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The Comics Experience Blog

Here you will find all the latest Comics Experience news and events! Check back often, or subscribe via RSS for updates!


Live Workshop Topics Announced for July through September 2017!

ComicsExperience_logoComics Experience founder Andy Schmidt has announced the next topics for upcoming Live Workshop sessions!

Our Live Workshop sessions are online, monthly events, and they’re available exclusively to Creators Workshop members.

Each Live Workshop discussion focuses on a unique topic geared toward helping comic creators achieve their personal best. Past sessions have covered subjects like maximizing income, reinventing characters, negotiating collaboration agreements, and many more!

Current Workshop members can find details by logging in here.

For more benefits of Creators Workshop membership, head over to our Top Ten Reasons Why the Creators Workshop Is Awesome post! For additional details or to join, please visit our Creators Workshop page here.

Details about our next three Live Workshop sessions are below. We hope you’ll join us!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm ET
5 Key Storytelling Mistakes to Look for in Layouts
ANDY SCHMIDT: Comics is all about the story–writers and artists both bringing storytelling skills to the page. That’s why we want COMICS writers and COMICS artists instead of playwrights and illustrators. When we work on projects without an editor, it’s often one person or two people really working closely together. In these scenarios, we often review layouts or thumbnails of a page before the artist goes to full pencils and inks. We do this to look for potential storytelling issues. In this Live Workshop, Andy will go over the top 5 mistakes he sees in layouts and what to do about them to make the story shine on the final page.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 9:00 pm ET
Breaking the Grid: Comic Page Design that breaks out of the traditional grid-like pattern
ANDY SCHMIDT: The grid and the three-tier system are the backbone of clear visual storytelling in comics. But there are underlying rules to them–rules that almost automatically snap into place when a grid is used in the layouts. In this session, Andy analyzes some of those underlying principles to show how to apply them to art that breaks the grid system or pops out of panels. If the principles are applied properly, pages without panel borders can still flow naturally and intuitively for any reader.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Writing for a Particular Artist: Identifying and using an artist’s strengths
ANDY SCHMIDT: We’ve seen in interviews when a writer says s/he writes to an artist’s strengths. I’m not sure how true that always is, but it’s a useful skill and one that artists do tend to like. In this live workshop, Andy breaks down how to first identify an artist’s illustrative strengths and weaknesses artistically, and then how to craft a story to highlight the artist’s strengths and minimize the artist’s weaknesses. The result is a project that looks great and serves as an excellent portfolio piece for the artist.

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If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Nicole Boose


Episode #135 of the Comics Experience “Make Comics” Podcast Posted!

CE_podcast_logoA new episode of the Comics Experience Make Comics podcast has been posted! Each episode provides ~15 minutes of advice on all aspects of creating comics and breaking in to the industry.

Join Comics Experience founder and former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt and his co-host Joey Groah as they discuss making comics!

Subscribe to our podcast via iTunes! Or check out the latest episode below or on our Podcast page!

Episode #135 – Budgeting: Setting a Personal Project Budget
In the first of three budgeting episodes, Andy and Joey talk setting a personal budget for a creator-owned project.

List of All Episodes

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If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Nicole Boose


Past the Last Mountain Takes Silver!

The Silver Ledger Award held in a handEveryone at Comics Experience congratulates our own Paul Allor, Louie Joyce, and Gannon Beck! The creative team received the Silver Ledger Award for their comic Past the Last Mountain. The awards honor “excellence in Australian comics and publishing.” Artist Louie Joyce accepted the award for Past the Last Mountain‘s creative team at a ceremony in Sydney, Australia on Friday, June 16.

Past the Last Mountain is a tale about a faun, a young troll, and a dragon on the run from the government. The trio learn about themselves and each other as they search for a place to live in peace.

Louie Joyce accepting the Silver Ledger Award

Louie Joyce accepts the Silver Ledger Award

Paul and Louie responded to receiving the award:

This is an incredible honor, and one that would not have been possible without the steadfast support of Comics Experience. We’re also so thankful to layout artist Gannon Beck, to all the amazing artists and colorists we worked with on this project, and of course to the judges of the Ledger Awards. Past the Last Mountain was a project years in the making, and it means so much to us to see it recognized by our peers and the Australian comics community.

Comics Experience brought Past the Last Mountain to readers as part of our publishing program. The published titles represent the best work of some of our workshop members and students . Paul Allor, who began as a workshop member, is now also Content and Operations manager at Comics Experience.

The Ledger Award

The Ledger Award

Founder Andy Schmidt congratulated the team on their win. “We have high expectations for every project we publish. We’ve been fortunate that projects like Past the Last Mountain continue to exceed those expectations and get recognized by outside groups,” he said. “Comics Experience congratulates Paul, Louie, and Gannon on this award and hopes for continued success for them.”Cover of Past the Last Mountain #1

All four issues of Past the Last Mountain are available at comiXology. You can also read an interview with Paul Allor about the series here.


