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 #142 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 #142 – Ryan O’Sullivan & Plaid Klaus on Finding a Collaborator
Ryan O’Sullivan & Plaid Klaus (Turncoat) talk about how meeting online in the Comics Experience Workshop led to their first collaboration Turncoat and their new Image comic Void Trip.

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!

Posted by Nicole Boose
nicole@ComicsExperience.com


Three New Courses Open for Enrollment!

We’ve got three brand new courses open for enrollment! With 2017 winding down, now’s the time to pounce on signing up for our introductory classes beginning in January. Commit to a head start on hitting your 2018 resolutions to grow your career in comics! Classes run 8 weeks, and we keep the head count low to ensure you receive the most personalized instruction possible.

Comic Book Lettering and Production – Starts January 29
Instructor Dave Sharpe bio

Introduction to Comic Book Coloring – Starts January 29
Instructor Chris Sotomayor bio

Introduction to Comic Book Art – Starts January 31
Featuring our newest instructor, Phillip Sevy! You can read his bio here.

Please note that our classes tend to fill up quickly. The only way to guarantee yourself a spot is registering as soon as possible. Learn more about our wide range of courses for aspiring and established comics creators who want to learn new skills and nurture the ones they already have 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!

Posted by Meredith Nudo


Sneak Peek at Kieron Gillen’s Master Seminar: Surviving Work for Hire!

When Image Comics released Phonogram in 2006, its writer Kieron Gillen figured he’d reached the top of his career. He’d be a creator of independent, semi-underground comics, and he would be happy with that.

But by 2010, he was writing Uncanny X-Men. The creator-owned series The Wicked + The Divine, which he created with longtime artistic collaborator Jamie McKelvie, won a 2014 British Comics Award. The same year, his and Jamie’s run on Young Avengers received a GLAAD Award for its portrayal of LGBTQ characters.

Throughout his busy career, Kieron has learned from his mistakes and successes and in the Comics Experience Master Seminar: Surviving Work for Hire, he’ll share his knowledge with aspiring comics creators of all experience levels.

The one-day online seminar takes place on Saturday, November 18 from 10 am – 4 pm Eastern Time. Space is limited, so we encourage participants to register soon! We spoke to Kieron to get a preview of the kind of insight he’ll share during the six-hour event, co-hosted by Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt.

COMICS EXPERIENCE: As someone who wrote creator-owned comics very early in your career and then moved on to licensed as well, what would you say was the biggest adjustment — culture shock, if you will — in moving from one to the other?

KIERON GILLEN: I come from a background as a journalist and critic, both freelance and working the pressure of an office. As such, I suspect I had a lot fewer chips I needed removing from my shoulder in terms of the realities of working in a deadline-based creative field. Put it like this — any prima donna genes I had were well and truly cauterized by my first production editor back in my PC Gamer days.

My first actual adjustment was actually something much more positive.

I’ve handed in my first script to Marvel. The editor is on the phone, and we’re talking over it. He says that he thinks it’ll be better to switch one scene to before another one.

And I just freeze, and take a deep breath. We’ve all heard horror stories about editing in the comic industry. I was thinking “this is where it begins” and anything worthwhile is stripped out. This is how the sausage gets made, and I am the sausage.

So I breathe out, and then explain why I don’t think that’ll work. It gets a fun beat, yes, but it means that the reader discovers one fact too early, which means the story as a whole is going to be weaker.

He pauses, goes hmm, and then agrees. He gets it.

And I’m blinking. This is not how I thought it was meant to go down!

The readjustment here is actually not to be that negative. If you’re hired to write a work-for-hire story, they’re hiring you because they think you’re good enough to do the job. Those storytelling instincts and ideas which made them approach you are things they want to harness. If they didn’t want you to write it, they wouldn’t have asked you to write it.

It’s worth noting in that story where my experience in working with editors before helped — I suspect some people less used to talking over their stories would have had the prima-donna response to a suggested major change. That would be bad.

CE: Were there times in your career when you felt like you weren’t surviving, at least not in a healthy way? What was that like and what led to it? What did you learn from it?

