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Meet Alyx White

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyx White.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I was a young, scrappy child, I made small stapled comic books with short stories about kids going on magical adventures, exploring mysterious forests, and learning magic spells. I grew up on Harry Potter, Disney and Ghibli movies, and Nancy Drew and my little-kid brain decided that I was going to grow up, go to SCAD, and figure out what kind of cool fantasy stories I was going to tell.

After being briefly sidetracked by a scholarship to study art therapy (super rad subject, but not my thing), I then transferred to SCAD and was reacquainted with comics and everything I loved about storytelling. I’ve had ideas buzzing around in my skull for years, but my professors really helped me figure out the best way to put all these characters, settings, and plots on paper.

I’m extremely introverted and the idea of speaking to a large (or small) group of people makes me want to shrivel into nothing and disappear. But the thing that really sold me on studying comics was how they can be used to communicate with an audience. Comics are a form of communication that can express ideas in a way no other medium can. It’s fast, (hopefully) interesting to look at, and almost anyone at any age can understand it. I struggle to find the right things to say on a daily basis, but comics allow me to literally illustrate ideas and feelings that I can’t speak out loud. This is usually difficult to explain since comics as an art form isn’t always taken as seriously as others, but that hasn’t deterred me from creating the comics I want to see more of in the world. I’m writing comics based in fantasy settings with a diverse cast of characters who go on adventures, encounter rad monsters, and explore ancient temples.

Today, I’m working on a comic pitch (which is as exhausting as it is terrifying) to send to publishers and hope someone likes it enough to give me a chance. If nothing bites, self-publishing is the backup plan.

Has it been a smooth road?
Anxiety and depression are the WORST. Dealing with anxiety has kept me extremely busy for most of my young adult life so far and to say that I’m a workaholic would be an understatement. Working two jobs (one for a photography studio and the other for a professional cosplayer/costume designer) on top of trying to break into the comics industry can be draining. This may not be the best way to deal with it, but it’s what works for me. I try my best to keep learning and to keep striving to improve myself and my skills. I’ve also been very fortunate that my family has been so supportive.

The world can be a scary place to me so most of my comics are very much an escape from real life. Focusing on building new stories and characters is a great way for me to direct my attention on something other than my worries and fears. This leads to a large amount of time researching architecture and mythology, writing excessively about a character’s back story and personality, and creating huge story/plot timelines that span centuries (and takes up most of the space on my walls). Character building is also very important to me. I try to construct main characters that twelve-year-old me could have looked up to. Several stories in media usually have a clear “hero” and a clear “villain”, but real life isn’t always like that. The world can be very gray and I try to mirror that in the people that I write about. My protagonists have flaws, bad habits, and fears. My antagonists are still relatable and they still have feelings, even if their goals don’t match up with the status quo. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. That’s one of the messages that I needed to hear as a child and it’s a message I hope to communicate with my own comics.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Alyx White – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
After tabling at several comic conventions, I’ve been told several times that my art and stories brought a smile to someone’s face because it was simple, clean, and completely escapist in nature. I focus a lot of my attention on the environments that my characters reside in. In comics, the background/environment of the story can be just as complex as the main character. My environment or the building I’m in will capture my attention way before a person does. I minored in art history and, while I’m no expert on the subject, it helped me to appreciate and study the buildings and structures we surround ourselves with and why. Whether it be a character’s home or a crumbling ruin, environments breathe life into stories and they are the perfect place to hide some crazy lore. Noticing something in a comic panel’s background that becomes important later on is one of my favorite things and this is something I try to implement in my own work.

I like to think that I specialize in elaborate environments since they are one of the things people usually notice about my art first. It gives the audience (and me) a place to imagine ourselves in and I want to continue to improve in making my comics as immersive and inviting as possible. I struggle to find a sense of contentment on a day to day basis, so drawing cool settings with characters I like and lots of plants brings me some form of comfort. It may seem like a way-too-simple endeavor, but I feel that I must write the stories that I (and my younger self) want to read. While I always enjoy a good murder mystery novel, nothing pulls at my heartstrings more than a ragtag group of kids running around in the woods to fight monsters, fulfill a prophecy, or just good old fashioned adventuring. Simple fantasy antics at their finest. Comics are for everybody and I want my own to be inclusive and have a positive impact on readers. If people are able to read my comics and feel like they’ve been able to escape from real life, even for just a few minutes, that will be good enough for me.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
My least favorite part of Atlanta, to no one’s surprise, is the traffic.

The best part about Atlanta are the conventions like DragonCon, MomoCon, and Anime Weekend Atlanta that take place. Other than SCAD, these events are where I’ve made most of my connections and friendships. I love that people can come together and obsess about whatever they are passionate about, whether that be their newest cosplay, the recent revamp of a comic book character, or the tragic season finale of any number of anime. While every community has its drama and flaws, I’ve met some of the coolest, nicest, most talented people ever at these events. DragonCon, in particular, is what solidified my love of comics (and cosplay). My dad (also a comic book fan) and I first attended when I was 15 and we were not at all prepared for the number of people (over 50k) or the level of hype. Today, my whole family attends. Cosplay has been another good creative outlet for me when I’m struggling with drawing. I think one of life’s greatest joys is attending DragonCon dressed as your favorite comic/anime character, seeing someone else across the hotel lobby that’s also dressed as your favorite character, then having a 30 minute discussion with this person about why you both love this character so much (and then lament on how much money you spent on fabric).

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Image Credit:
Alyx White

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