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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!


Two Brand New Classes Open for Enrollment!

Our March classes are now taking eager comics creators! If you’ve ever wanted to take one of our courses, or are interested in editing, project management and figure drawing and anatomy, now’s your chance to sign up and learn from some of the most experienced names in the industry.

Starting next month, we’ll be offering the following:

Comic Book Editing and Project Management – Starts March 20
Instructor Mark Sumerak bio

Introduction to Figure Drawing and Anatomy – Starts March 29
Instructor Robert Atkins bio

Hurry, though! Our classes tend to fill up quickly. The only way to guarantee yourself a spot is registering as soon as possible.

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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


Andy Schmidt Discusses “The New Comics Career”

Andy SchmidtOn our Comics Experience Creators Workshop online forum, discussion buzzes about “The New Comics Career,” and what that term means in the landscape of today’s comics industry.

This topic was prompted by our latest Live Workshop session. In this live online event, held January 31, Andy Schmidt led a lively talk about how crowdfunding and self-publishing have altered the way many comics creators have approached their careers.

Inspired by that session, Andy launched a related discussion thread on our online forum, so that members of the Creators Workshop community could continue to exchange ideas about this timely and important topic.

According to Andy, a combination of factors has led to major shifts in how comics are produced and supported in recent years.  The changes he cites:

  1. Creators need publishers less than they used to
  2. Creators have better access to collaborators
  3. Due to digital, creating your own comic is much easier than it used to be, and that includes printing
  4. Falling costs of printing and distribution
  5. Rise of crowdfunding and convention sales by creators

How do these changes affect the comics community? Join us in the conversation! What are *your* thoughts on creating comics in this era of self-publishing and digital distribution?

So far, participants have weighed in with their own ideas, experiences, and advice on building a career in the current industry. If you’re a Creators Workshop member, you can access this discussion by logging in here.

This is just one of dozens of topics that the Creators Workshop explores every day on our member forums. Discussions are in-depth, respectful, and include people from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels.

To learn more about the Creators Workshop and how to become a member, please visit our Workshop page here. Membership includes access to our online discussion forum, monthly live online workshops, and opportunities to receive professional feedback on your work. We hope you’ll join us!
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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 #128 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 #128 – Story and Scene Structure
Fitting dialog into comic scenes can eat into pages quickly without advancing plot. Andy and Joey talk story scene structure for comics.

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


Enrollment Closing Soon – Introductory Comic Book Courses Start February 1!

The window is about to close on enrollment for February’s Comic Book Writing, Art, Lettering/Production, and Coloring courses – all at the introductory level. Don’t wait for your opportunity to learn from the pros and make comics!

Our Introduction courses help lay a strong foundation for anyone aspiring to create comics, or to expand their current skills. Whether you’ve been interested in comics for years, or are just starting to think about their potential to tell your story, our instructors provide the hands-on instruction and guidance that can help you turn your inspiration into action.

But our next sessions begin as early as February 1, and we don’t want you to miss out!

Visit the pages below for more details on our courses, and to read insightful interviews with our professional instructors.

Then, be sure to sign up now before time runs out!

 

Introduction to Comic Book Writing – Starts February 1
Instructor Andy Schmidt bio
Instructor Andy Schmidt interview

Introduction to Comic Book Art – Starts February 1
Instructor Robert Atkins bio
Instructor Robert Atkins interview

Introduction to Comic Book Lettering & Production – Starts February 6
Instructor Dave Sharpe bio
Instructor Dave Sharpe interview

Introduction to Comic Book Coloring – Starts February 6
Instructor Chris Sotomayor bio
Instructor Chris Sotomayor interview

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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


Chris Sotomayor on Introduction to Comic Book Coloring

Comics Experience‘s Chris Sotomayor will be teaching our next Introduction to Comic Book Coloring class beginning February 6!

Chris is one of the most respected and sought-after colorists in the comic book industry, with credits from Marvel, DC, Image, Humanoids and more. He’s worked on The Avengers, Supreme Power/Squadron Supreme, Spider-Man and other A-list titles. We spoke with him about his experiences with and plans for the class.

Comics Experience: What are some common misunderstandings about coloring? What is something you wish more creators and readers knew about coloring?

Chris Sotomayor: Although the advent of technology has made the process “easier” to execute, it’s still a process. And it’s a process rooted in art, not technology. You can (and must) apply the same thinking and understanding of color and painting that you would for a traditional painting, as you would on something created digitally. It’s the same principles, but with different, and more versatile, tools. And the ability to undo is nice. That’s a bonus. But there’s still the knowledge of the craft that makes the difference. It’s not a lot of button pushing. It’s art.

CE: What is something that novice colorists overlook that you think they need to learn?

CS: Well, this goes back to my first response, about the process of art and understanding the foundation that you’re building on. No short cuts. No magic bullet. Learn to paint and draw. You don’t even have to be amazing at it, but a basic understanding is usually enough to get a good start. You also have to be willing to get better at it too. That helps a lot, and will just make you a better artist.

