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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!


Episode #133 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 #133, “Pros and Cons of Getting an Agent”
This episode talks about the pros and cons of getting an agent, as well as a look at Comics Experience panels at C2E2.

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
Twitter


Comics Experience Mentor Marc Sumerak’s New Guardians of the Galaxy History Available Now!

Marc Sumerak is a comics professional who has had the advantage of seeing the industry on both sides of publishing. He’s been an editor, moved to writing, and now he also mentors aspiring writers for Comics Experience. His newest published project is Guardians of the Galaxy: Creating Marvel’s Spacefaring Super Heroes–The Complete Comics History. We talked to him about his successful, wide-ranging career.

Hi, Marc! Tell us a little about your background in the comics industry.

I started at Marvel in 1999 as an editorial intern. My first writing gig, Avengers Casebook 1999, came out after that year. That was followed by a four-year stint on staff as an Assistant Editor to Tom Brevoort in the Avengers office. In 2004, I began my career as a freelance writer and have been going strong ever since. I’ve worked on hundreds of books for Marvel and have also worked for a number of other publishers, including Insight Editions, Scholastic, and more.

How did your work as an editor influence and help your career as a writer?

As an editor, I had a chance to learn from the best, even when they didn’t know they were teaching me. Every day I got to read scripts by the industry’s best—guys like Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, and Fabian Nicieza—and study them to find out what made them work. I also got to understand exactly what an editor was looking for in a script (and a writer), which made things much easier when I switched to the other side of the table.

You’ve written instructional material, marketing, comics, and video games. What are some of your favorite media and genres to write in? Is there a work you’re particularly proud of?

The comic book industry will always be where my heart is, but I’ve loved expanding into other mediums as well. I especially love when I get to apply my deep knowledge of popular comic book universes into an informative project for another publisher. One of my books from last year, Hidden Universe Travel Guide: The Complete Marvel Cosmos, let me take a look at the Marvel Universe from a totally different—and really fun—angle.

How long have you been mentoring for Comics Experience? Can you tell us what kind of interactions aspiring creators would have with you as a mentor?

I have been providing writing critiques for CE since 2014 and have also been a mentor for the last couple years. I even had a chance to teach the Editing and Project Management course last month. Anyone who gets me for a critique, as a mentor, or as an instructor can expect brutally honest feedback that pulls no punches, but hopefully points out exactly how a story can be focused and strengthened for the best possible end results.

What’s the most important advice you can give to creators?

Context is key. So many times, young writers and artists build elaborate worlds in their heads and forget to actually put all of the essential information of the final page. Remember: comic fans can read your pages, but not your minds. If all of the important info isn’t presented within the story itself, the only one who will truly be able to enjoy the story is you!

Tell us about your new book with Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy: Creating Marvel’s Spacefaring
Super Heroes—The Complete Comics History
. How did the project come about? What will readers
learn from it?

This book focuses on almost fifty years of history of the Guardians of the galaxy in their various comic book incarnations—from the original team from the thirty-first century to the modern day version we all know and love. It’s a giant-size hardcover jam-packed full of gorgeous art, creator interviews, and inside info, all wrapped in a gorgeous new cover by Dale Keown. For any fan of the Guardians, this book is a must-own!

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Interested in getting one-on-one coaching from a comics professional? Learn more about Comic Experience’s mentorships here.

Posted by Jennifer de Guzman
jennifer@comicsexperience.com


Introduction to Digital Painting Open for Enrollment!

Comics Experience’s acclaimed Introduction to Digital Painting course is now open for enrollment! Taught by veteran artist Scott Johnson, this course will teach you the techniques necessary to paint objects and characters over existing line drawings.

Scott is a pioneer in the digital illustration field, developing and honing his craft since the late 1990’s. Introduction to Digital Painting is designed to provide a solid overview to students at all different levels of knowledge and skill. It will also zone in on specific techniques for using Photoshop with a pressure sensitive tablet, and will teach you how to render realistic looking objects by understanding light and shadow, color theory, and surface textures

Enrollment is limited, to ensure that all participants enjoy the chance to outline their personal goals and work toward achieving them under the guidance of an experienced professional. Line art will be provided for you to work from, leaving you free to focus exclusively on your painting technique.

Former students have praised the course, and Scott’s technique. “It blew me away with the differences between coloring something, and creating an image with color — no inks laid down, just a pencil draft to work from,” said former student Dan Shipton. “The projects/homework are fun — you could practically feel the excitement through the computer screen for some of the projects, chomping at the bit to get at them.”

The live, online class begins Thursday, July 13 and lasts six weeks, with a skip week for San Diego Comic Con. Seats are limited so enroll now!

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Posted by Paul Allor


Alum Kenny Porter’s “Barnstormers” Graphic Novel Available on Kickstarter through May 4!

