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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!


Ken Perry’s NEXT DANCE Now Up on Kickstarter

Comics Experience alum Ken Perry has teamed up with writer Anna Leue for a brand new Kickstarter! The Next Dance blends multiple genres for a unique and evocative tale of grief and renewal. The comic has been completed, and the campaign sponsors a print run to bring the vivid story to life.

“The first seed of this story was inspired by a song. It took a few years for that original inspiration to crystallize into an actual narrative, and by the time it did I knew I had a pretty unusual project on my hands. Part romance, part horror story, more than a little sad but also funny and sweet and ultimately hopeful,” says Anna.

“I knew a story like this, one that didn’t fit neatly into any traditional genres, was going to need a brilliant artist to bring it to life. It took me a couple of tries to find the right person for the job, but when Ken and I finally sat down and started working out character concepts, I realized that his unique approach was exactly what this story needed.”

Ken says, “Like so many collaborations today we have never met in person even though Anna only lives about 150 miles away. Being more into the horror, action, and noir styles I would often push the art in that direction and Anna would need to pull me back. More than once I would get an email from her about how she thought what I did was great, but a screaming headshot of Hayley looking crazed and in fear for her life wasn’t really appropriate for the scene.”

“She was right. There were also times when I’d push the mood or emotion in a scene and she would be happily surprised, it wasn’t what she had in mind but pushing it to the extreme made for a more dramatic sequence. It was a great collaboration as neither of us let ego get in the way and working together to craft a book that blends a fun mix of genres,” he continues.

The artwork, all in black and white, switches between bright and brooding. Ken contrasts “light and airy” scenes with weightier moments to follow protagonist Hayley through her journey of physically and mentally healing from a major trauma.

You can support Ken and Anna’s The Next Dance – maybe even pick up some new art for your collection – 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


Episode #140 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 #140 – Paul Allor on Writing Fictionalized Historical Events
Paul Allor (TMNT, Clue) talks about writing fictionalized historical events in his new AfterShock Comics series Monstro Mechanica.

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


Comics Experience Members and Alumni Meet Up in New York and Shanghai!

Our alumni have been building our community at conventions around the world, with a recent meetup at New York Comic Con (October 5-8) and a panel Shanghai Comic Con (October 5-7)! Creators Workshop member and CE alum Rich Douek hosted the meetup, while alum Ian Powers served on a panel to discuss how to best nurture and attract local talent – certainly a topic of interest for Comics Experience! We appreciate and applaud Rich and Ian for helping us to bring together aspiring and inspiring creators together.

“Workshop members got to talk comics, meet working comics professionals like Chris Sotomayor, Gamal Hennessy, and John Lees face to face, and get introduced to Travis McIntyre and the rest of the crew behind our new publishing partner, Source Point Press,” said Rich.

“While Andy wasn’t able to join us this year, he was there in spirit (and in the plates of appetizers he ordered for everyone)… [and] members shared their thoughts on the industry, creating comics, and showed off all the amazing stuff they were working on.”

You can view images from the event here.

Meanwhile, in Shanghai…

Ian Powers’ friendship with Ma Yi and Li Yi Shan, local creators whom he met at last year’s Shanghai Comic, led him to meet members of the Reed Pop team at Emerald City Comic Con this past March. A discussion about the Chinese comics market, intellectual property, and film production, he provided them with some advice on better integrating the convention with the local community – and local creators.

“They gave me a table [in the special guests area] and also I brought in several locally-based comics creators who they were unaware lived in China, like Walter McDaniel and a few others,” Ian says.

“It was awesome! Everyone had some very unique perspectives, especially from the local Chinese artists, Ma Yi and Li Yi Shan they had some views on talent that is a little different from the creators that came up in America [Phil Jiminez and Billy Tan].”

He continues, “I got to be more than a translator and moderator when someone asked how a new writer can meet artists to collaborate with when they have no credits, so I told them about completing my short comic simply by going out and finding an artist at a similar point in his career [whom] I connected with over a story. Of course I then let him know that I found my partner in comics, Federico Deluca, right here on Comics Experience!”

The response proved so eager, Ian thinks Comics Experience should consider Chinese language courses. You can view all the photos from Shanghai Comic Con here.

Thanks again to Rich and Ian for their help, hard work, and for spreading the love of making comics!


Master Seminar: Surviving Work for Hire with Kieron Gillen Live on November 18!

We at Comics Experience are very pleased to announce our next Master Seminar, Surviving Work for Hire, taught by Kieron Gillen! Gillen is the writer behind the beloved creator-owned The Wicked + The Divine (with the series’ co-creator and artist Jamie McKelvie) and bestselling Marvel titles, including Uncanny X-Men, Star Wars: Darth Vader, and Star Wars: Doctor Aphra.

The seminar is a one-day, 6-hour online session on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Gillen will share what he has learned in his more than fifteen years writing comics about not only surviving the rigors of work-for-hire, but also thriving in a fulfilling creative career.

Having worked both on writing his own comics and on properties owned by Marvel, Gillen has an essential perspective on maintaining creative integrity while meeting the needs of publishers and the desires of fans.

“I’ve been a fan of Kieron’s work since I first came across it in Uncanny X-Men and he’s only impressed me more with each series I’ve read of his since,” said Andy Schmidt, the founder of Comics Experience. “His Journey Into Mystery showed such a deep understanding of structure and character dynamics that it stands out as a high watermark for Marvel’s line of books over the last decade,” Andy continued. “And that doesn’t even go into his creator-owned work like the exemplary The Wicked + The Divine which should be dog-eared and in every comic fan’s collection. I’m thrilled Kieron has agreed to share his insights and his mastery of the craft of writing comics with us.”

Comics Experience’s Master Seminars offer an exclusive opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of comics professionals who are uniquely qualified and experienced to take students on a deep dive into single, complex subject.

Online registration is just $295 for a six-hour session on Saturday, November 18 starting at 10 a.m. Eastern time. In addition to the invaluable instruction, students will have access to the recorded audio and video for two weeks after the seminar. We expect the course to fill quickly, so sign up now!

WHO: Bestselling Comic Book Writer Kieron Gillen

WHAT: Comics Experience Master Seminar: Surviving Work for Hire

WHEN: Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Eastern time

WHERE: Online

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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.Posted by Jennifer de Guzman.
jennifer@comicsexperience.com


A Few Slots Still Open in Our Advanced Art: Live Studio Experience


We have just a few slots available for the Advanced Art: Live Studio Experience course with artist-instructor Robert Atkins. This course blends the accessibility and flexibility of an online course with the personalized instruction of working directly with a mentor, and starts back up on Wednesday, October 25, 2017! Make sure to sign up as soon as you can – spots in our courses can fill up quickly!

Over the span of eight weeks, students undertake a rigorous and lively process of addressing individual needs, practicing new techniques, and nurturing personal artistic strengths.

Everyone who has completed our prerequisite Introduction to Comic Book Art course is eligible to sign up. Seats are limited in order to provide more focused assessment and instruction, so we encourage you to sign up early! You can register at our course page.

Robert’s credits include extensive work in comics, video games, and toy packaging design. A graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design’s M.F.A. program, Robert was also instrumental in developing the school’s mentorship program. His art courses are a long-standing staple of the Comics Experience curriculum.

To learn more and register, visit the Advanced Art: Live Studio Experience course page 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.

Posted by Meredith Nudo.


Episode #139 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 #139 – Social Media 101 with Meredith Nudo
Social media manager and writer Meredith Nudo talks social media 101 for comics creators.

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