Aside from that, I think a lot of novice colorists tend to focus on the wrong things. I get a lot of the same questions about coloring: “How many pages do you do in a day?” or “What’s a good page rate?”

Those are perfectly good and valid questions. But too many people are skipping the part where they become good artists. First, worry about being good enough to get hired. Work on the skills that will allow you to maintain a career with real longevity. Once you have those down (or at least a basic enough understanding to get your foot through a good door), then start worrying about some of those other questions. That stuff will fall into place. If you worry about how much you’re getting paid, or constantly think you’re underpaid, but you don’t have the skills to back it up, you’re not really going to get very far.

CE: How has your time with Comics Experience helped you grow as a colorist?

CS: Wow, I have to tell you, I really love teaching my class for a few reasons. One of which is that it keeps me very mindful about what I do and helps me reinforce the basics in my own work. As an artist, you never stop learning and honing your craft. And a lot of that has to do with relearning the basics from time to time. Teaching the class forces me to review the basics a few times a year, and that just makes my foundation stronger. Since I also show examples of my work in class, I have to make sure they’re good examples that adhere to the principles that I teach. That keeps my skills tight, and also breeds trust in my students, because they can see that I know what I’m talking about and can apply the things I’m teaching.

CE: How did you develop your curriculum for your Comics Experience courses? How has it changed over the years?

CS: When Andy Schmidt and I first started discussing what the class would be I approached it as, “I wish this was around when I was starting out.” I remember starting out and just wishing there was any kind of information available. So I took a look at what I learned and started piecing together all the important stuff. I discussed it with other colorists who I respect a lot and put together what I think is a very comprehensive class. This is everything you need to learn in order to color effectively. This is the class the pros take.

And while I’m very fortunate to have had quite a few professionals take the class (Dave Finch, Jamal Igle, Rachelle Rosenberg, Sean Chen, just to name a few), I think I take the most pride in teaching the students who have no prior knowledge of coloring, digital or otherwise, and get them to a place where they feel comfortable coloring professional comic book artwork. That’s a pretty rewarding feeling. And although I have a pretty strict curriculum I follow, there’s plenty of room to adjust the class based on the skill level of the students, their eagerness to challenge themselves, the artwork that’s used in the assignments or just through their basic feedback. It keeps the class interesting for them and me. That way I’m not bored teaching the class and I can pack in as much information as possible. More bang for your buck.

CE: What are some of your favorite stories from your Comics Experience courses?

CS: I think the best moments of the class have come from the students and the guest speakers. When the students get into a groove and are really enthusiastic, we tend to have a lot of fun. It keeps things light and loose.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have some really great guest speakers, like Marte Gracia, Laura Martin, Justin Ponser, Paul Mounts, Alex Sinclair, John Rauch, Richard Isanove, Dean White, Jordie Bellaire… just so many great people. And each of them have been so amazingly generous with their time and knowledge. Classes are usually 2 hours for each session, but I’ve had crazy marathon session with Justin Ponser and Matthew Wilson. I think we went on for 4 hours (or maybe more) with Justin, and Matthew probably the same. And I think I had to cut Matthew off just because we were running so long. I’d love to have them back again because they’re such fantastic talents and so forthcoming. Then, Dean White and Richard Isanove were also amazing! They each actually came back for a bonus night, so we wound up having them each for two nights instead of just the one. You can’t beat that.

You can sign up for the upcoming Introduction to Comic Book Coloring course 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


Get Ramon Gil’s SCIFIES Now Available for Free!

Creators Workshop member Ramon Gil has made all three volumes of his comics anthology SCIFIES available for free! He is joined by artists Lui Antonio, Roy Allan Martinez, Rudy Nebres, Len Peralta, Cee Raymond, Derwin Roberson, Trevor Von Eeden, Bill Walko and others.

Ramon is excited at the news.

“It’s an opportunity to share my work with people,” he says. “I’ve come to realize that it’s more important for me to create comics for the sake of creating them and have people read them, more so than to make money off of them.”

The stories cover a broad range of science-fiction narratives, from bleak technological dystopias to quirky spies.

“I love it when something pops into my head or when a word or news item or conversation gives me the seed for a concept. And then having to flesh out that concept into a story, then an outline, then a script,” Ramon says. “I also enjoy finding the right artist for the story and collaborating with them. For the most part, almost every aspect of producing a comic book is enjoyable for me. When I’m doing it, I’m totally in the zone.”

He also notes the role the Creators Workshop has played in shaping his creative vision.

“The Comic Experience forum is a great source of information, advise and feedback! You can submit scripts and get other creators to comment and give suggestions on how to make the script better,” he says.

“You are privy to opportunities for work. And you have direct access to professionals who are actually and currently working in the industry. If anyone is serious about this as a career, I would definitely recommend Comics Experience!”

You can download all three issues of SCIFIES 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