friends (now moved out of state) after work and draw. It evolved into “Knight” after one friend, Dan, wore his hand-built suit of armor into a Starbucks and hilarity ensued. The biggest project we’ve done under the Art Knight Studios brand so far is an Avatar: The Last Airbender fancomic which is available to read online (free, of course) at TashiAndNima.com. It follows a what-if scenario of two Airbender kids who survive the attack on the Northern Air Temple, and escape into the Earth Territories. Working on this has really been a gateway drug for both of us, into producing our own original comics.
You also have a kickstarter for Accidental Aliens Comic Anthology… what brought this idea along? Were there any reservations putting a project up on kickstarter?
So the Accidental Aliens are a group of illustrators and writers that I met in late 2016. Most of them met each other at San Diego Comic Fest, a small local convention that’s put on by Mike Towry (one of the original San Diego Comic Con founders). When I first joined the art group, they had just finished their first annual comic anthology, but they invited me in for this year’s. I didn’t have any hesitations since they had already put together a really cool project and I was excited to put some of my own work out there.
You have your own SciFi original comic The Adventures of Terrik Zion… which has some gorgeous art, are you enjoying doing your own comic?
Why, thank you! I really appreciate that. I absolutely am, it’s a blast! The Adventures of Terrik Zion is a story I’ve had in development since I was in high school; I’m a huge sci-fi nerd and this project is essentially my love letter to all of the Sci Fi media I grew up with. My six page entry in the Accidental Aliens Anthology 2018 are actually an excerpt from my full Terrik Zion book 1, which is in production now. The pencils are complete for the 32-page book and I expect to have it inked and colored by the end of the year, or early 2019. (Look for a Kickstarter when that happens!)
You are also doing a panel this year at SDCC, where is it and what is it?
It’ll be the Drawing Inspiration panel, Thursday July 19, from 3-4pm in room 29AB. The aforementioned Accidental Aliens art group and I will be telling our story of how a local group of illustrators can band together and help inspire each other to get our work produced and into print, as well as how individual talents can be brought to the table to help produce and promote our indie comics. It’s my first time being on a panel at any con, and a childhood dream come true!
Are you bringing anything special to SDCC 2018?
Generally speaking, no, I try to pack pretty light these days. I used to haul everything and the kitchen sink around with me on the off-chance that I’d need it, but all I ever got from that was sore feet! Specifically on Sunday, I’ll bring my Terrik Zion boards up to the portfolio review area in the Sails Pavilion to have those looked at.
What sets SDCC apart from other cons?
I think the rate of growth and it’s overall scope is really what sets it apart. I remember being in high school and just walking up to the ticket counter the day of, and getting a badge for the day! But now that it fills the convention center to capacity, it spills out to satellite locations and whole swaths of town become auxiliary events. My secret wish is that they would do SDCC for the entire month of July, and have themed weeks: TV/Animation, Movies, Comics, and Video Games.
What do you recommend visitors to San Diego definitely check out?
It’s probably not a very unique answer, but definitely hit up local restaurants and breweries. Specific to Comic Con, definitely check out my panel! Haha, no I’m kidding, but I will say, in regards to panels, check out the educational panels. They might not have the glitz and glamour of Hall H, but they always have great panelists and are easier to get into. There’s loads of insight to be gained from the folks sitting on those stages.
What’s a typical day like for you at SDCC? Is there a typical?
I don’t know if I could call any day at SDCC typical, but I definitely prep everything I need the night before, wake up as early as is reasonable, and have coffee with a high-protein breakfast. I take the trolley into downtown because it’s just the most efficient way to go, and MTS does a really good job of having them run every few minutes. Once I’m at the show, anything goes. Krystle and I will have a general list of panels we’d like to see, but also backup plans in case we can’t get in to one. And I try to make my way through Artist Alley and Small press slowly through the entire weekend so I don’t miss anything.
What’s one thing you are looking forward to at SDCC 2018?
I’m going crazy looking forward to the panel I’ll be on, but that goes without saying! I’m really looking forward to seeing friends from out of town, buying some indie comics in Artist Alley an Small Press, and getting feedback from the pros in portfolio review.
What’s next for you after SDCC 2018?
After SDCC 2018 ends, I’ll spend a week digesting the whole experience, and then immediately start looking forward to SDCC 2019 haha! But seriously, as far as conventions go, I’ll almost certainly attend Long Beach Comic Con, and if my schedule cooperates, Palm Springs Comic Con. Besides that, I’ll be continuing work on The Adventures of Terrik Zion book one, and once the art is complete, I’ll be launching a Kickstarter to fund a limited print run. In early 2019 I’ll be returning to San Diego Comic Fest to table and promote Terrik Zion, (and again depending on my schedule), I’d like to start tabling at Wondercon.