Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I have a feature article in Flint Comix this month!

This month's issue of Flint Comix features an article I wrote about the history of the Lone Ranger and the character's connection to Michigan. The article is based on a presentation I did for the Whaley Historic House during their History Happy Hour (which in turn was based on a documentary film I worked on). 

As a long time fan of Flint Comix (which is a free publication that brings the joy of comics to everyone in the Flint, Michigan area) and an even longer time fan of Flint Comix owner, Randy Zimmerman, I was very honored to have an article published in this paper. I'm looking forward to writing future articles for this periodical because of the inspiring public service they provide.

My interview with Crimson Rider author, Zach Davis, for

Hello Folks,

Check out this interview I did with one of my favorite creators, Zach Davis, for IndieVolt Magazine. We discuss his new comic series, Crimson Rider, and we judge who has the most epic beard in the indie comic scene.

Zach Davis Interview

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New Term, Same Sense of Excitement and Gratitude

Tomorrow is the start of my fourth term teaching at the University of the People. I'm teaching two sections of the history course that covers ancient Greece and ancient Rome which are my favorite subjects to teach. I'm so excited to be an instructor at UoPeople because it allows me to teach students from all over the world and from different walks of life. I'm not only making historians, I'm making them around the world.

Showbiz by Charles Bukowski

The international film project I worked on a few months ago is edited and on tour at film festivals around the world. I am very honored to have been part of it and to represent the U.S. in this international indie film. All the teams did an amazing job filming their scenes and the man behind it all, Erik Ros, is a genius.

Our team here in the metro Detroit area was a dream to work with. Krissi Kinney organized everything and cast our extras. Stephen Florentine did very well directing and Warren Jackson proved to be a brilliant actor.

I can't wait for my next project with these talented individuals.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Professor is IN

My "I'm grading papers" face
This has been another amazing term as a professor at the University of the People. It has been a bit more time consuming (I'm teaching two sections of Ancient Greek and Roman History this term) but I have really grown as an instructor.

I started the term with some great one-on-one mentoring from the faculty director that really helped me to hone my skills as a faculty member.

Even though I had twice the amount of students, I made a promise to myself that I would still give each one the same amount of attention that I have always given my students. The results were a resounding success. The course evaluations I have received from students have been some of the best I have ever received. This term ends in the next couple days but I can't wait to teach again and share my love of history. #IMakeHistorians

Showbiz Filming

At the Sunrise 45 Film Festival in Alpena, MI. I had the pleasure of meeting Erik Ros, an independent filmmaker from the Netherlands. He was very impressed with the work Warren Jackson and I did on UFO: The Otis Files as well as the amazing work Krissi Kinney and Stephen Florentine did on their film, Replicator, so he invited us to become part of a multi-national film project he was working on called Showbiz. 

The film is based on a poem by Charles Bukowski. It follows the trials and tribulations of starving actors from several nations. Our team was tasked with depicting an American actor (played by Warren Jackson) as he preps for an audition with a casting agent (played by Krissi Kinney). We filmed our scenes on September 22 and 23rd in and around Rochester Hills, Michigan. 

Filming was an amazing experience. I'm so proud to have been a part of this project with other teams from around the world and to work with an innovative filmmaker like Erik. I've seen a couple rough cuts of the film and it looks amazing! I can't wait to see the audience's response at film festivals next summer.

Friday, October 27, 2017

History Happy Hour with Prof Tric!

Hello Folks,
On September 7th, I was honored to be part of the Whaley Historic House's series of local history lectures known as History Happy Hour.

This is a great platform for historians to present little known local history in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. While the Whaley House has been under repairs the History Happy Hours have been hosted by Tenacity Brewing. Tenacity is a great place with a super-friendly staff that makes everyone feel like a VIP. They're very moderately priced and their menu has something for every taste.

For my presentation I choose the Lone Ranger's humble origins from right here in Michigan. The Lone Ranger has long been an icon of the American West. However, many do not realized that he was created for WXYZ radio by Michiganders and that the first person to voice this lawman was from Oxford, MI. 

The Whaley Historic House in Flint is an amazing place. Please consider donating to them and attending their fundraisers.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

History Happy Hour with Professor Tric

On September 7th, I had the pleasure of presenting a lecture at Tenacity Brewing in Flint, Michigan as part of the History Happy Hour.

 History Happy Hour is an informative lecture series created by the Whaley Historic House. The Whaley is an amazing house turned museum that does a lot to keep the history of Flint alive. History Happy Hour allows historians at all levels to enjoy local Michigan historical topics while drinking their favorite beverages.

My presentation focused on the origin of an American West Icon, the Lone Ranger, and his little known Michigan origins. 

I'm looking forward to presenting more lectures at historical events in the Michigan area and working more with the Whaley Historic House.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sunrise 45 Film Festival

The film I wrote, UFO: The Otis Files, was shown at the Sunrise 45 Film Festival in Alpena, MI. This was my first film festival and it was a blast! I got to see some amazing independent films and got to do some great networking. Also, it was great hanging out with the film's lead actress, Krissi Kinney and director Warren Jackson. 

