In this series, we sit down with teen readers and artists to learn more about what connects them to the comic.
Behind Trinity City Comics is a team of adult and teen artists with a set of shared values, all investigating common questions: How do we take care of our communities, and call out those who put communities in danger? How do people with resources help those without?
Trinity City takes a “hero’s journey” through an Afro-Futurist New Orleans in search of justice, police transformation and a world with human rights for all. Written for youth ages 12-18, this comic tells a gripping story and includes activities and strategies to help youth create conversation about a future of policing that provides safety for all.
Keith Singleton is a YAYA resident artist and student at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. He dreams of being a well-known professional comic book artist, and one day wants to own his own franchise. Read on to learn more about Keith and his experience collaborating on Trinity City!
As a child, Keith found his passion for art through drawing characters from his favorite video games and cartoons. He’s always found it interesting to see which characters’ designs change throughout time, and which ones keep their iconic looks.
Keith has been a fan of comics since middle school. “I always thought of them as an art form, too,” he said, “telling stories with art.” He often notices characters’ dynamic poses in each panel, and how relatable even superhero characters often are.
One of Keith’s contributions to Trinity City is the character Marcus (he/him). Marcus is the son of a councilman, and yearns to explore Trinity City outside of what he has always known. He also has asthma and epilepsy, which come along with asthma attacks and seizures.
In working with the other youth artists and professional artists, Keith has learned more about character development. His own approach to character building starts with backstory, which goes hand-in-hand with the character’s design.
When asked what inspires him artistically, Keith was quick to mention other people’s art and the stories of how they create their work: "I always like to look at other Black creators’ artwork, like comics and animated shows." He also described the impact his involvement in YAYA had on him: “YAYA brought me to a place where I could believe in myself,” Keith said, “and where I could grow [as an artist] and become well known.”
What's next for Marcus in Trinity City Issue 2? Keith can't say for sure, but he "can see him following his dad’s legacy, but with a different intention,” he said, which includes securing healthcare for people living in Trinity City, especially those with disabilities. He can see Marcus becoming "a hero of the city in his own right."