Comics Experience alum Kenny Porter is now offering his comic Barnstormers as a graphic novel! The project, with art by Renny Castellani, is available through Kickstarter through Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Originally released as a 3-part miniseries, Barnstormers is the tale of three blue-collar monster-hunting friends who get sucked into an adventure after taking on an assignment from a mysterious client. Set in the 1920s, the story mixes the tone of The Rocketeer with the visual style of animated shows like Tailspin and SWAT Kats. The creative team also includes colorist Jon Alderink, letterer Nic J. Shaw, also a CE alum; and designer Shawn Lee.

Kenny initially conceived Barnstormers for a short assignment in Andy Schmidt’s Introduction to Comic Book Writing course, launching the creative path that would eventually lead to a completed miniseries and, now, a fully-funded graphic novel!

Kenny has also taken part in other CE courses, and is a member of the Creators Workshop.  His comics work has been published on HeavyMetal.com, and his winning entry in the Top Cow Talent Hunt appeared in Artifacts #33.

You can read more about his Talent Hunt experience on our blog here, or listen to his guest spot on the Make Comics podcast!

The Barnstormers Kickstarter is now fully funded – just choose your pledge level to reserve a copy! The graphic novel is available in print and digital formats, and rewards include a script book, bonus comics, original sketches, and more. The campaign will remain active only through May 4!

Once the campaign concludes, you can still continue follow the project’s status – including updates on future availability – on the Barnstormers Kickstarter page, or by following writer Kenny Porter on  Twitter.

Congratulations to Kenny and to the Barnstormers creative team!

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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


Alum Frank Gogol Writes GRIEF Anthology, Available on Kickstarter!

Comics Experience alum Frank Gogol set out to reach readers with stories about struggle and hope. What he wasn’t expecting, after over a year of hard work and collaboration, was to see his Kickstarter campaign fully funded in just 10 hours.

Now, he’s ready to launch GRIEF: an anthology that started in an Introduction to Comic Book Writing course, and evolved into an 84-page collaborative effort.

Available through Kickstarter through May 4, 2017, GRIEF features a collection of short comics that reflect on the stages of the grieving process. Each story is scripted by Frank, and features art, color, and lettering by a team of talented contributors, including fellow Creators Workshop members Emily Elmer (colorist, “Different”), and Sean Rinehart (anthology letterer).

Frank says no one was more surprised than he was at the Kickstarter campaign’s overwhelming support. “I expected an uphill, 30-day battle,” he admits.

Instead, he quickly exceeded his funding goal, prompting him to offer the book at a lower price point. A one-dollar donation is now all it takes to get a high-resolution digital copy of the collection. Frank explains, “This isn’t about making a profit for me. I just want to make comics and I want to get them in front of as many people as I can.”

Frank’s desire to connect with readers was a motivating force behind the entire project, which he discusses poignantly on the campaign page. When encountering tragedy in his own life, he writes, “I looked to stories to help me understand and comprehend what was happening to me.”

The pieces in GRIEF represent diverse styles and genres, illustrated by an international team of artists. Input from the Comics Experience community also played a role in the project’s development.

“The truth is, I probably would not have been able to make it this far without Comics Experience or the Creators Workshop.

“Taking the Intro to Comic Book Writing course last year really gave me the push to move from passively wanting to create comics to actively creating comics, and that has so much to do with the way Andy has structured the course. Starting small, taking a project step-by-step, and walking away with a polished script that’s ready to be drawn were all crucial aspects of getting the ball rolling for me, and once it was in motion, stopping wasn’t an option. That first script from the course ended up being the first story I wrote for GRIEF, too.

“And after the Intro course ended, the Creators Workshop was instrumental in keeping that momentum up. Interacting with the other writers (and artists and pros) really helped me to write better scripts. And that’s to say nothing of the tremendously supportive nature of the forums. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed. The Creators Workshop is an environment designed for creators to thrive in.”

Comics Experience is proud to have had a part in the creation of this project. To learn more or to order, visit the GRIEF Kickstarter page before the campaign ends on May 4, 2017. Contributions of just one dollar will earn donors a digital copy, and higher-level rewards include pinup art, annotated scripts, commissioned pieces, and other bonus content.

After May 4, readers can learn about the project on the Kickstarter or Facebook pages, and follow creator Frank Gogol on Twitter or Instagram.

In addition to Frank, Emily, and Sean, the creative contributors to GRIEF include Luca Bulgheroni, Nenad Cviticanin, Ryan Foust, Kim Holm, Dani Martins, Esther Pimentel, Jey Soliva, and Bethany Varni.

Congratulations to the creative team! Visit the Kickstarter page here to reserve your copy by May 4.

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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


Episode #132 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 #132, “Getting Your Work Published: What Are Your Goals?”
Andy and Joey talk about getting your creator-owned work published, and the bigger idea of what you want your comics to do for you.

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