One of the best things about attending the film festival was getting to talk with other filmmakers. Warren, Krissi, our associate Steve, and I were offered to take part in an international indie film project that we'll be filming at the end of September. The Sunrise 45 Film Festival was an amazing experience and I can't wait to be there next year as well.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

My First Published History Article

Hello Everyone,
I'm very proud to announce that an article I've written has been published. The article deals with the Second Punic War and how Hannibal Barca used psychological warfare against the Romans.

According to many of the Ancient Historians, Hannibal's forces were half the size of the Roman Army yet Hannibal won most of the battles he participated in and his men suffered less casualties than the Romans. We all know the story of how Hannibal brought elephants over the Alps but his intimidation tactics don't stop there. Throughout his time in Italy, Hannibal wore down the morale of the Romans and exploited the confidence of their generals. My article, Hannibal Barca: The General that Defeated More Than Rome's Army, looks at all the psychological tactics used by Hannibal in the Second Punic War.

I couldn't have asked for a better home than at The Groovy Historian. They're a young and vibrant professional website that brings well researched and writtern history articles to historians of all ages and qualifications. They really live by #IMakeHistorians over there. 

Please check out my article as well as all the groovy history pieces available at:

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Classes, Comics, and Television Shows Oh, My!

Hello Folks,
Sorry I haven't posted in awhile but some amazing opportunities have came about for me.

#Prof Tric
I have been teaching the Ancient Roman and Greek History course at the University of the People every term since I was hired at the beginning of the year. My experience working at the University and the interactions I've had with students has been amazing! I'm really looking forward to continuing my teaching at UoPeople far into the future.

Secondly, I have been contracted at to write history lessons for them. I am so grateful for the opportunity to develop history courses for others. This is part of the realization of my teaching philosophy, "I make historians," because I will be creating the content that teaches and inspires future historians.

History Television Programming
Throughout the summer I have been filming and writing a documentary television series for Amazing Productions that features some of the greatest icons from the American West. This series has been a lot of fun. It's given me the ability to again work with Warren Jackson, the outstanding director of UFO: The Otis Files. We finished the last day of filming for this series so during our wrap party/dinner today we discussed working on a children's television show that would teach kids about (what else) history. We will begin filming that later this month through Warren's production company, Muted Madness Films.

History Comics
One of the greatest things to happen recently was that I combined my love for comics with my love of history. As many of you may know, I'm a firm believer in using comics to teach a multitude of subjects especially History so I have written some scripts for American Legend Comics that feature historical figures which should be available for purchase early next year (if not earlier). Also, I was approached about writing a graphic novel set in World War II. I'll keep you informed about this project as it unfolds.

I'm proud to announce that I will be presenting a lecture on the History of the Lone Ranger for the Whaley Historic House in Flint, Michigan as part of their History Happy Hour. I have been hoping to become a part of this History lecture series for years so I'm proud to be presenting next month on September 7th at Tenacity Brewing.

More Writing
I have been writing some articles for a website called Indie Volt that features indie comic book creators. This website has been beneficial in spotlighting some great comics from independent creators that would otherwise go unnoticed by the big media outlets. The staff there have been amazing to work with and welcomed me into the fold with open arms.

Another website that I have been asked to write an article for is Groovy Historian. This has long been my favorite history website for years and it is truly an honor to finally be working with them. My article about the Second Punic War should be on the website by the end of the month.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"I Don't Teach History, I Make Historians"

I get a lot of requests regarding my teaching philosophy. As a graduate student, we were told to develop a philosophy regarding ourselves and how we planned to teach. Naturally, as a good grad student I thought the answer could be found by researching so I read A LOT of teaching philosophies from other masters and PhD recipients. All of them sounded the same. It wasn't until I actually began to teach in higher education that I realized what my teaching philosophy was...

"I don't teach history. I make historians."

When people think of history teachers they think of someone trying to get them to memorize dates, battles, and names. I like to think I make historians. Now, I don't expect everyone that takes my class to change their major to history but I inspire my students to think about history. I encourage them to consider what causes historical events to happen, what legacy it left, and how those events are similar to things taking place in our modern world. In my course, you will learn to look at history not as something that happened an eternity ago but how it affects us to this day.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Reputation is all we have (or "Personal Branding" as it's called now)

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my personal brand. For the longest time my brand was Source Point Press (a publishing company I co-founded with Joshua Werner). I channeled all my energy for the last four years into promoting SPP. Now that I’m a paid writer and college professor, I feel the need to promote my personal brand (to get more writing and professor jobs).

At first, I wasn’t sure how to do this. I’ve never been that good at social media and every article seems to say that tweeting, posting and followers are the only way to get your name out there. Then, I thought about my career as an automotive professional. I was never hired because I had thousands of followers or because I tweeted every five minutes. Not only have I never had to worry about finding employment but usually I have been recruited because of my reputation in the industry (what nowadays they call “personal branding”). How did I come to be recognized as a “great parts guy” in the automotive industry? Well, I spent years making connections through various positions in the field and I attended industry conferences. Also, at every position I made sure I was their “go to” guy that could track down the hard to find parts and the parts were right the first time.

