An Andy Schmidt Community website

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!


Episode #168 of the 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 Joey Groah, Nicole Boose, Heather Antos, and Jim Gibbons as they discuss making comics!

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

Episode #168 – Reilly Brown on Digital Comics and Vertical Scrolling
Reilly Brown (Deadpool, Spider-Man, Lobo) talks about his process and approach on Outrage, his Webtoons webcomic that scrolls vertically, digital comics, print comics, and the business of making comics.

List of All Episodes

——————————————-
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!


Meet Paul!

Comics Experience faculty member Paul Allor has enjoyed an exciting career in comics so far, with credits including household names like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, and Clue and independent titles like Tet, Past the Last Mountain, and Monstro Mechanica. And more, of course! His is a thoughtful and experienced voice in the Workshop and in classes alike; see for yourself in Paul’s next Introduction to Comics course with Andy Schmidt starts up on February 6.

But Paul’s life isn’t wall-to-wall comics, however much fun that may be! We asked him a few questions about his life and times outside the printed page.

Comics Experience: What movies/books (including comics)/music inspire you to create? What media would you say has the biggest impact on your life, and not just regarding comics?

Paul Allor: Oh, gosh, that’s such a big question. I feel like you have to constantly feed the beast, inspiration-wise.

The poetry of C.K. Williams is a huge one. I love the way he makes anger feel gorgeous and righteous, and I think his voice has had a clear impact on my writing. Staying in poetry, Jennifer Michael Hecht’s collection Funny was a watershed book for me. It’s a poetry collection that essentially deconstructs common jokes and then examines their philosophical underpinnings, and has a lot to teach writers about using humor in your work for more than just a quick laugh.

Moving over to prose, Gabriel García Márquez absolutely warped my brain as a teenager, and I’ve never looked back. I think Of Love and Other Demons was the first thing of his I read, and it was so completely unlike anything I had read up until that point. More recently, I absolutely adore Ann Patchett, whose work also leans heavily into magical realism, and who writes so precisely and poignantly about love, friendship, grief, redemption – about being human.

I’m pretty hard on movies, and tend to not enjoy most of them (that’s true for me of media in general, but it seems to be most acute with movies – and comics, ha). But some I find myself visiting over and over again include Jaws, The Conversation, The Apartment, Children of Men. The Coen Brothers’ catalog is famously a bit uneven, but that unevenness is a result of them always taking chances – and when those chances pay off, holy hell. So many of their movies have had a huge influence on my work, especially in the way they lean into ambiguity and provide no easy answers. The final moments of A Serious Man haunt me like few other things in cinema.

Honestly, it’s hard for me to consume great media and not be influenced by it. As a writer – and I’m sure this is very common – I want to do everything. I want to do big blockbuster entertainment, I want to do quietly intense drama, I want to get weird as hell. Basically, I want to write Jaws and Upstream Color, you know? Very few people have careers like that, but that’s no reason not to try – no reason not to open your brain up to as many influences as you can, and use it all to create something uniquely you.

CE: What would you like to be doing with your life if you weren’t writing?

PA: Before getting into comics, I worked as a newspaper reporter (which is also writing, so let’s glide past that) and then spent a decade working in economic development for a municipal government, helping businesses big and small with tax abatement, tax increment financing districts, revolving loan programs, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

I also helped a local comic shop (Comics Cubed, in Kokomo, Indiana!) open by guiding them through the process of applying for a small business loan through one of the programs I oversaw. They paid that loan off years early, and are still in business and doing great things for the Kokomo community.

So, I’d probably still be working for the government, or in economic development for a non-profit. I have a Master’s in Public Administration that I got just as I was getting into comics, when I thought that government would be my career path.

CE: What are some of your passions outside of comics?

PA: My dog, as anyone who follows me on social media can attest. We found him as a stray on January 1, 2018, and he’s made this terrible year noticeably brighter. I also enjoy walking… my dog, which I spend at least an hour or two a day doing. I spend some of my free time playing backgammon and doing crossword puzzles, because I am very old. I’ve also recently started volunteering as a mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Indiana. My Little Brother is an awesome dude, and spending time with him has the added impact of pushing me to do new things, in an incredibly rewarding way.

To sign up for Paul’s upcoming Introduction to Comic Book Writing course (with Andy Schmidt), click here!


Episode #167 of the 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 Joey Groah, Nicole Boose, Heather Antos, and Jim Gibbons as they discuss making comics!

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

Episode #167 – Why Kickstarter for Your Comic
Fresh off her Comics Experience micro course, Heather Antos talks about why Kickstarter could be a fit for your comic, how to think about planning your campaign, and what to think about before you push “go.”

List of All Episodes

——————————————-
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!


Meet Andy!

Andy Schmidt

Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt will be teaching his signature Introduction to Comics Writing course beginning February 6. But there’s more to his life than running our fair community!

Comics Experience: Tell us a little bit about your life outside of comics.

