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Comic Book art

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!


An Intro to Our Intros: Phillip Sevy on Art!

With 2018 now here, it’s time you started taking action to achieve your comics creation goals! Comics Experience offers a slate of introductory courses that get you acquainted with the basics of the medium.

This week, we’re speaking to Phillip Sevy, who teaches Introduction to Comic Book Art. Class begins January 31, and we’ve got a few slots still open. Sign up now to ensure you secure your space!

Please explain your teaching philosophy for the Introduction to Comic Book Art Class.

Whether you are brand new or you’ve been working at drawing comics for a long time, the most valuable skill you can develop is an analytical ability to examine your work, understand its strengths and weaknesses, and what you can do to improve areas that need improvement. In the Introduction to Art class, we’ll be going over the foundational blocks to visual storytelling – the key principles that separate the hobbyist and the professional.

What are some overlooked nuances of comic book art that your class will cover?

Making comic books can be tainted by our love from reading them. Comics are a visual medium and are, initially, surface level. We look at it and we like it. But the surface polish on top belies the layers and layers of scaffolding and structure that makes the comic look so easy. We’re going to begin to peel back those layers and understand how to build a comic page.

What does your art process look like? What lessons and takeaways from your process would you like to heavily emphasize to students?

My process is always slowly evolving as I’m constantly seeking ways to get better and more efficient. Generally, after working with my editor, writer, and reading through the script multiples times I’ll draw up rough thumbnails (sometimes many, many variations in order to find the right take), take those and refine them digitally and produce fairly right layouts. I’ll enlarge my layouts and pencil and ink from them. Depending on the scene, I’ll do a variety of research and design (some traditional, some 3D) to aid in my understanding of space, backgrounds, and the like. The most important part of my process is in the finding of the best way to tell a story.

I spend a lot of time and brain power on my thumbnails and layouts – but that is the core to comics. That is the storytelling. Pencilling and inking are just draftsmanship to help realize the story. Introduction to Art will be focus on the storytelling, not the techniques.

We’ve got three introductory courses beginning next week – including Introduction to Comic Book Art! You can learn more and sign up here.

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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


Comics Experience Teams Up with Source Point Press!

Comics Experience and Source Point Press are pleased to announce a new partnership! We’ve launched an initiative that will support the development and publish the work of emerging comics talent.

The CE-SPP partnership will offer a path to publication for members of the Comics Experience Creators Workshop community, students and alumni of Comics Experience’s courses, and Comics Experience’s mentoring clients. The initiative will include both print and digital comics. Titles published through the program will be distributed to comic book stores through Diamond Comics Distributors, while digital comics will be for sale on comiXology.

The comics education leader Comics Experience and the publishing innovator Source Point Press have developed this initiative as part of their shared commitment to creating and nurturing relationships with their audiences, and with the creators whose work they publish.

Comics Experience’s founder and president, Andy Schmidt, said, “We believe our shared focus on helping creators will in turn help the comics industry, and grow our two businesses.”

Travis McIntire, Source Point Press president and editor-in-chief, commented, “At Source Point Press we’re always looking for new material to try and to get a larger comic audience. Partnering with Comics Experience is a terrific opportunity to acquire a pipeline of great, new comics from dynamic new creators that we think any fan of the medium will love!”

A submission window opened to Comics Experience community members in January 2018, and more windows will open through the coming year. An overview of the program and submission guidelines can be found on the Comics Experience website.

Comics Experience and Source Point will premiere their first four jointly-published titles at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), April 6-8, 2018. They are: Achilles Inc. by Andy Schmidt, Daniel Maine, Francesca Zambon, and ET Dollman; Wretched Things by Devon Wong and Ken Perry; The Family Graves by Tim Bach, Brian Atkins, et al; and Grief by Frank Gogol and various artists. Full descriptions and covers for each series are below.

Achilles Inc. by Andy Schmidt, Daniel Maine, Francesca Zambon, and ET Dollman

In a flash of light, the world changed, and a sliver of the world’s population gained extraordinary abilities. But what if these individuals decided not to put on brightly colored tights, and instead decided to use their gifts for their own benefits?

Wretched Things by Devon Wong, Ken Perry, and John Hunt

It was written in blood by the rat kings, woven in silk by the spider sages, recited in verse by the ancient warlords of the centipedes: The Vermin shall inherit the Earth. A rich fantasy in the tradition of The Secret of NIMH tells the stories of great heroes who live in the margins of our world.

The Family Graves by Tim Bach, Brian Atkins, and Marco DellaVerde

The Family Graves combines science-fiction adventure and family drama with a love of classic monster movies to create a fun supernatural action tale.

Grief by Frank Gogol, with art by Nenad Cviticanin, Kim Holm, Ryan Foust, Bethany Varni, Jey Soliva, Luca Bulgheroni, Esther P. Gil-Munilla, Emily Elmer, Sean Rinehart, and Dani Martins

No two people are the same, but everybody grieves. Grief follows ten very different people as they each struggle with the pain of loss and their own personal demons.

About Source Point Press:

Source Point Press is a Michigan-based independent comics publisher, specializing in the horror, sci-fi, pulp, true crime, occult, and supernatural genres. With a catalog of over 50 titles and an exceptional commitment to building reader-publisher relationships, SPP attends over 50 shows annually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 Jennifer de Guzman


Creators Workshop Member Shaun Manning Appears in STAR WARS ADVENTURES!