The connections I made through meeting and working with people were real. I wasn’t just a profile on a list of their thousands of followers. How do I transfer my personal brand into not one, but two other industries? Basically, I’ll just repeat the process. I love discussing and learning more about history so attending museums, conferences and lectures is right up my alley. I can use these opportunities to meet other historians and professors. Slowly through attending these events and giving presentations of my own I can build up my reputation as a well-researched and versatile historian. I have already begun building up my reputation as a dedicated instructor at the university where I’ve been teaching so hopefully that will lead to being offered more classes and knowing more people in the industry.

Naturally, I’m still going to share interesting articles on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and my blog here but I can see that the real networking and reputation building is built in person.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

UFO: The Otis Files World Premiere

Now that I've recovered from the premiere of UFO: The Otis Files I figured I would post my thoughts on that amazing night.

First off, WOW! A lot of people showed up for the premiere. The theater was almost full which was awesome because I thought we wouldn't even have come close to filling all those seats. It was amazing to feel all the support from our family, friends, fans and Kickstarter backers. We even had to start the movie a half hour later than scheduled because there was a line to buy tickets and everyone wanted pictures with the actors. Also, I loved seeing how excited the cast and crew were to have a premiere for their movie. They are the greatest group of people I've ever had the pleasure to work with and I'm glad that we got to have such an incredible night.

The movie itself was very well received. The audience really got the humor of the film and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Later on, we had an after party at a nearby Bar & Grille. From what I remember, everyone had a lot of fun.

Here are some photos from the premiere:

Friday, April 28, 2017

Thoughts on Filmmaking (aka "How I stopped Worrying about Sleep and Learned to Love Exhaustion")

UFO: The Otis Files stars David C. Hayes as Otis. Produced by Muted Madness Films and Tyghtrope Media
Some of you may know that recently I dove into the wonderful (and all consuming) world of filmmaking. It has been an incredible yet exhausting process which I'm glad is coming to a close. I've spent the last month or two doing podcast to promote the film, driving out to Lansing, MI to edit with the film's director, Warren Jackson, and stressing out over the Kickstarter being funded.

I've learned a lot about filmmaking from working on this project and a lot about myself as a screenwriter. Having written the script, I thought I might have a hard time letting go of any control I had over what I wrote. Luckily, Warren Jackson is a brilliant director and all the cast members had an amazing understanding of their characters and comedic timing. All the cast and crew enhanced the bare-bones script I had written and fleshed it out to be a truly hilarious film.

During the editing process I discovered that almost anything is possible with Final Cut Pro software. There were so many effects we were able to do during editing that it inspired additional "Otis Vision" daydream sequences that we added to the film to give the audience insight into the mind of Otis.

Mostly, I'm just glad that so many talented people invested their time and skills in making this film as well as the Kickstarter Backers who invested their finances in order for us to have a red carpet film premiere May 6th in Howell, MI at the Howell Historic Theater. I'm overwhelmed that so many people including the cast, crew, and backers believed so much in this film. It wouldn't have happened without all of you.


Trico J. Lutkins

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

We're halfway there! (aka "All Roads Lead to Rome!")

This is my first time ever teaching a college course and it's hard to believe that it's already halfway over. In the last four weeks I've already had so many amazing experiences and had some great challenges. There are some things I will do differently next class but there are many things that turned out very well.

All Roads lead to Rome!
This halfway point also marks the progression from studying Ancient Greece into studying Ancient Rome. Anyone that knows me knows how excited I am about this! I feel that the Romans assimilated the passion for the arts that Athens had along with the military prowess that the Spartans displayed to create one of the most powerful (and certainly the most influential) civilizations of the Ancient World.

The next four weeks of class is going to be incredible!

Fantasticon Lansing this weekend!

I'll be in Lansing this weekend for Fantasticon. I'll have my comics and books with me for sale as well as my latest one-shot comic, Vostokapolis, from Dim Throat Comics!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Teaching in 4th Term.

Well, this is my first assignment teaching and I couldn't have picked a better course. That's right, for my first soiree as a professor I've been given the opportunity to teach Ancient Roman and Greek History. Could life be any better? Anyone that knows me knows I love Roman History so this course is a dream come true. I thought I'd have to teach dozens of survey courses before I was given this cool of a teaching assignment.

The best part is that it's primarily an online university so I have students from several countries in my class. I love seeing how different cultures interpret Ancient Rome and Greece. As products of Western Civilization, we tend to view these two cultures very differently than someone whose culture hasn't been directly influenced by them the way ours has.

The second week of class wrapped up yesterday and it's already proving to be an amazing experience. Also, I've been put on the list to teach this course and Art History next term. I'm looking forward to both.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Teaching Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece

I'm having a blast teaching Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece this term! Feeling inspired to work on a PhD. More details to come!