If you want to make comics or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded people in our online workshop and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Jennifer de Guzman
jennifer@ComicsExperience.com


CE’s Pete Rogers Goes Back to His Screenwriting Roots in a Big Way!

Even though he’s sworn to a secrecy that even James Bond himself would find challenging, Comics Experiences’ Digital Content Editor Pete Rogers still found a moment to talk with us about what he can talk with us about regarding his big win with It’s My Shout and the BBC Writers Room. “The Package” begins filming in August, and the casting process is already underway.

Over 200 screenwriters submitted to their call for scripts for 10-minute shorts in English or Welsh, and after a heavy vetting process, the number was narrowed down to 50. Shortlisted contestants received a residential with the BBC, and a shot at getting picked up for a 3-day production.

“The first day focused on ‘What is a Story?’ and went through the five-act structure as a way to look at your script. We watched scenes from various TV shows and films and deconstructed them based on the theory we were being taught too and looked at some of our favorite mainstream films to see how they worked structurally, too,” Pete says of the experience.

“The second day was more individually focused, rather than a workshop. We were given notes on our scripts by two producers and we also discussed our writing careers, history and aspirations,” he continues. “We used the feedback we were given to start on our rewrites while in the writer’s room, then all wrote new drafts. These were the submitted and that’s when I found out my script was selected to be produced.”

Pete originally started out as a screenwriter, but he set it aside to focus on learning how to write comics. This opportunity took him closer to his roots, but his skills in a different medium helped enhance the experience.

“One thing I’ve learned from writing comics that applies to screenwriting in particular is thinking visually, but not calling the shots. You want your artist to picture what you’ve described but also to bring their own unique take to the storytelling, so what you write is a blueprint that can be adapted, evocative but not prescriptive,” Pete says.

“The same is true of a screenplay, as at some point you are handing it over to someone else to direct. It did take a while to remember that I was describing scenes to be shot, rather than a series of static panels, but it soon fell into place.”

We look forward to seeing Pete’s short once it’s complete! And, of course, what he’ll accomplish in the future!


Past the Last Mountain Honored with Ledger Award Nomination!

Cover of Past the Last Mountain #1We’re very proud to announce that the Comics Experience mini-series Past the Last Mountain by Paul Allor, Louie Joyce, and Gannon Beck has been nominated for the 2017 Ledger Award! Named after Australian cartoonist Peter Ledger, the award honors “excellence in Australian comics and publishing.” (Artist Louie Joyce hails from the Land Down Under.)

Past the Last Mountain is the story of a dragon, faun, and young troll who must band together to escape the injustices of a world that has decided they do not belong. Louie’s keen cartooning, combined with Gannon’s top-notch layouts, capture the personalities of the strong and maternal dragon Willa, the fierce faun Kate, and the lovable troll boy Simon. Paul’s fast-paced story is set in a rich, fully realized world.

Congratulations to Paul, Louie, and Gannon! We’ll be watching for the results, which will be announced on Friday, June 16.

Critical acclaim for Past the Last Mountain:


Past the Last Mountain is more than a fantasy comic: it is an exciting, heartfelt action story that uses interactions between fairy-tale characters and government officials to create an effective social commentary.” — Comic Bastards

“A story that, in other hands, could have been trite or unoriginal provides valuable commentary on the complex ways in which war, racism, and xenophobia ruin lives.” — Women Write About Comics

I was blown away by the very topical story that incorporated fantasy in a way that made the make believe feel relevant, offering up exciting and insightful commentary into the world we live in.” — The Beat

Past the Last Mountain is available at comiXology.


If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded people in our online workshop and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Jennifer de Guzman
jennifer@ComicsExperience.com


Live Workshop Tuesday, June 13: Panel Descriptions!

ComicsExperience_logoComics Experience founder Andy Schmidt has announced the next topic for an upcoming Live Workshop session!

Our Live Workshop sessions are online, monthly events, and they’re available exclusively to Creators Workshop members.

Each Live Workshop discussion focuses on a unique topic geared toward helping comic creators achieve their personal best. Past sessions have covered subjects like maximizing income, reinventing characters, negotiating collaboration agreements, and many more!

Current Workshop members can find details by logging in here.

For more benefits of Creators Workshop membership, head over to our Top Ten Reasons Why the Creators Workshop Is Awesome post! For additional details or to join, please visit our Creators Workshop page here.

Details about our next Live Workshop session is below. We hope you’ll join us!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 9:00 pm ET
Panel Descriptions
You’ve got to write them if you’re a writer. You’ve got to interpret them if you’re an artist. Andy goes over the different kinds of panel descriptions, best practices in how to write them and interpret them, as well as why the term “Panel description” might just be the wrong name for how writers communicate their storytelling needs to the artist!

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If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Meredith Nudo