Andy Schmidt: I have a need to constantly be learning and trying new things. I have a tendency to get really into something, learn a ton about it, and absorb a hobby or skill and then move on to the next one. I can see it in my career working in comics, animation, film, video games, and so on. And I can can see it in my hobbies diving into anything from comics and film to Arthurian legend, to Astronomy and physics. I love learning new things.

But most of all, I love discussing all of these things. And now that my kids are a bit older, what I love most is sharing all of these things with them. Whether we’re out stargazing or pouring over a comic together, watching embers of interest in a subject turn into a bonfire of passion for it is the most exciting thing I can think of.

Also, I dig walking my dog in the mornings through our local park.

CE: What non-comics hobbies do you enjoy?

AS: I’ve been diving deep into astronomy and NASA lately. Not just the stars, but the history of this great organization and what it was able (and continues to) accomplish. For me, NASA might be the most inspiring thing that the US government has ever created or done.

I also play soccer regularly twice a week with other adults and am constantly playing it with my kids in the yard. It’s a wonderful game and there’s so much character building that can go along with it, which makes it a really useful parenting tool.

And that’s probably the last hobby of mine. I try to be very involved with both my sons and I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to be a better parent and to learn how to see things from different angles so I can make as few mistakes as a dad as possible—I know, I know, good luck with that. But you gotta try!

CE: If you weren’t running Comics Experience, what career would you like to have?

AS: I think about this a lot, actually. Not because I want out of anything, but as I said, I like learning new things. And lately, I’ve been learning a lot about engineering and I think I would have loved being an engineer. And when I think about that further, it makes total sense. I’ve built my career on my ability to build projects. I just would like to build more physical things now as well.

CE: What books, movies, and music have had the biggest impact on you? Why would you recommend them?

AS: So many jump to mind, but some of the biggest ones that I always come back to are:

The films of Stanley Kubrick. Not only is he one of the finest directors in cinema history, but he managed to make movies in multiple genre and they’re all among each of those genres best.

I look at Harrison Ford’s trilogy of awesomeness with The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Blade Runner. Those three films in particular are ones that I always come back to for inspiration and a reminder that entertainment needs to do more than simply entertain.

The paintings of Robert McGinnis, who did a ton of crime novel covers. I get completely lost in his work. Much of it is a bit risqué but when you look at the colors he puts together, the textures, the way he handles cloth, flesh and metal and the compositions. His work is fascinating.

There are still some slots open in Andy’s Introduction to Comic Book Writing course! If you want to grow your skills and talk to Andy about his trip to Johnson Space Center, sign up here!

——————————————-
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!


Gutter Magic Now in the Script Archive!

Creators Workshop member, class alumnus Rich Douek has generously donated his scripts to the Script Archive!

“Whatever success I have had in comics so far is, in a big part, thanks to Comics Experience – and not just the courses I took, but my involvement in the workshop and the community,” Rich says.

“Anything I can do to give back to that community, even in a small way, like providing my old scripts, is something I am more than happy to do. I see a lot of talented people coming out of Comics Experience, and I’d like to help them succeed if I can.”

The Script Archive collects comic book scripts from industry names like Brian Michael Bendis, Kelly Sue DeConnick, our own Paul Allor and Jennifer de Guzman, Brian K. Vaughn, Mark Waid, and plenty more. It’s a completely free resource to help aspiring comic book professionals learn how to best set their scenes and pace their stories.

Rich says, “I hope that anyone who reads the scripts will get some insights into how the story was crafted. If Gutter Magic was a book they enjoyed, I hope they can look at the script side by side with the finished product, and learn about how it was structured, paced, and turned into a comic.”

“I also hope that writers who are a part of the CE workshop can look at it as an example of a set of scripts that went through the peer review process we use on the boards, and were then successfully published, with insights and changes that came from that process included in the final work. Workshop members with a bit of time on their hands might even be able to track down the original threads the scripts were posted in and read some of the comments and changes made!”

You can access Gutter Magic at the Script Archive here!

——————————————-
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!


Organizing Your Comics Workflow Video Now Available!

Andy SchmidtCreators Workshop members can now access a video workshop on Organizing Your Comics Workflow! This 35-minute video, featuring Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt, discusses the benefits and how-tos of setting up a seamless system for yourself and your collaborators.

It’s not flashy, but it’s a topic that should be discussed more than it is. The benefits of an organized workflow with yourself, your collaborators, and your publishing partners cannot be overstated! The truth is, the more organized you or your project manager are, the more time you’ll save, and the more quickly the project will come to completion. Not only does an organized workflow help save you time and frustration, but the chances of errors slipping into the final book drop dramatically by following some of the simple organizational features outlined in the video.

This video is the first in a two-part series, and is presented as part of the Comic Creator Workshop video collection available as part of Creators Workshop membership.

The Creators Workshop provides plenty of other benefits as well! To learn more and to join, visit the page here.

Current Workshop members can check out Organizing Your Comics Workflow by logging in and visiting the video topic thread here.

Enjoy!

——————————————
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!