KG: Oh, definitely. I got into an unhealthy cycle of writing my script in a day or two, and then being so broken I couldn’t do any decent work for the next few days, before then needing to do the next script in a day or two again. The worst thing was the perverse writer pride in knowing that you could do it like that, so a terrible part of ego was proud of it — and I suspect was the reason I did it. That was damaging to me, and damaging to the work.

In the end, it was a case of just stepping back, realising that I didn’t want to do it again, and rework my schedule to work at a more steady pace. The slow changing of my schedule across the years, as my instincts and interests alter is pretty key as well. You start to see where you’re getting bored and broken before it gets too serious, and then try to course correct into something else.

CE: You promise to tell Master Seminar students “LOTS OF THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER DO” during the session. What is one of them?

KG: Do a seminar called “HOW TO SURVIVE WORK FOR HIRE COMICS.” That’s just tempting fate, isn’t it?

I think the key thing about that section isn’t just a “why you should never do it” but a “why you will, in that moment, think it’s a good thing to do, and why I’ll strongly advise against it.”

Let’s keep it basic: lie to your editor about when you can get something done by. Even worse — lie to yourself about when you can get something done by. This is a whole conversation though.

To go even more basic: Don’t ego-surf and then fave negative tweets about your work. They didn’t like the book. Now they don’t like you, and they’re right not to like you, as you’re being really creepy.

Man, I wasn’t planning on doing some social media stuff. I probably should do some of that as well.

CE: How do you help people who are interested in working in the comics industry keep their expectations realistic while also not scaring them away?

KG: Oh, I dunno. It’s okay to scare some people away as long as you’re keeping it to the specific realities of what that exact bit of the job entails. If they really don’t want to do certain things, there’s certain parts of the industry they should be scared away from. The trick is trying to bracket your advice, to ensure what you’re talking about specifically. Even in an area as broad as “Work-for-hire comics” there’s lots of experiences, some which are more suited to certain artistic temperaments than others.

Of course, the other side is not to let your own experience of what is “realistic” warp what is actually possible. The industry changes all the time. At least some of the stuff I want to talk about is to actually try and give the tools that will help people analyse the medium at any specific moment, and see what a smart choice is at that time and space.

——————————————
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!


Episode #141 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 #141 – Kieron Gillen on Planning Your Stories
Writer Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine, Uber, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra) joins Make Comics to talk about planning your stories, and his upcoming Comics Experience writing seminar.

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!

Posted by Nicole Boose
nicole@ComicsExperience.com


Comics Experience Book Club for Workshop Members!

Members of our Creators Workshop enjoy access to regular book club sessions. These meetings, offered in the same format as our live workshops, provide participants with a “craft-based discussion” to help them learn more about how a specific comic comes together. A moderator leads a Q&A session with the creator – or creators! – for in-depth insight on the making of a masterpiece. Creators Workshop members may ask questions of their own, and are encouraged to conduct their own deepdives into a text. Selected reads include a variety of Big Two books, indies, and webcomics.

Recently, we read Tet along with writer and Comics Experience staffer Paul Allor! Tet was published in 2015 as a joint collaboration between Comics Experience and IDW. Our founder Andy Schmidt led the event, which focused on how Tet came together and working with artist Paul Tucker. A forum thread is available to follow along with the discussion here. Workshop members may access a video of the Tet book club workshop here.

We are currently working on expanding our book club experience and offerings. Please keep checking back on the blog for more information! And make sure to sign up with the Creators Workshop to keep up with not only our book club, but critiques, running discussions with active creators, the latest news and views on the comics industry, and how to build your career in the business. We look forward to having you!

——————————————-
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


Advanced Comic Book Coloring Starts November 6, 2017 – Spots Still Available!

If you’ve taken Chris Sotomayor’s Intro to Comic Book Coloring course, you know that color can make or break visual storytelling. Now, you can push that knowledge further and develop your personal style in our next session of Advanced Comic Book Coloring, beginning Monday, November 6!

Delve into the more complex points of color theory, experiment with new techniques, and compare insights with fellow artists! Advanced Coloring meets live, online, for seven weeks. The course is limited in size to cater to each student’s strengths and needs.

For the full course description – or to register now – visit our course page here!

For more, visit the following posts:

Remember, Advanced Coloring starts Monday, November 6. We hope you’ll join us!

——————————————-
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