Creators Workshop member and Comics Experience course alumnus Shaun Manning is headed to a galaxy far, far away, joined by artist Chad Thomas and colorist Charlie Kirchoff! On January 17, pick up a copy of IDW’s Star Wars Adventures #6 and read their short story, “Podracer’s Rescue,” which follows some of Anakin’s adventures before The Phantom Menace.

“Anakin was fun to write, though, just really great. I don’t think there have been a lot of stories about the days before he met Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, or even the time shortly after. I think there’s a lot of room to play with Young Annie, especially in a series like Star Wars Adventures,” Shaun says.

Transitioning from independent, creator-owned work to breathing life into some of the most iconic fictional characters in all time is as exciting as it is challenging.

“With my creator-owned books, I have to account for how my world works, who my characters are, the full arc of their stories, and so on — there are a lot of moving pieces, but ultimately it’s down to me to decide how these stories are going to play out. I actually found writing licensed characters a lot… harder? A ton of fun, in so many ways. But especially with something like Star Wars, there’s so much to keep track of that isn’t necessarily in my own head,” Shaun says.

“Like, I know the movies, the comics, and some of the cartoons and books, but sitting down to create something new, I had to keep track of the tech, various planets, and the sort of slang used in this universe. It’s not just getting the characters’ voices and environments, it’s a whole far-away galaxy of stuff.”

Shaun’s work in the Creators Workshop introduced him to IDW editor Bobby Curnow. Their friendly working relationship in the forum led to multiple pitches and, eventually, Star Wars Adventures.

He says, “I think the exercise of writing short stories for the workshop, evaluating other members’ stories, and improving through revision is just really useful for writing this sort of short, contained story that has to both read well for its audience and also fit into the broader tapestry of a property like Star Wars.”

Support your favorite local comic book store and purchase Star Wars Adventures next week!

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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


Episode #144 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 #144 — 2017 In Review, Looking Ahead
Andy and Joey talk about a year of Making Comics and looking ahead at the new year.

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
nicole@ComicsExperience.com


David Pepose’s SPENCER & LOCKE Makes Multiple “Best of 2017” Lists!

Comics Experience alum David Pepose has had quite an exciting year! Spencer & Locke – his Action Lab Entertainment book with artist Jorge Santiago, Jr, colorist Jasen Smith, and letterer Colin Bell – landed on multiple best of lists for 2017! You can read them at…

Make sure to check out the trailer and see what all the excitement is about. We’re all so proud of the Spencer & Locke team!

“It’s beyond exciting to see that Spencer & Locke has resonated with so many fans and critics like this… in particular, it’s been really gratifying seeing my talented collaborators getting some much-deserved praise for their incredible work. I’m so thrilled to be teaming up with my co-creator Jorge Santiago, Jr. and the rest of our creative team for Spencer & Locke 2, which we’re looking to release later this year,” David says.

“Having seen the art that Jorge has already turned in, I can say that our readers have truly inspired us to bring our A-game with this story, and we’re really looking forward to shaking up Spencer & Locke‘s world in a big way for the sequel. If you thought our first arc was wild… well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Oh, and did we mention the upcoming movie adaptation?

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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


New Live Workshops Announced: Blocking, Marketing, and Movement!

ComicsExperience_logoOur next Live Workshop session topics have been announced!

Our Live Workshop sessions are online, monthly events for Creators Workshop members. We focus on unique topics geared toward helping comic creators achieve their personal best.

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

Tuesday, January 9, 2016 at 9:00 pm ET
Blocking: What it Means and How to Get a Whole Lot Better At It
ANDY SCHMIDT: Blocking is a term that comes from the theater. It takes place early on in a reversals, in which the director and actors “block out” the staging–where everyone stands, when and where they move to, how they will stand close or away from the audience, at what angle will they turn, and of course how and when any other physical movement happens. It’s like creating a sketch of the play. We do this in comics (and if we don’t, we should!), but it’s a much different process and it has different effects. In this workshop, Andy will go over how we do this as a writer, how an artist will do it, and several tips to make your blocking (I’m looking at you, writers) much more engaging and dramatic to make for more visually dynamic pages.

Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Indie Corner: Working With Your Publisher on Marketing
PAUL ALLOR: In the first of our new INDIE CORNER workshops, PAUL ALLOR will join guest RYAN LINDSAY to discuss the process of working with a small-press publisher to market your creator-owned book. How much should you expect to do? What tips and techniques will yield the best results for the time invested? How important is communication with the publisher? Broaden your marketing skill set to make the most of your creator-owned career!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Movement on the Page (well, the illusion of it, anyway)
ANDY SCHMIDT In this session, Andy covers how to deal with the problem of static images meant to convey movement. Television and film thrive on things like car chases and complicated action sequences, but comics struggle with certain kinds of action in large part due to the fact that there is no perceived movement in a static image. Andy goes over some key way to create the illusion of movement and some accepted tropes within the industry to get your comics up and running!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Camera Angles
ANDY SCHMIDT It’s easy for a writer or an artist to just do the job. To run the bases but not crank up the heat. One of the easiest ways to turn the mundane into a visual delight is by varying up camera angles and shots. In this session, Andy will cover not just the various types of camera angles (and terms), but also demonstrate the effect that they have on the reader–thus teaching you when and why to call for them in your script or add them into your page layouts.

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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