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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!


Kenny Porter in DC’s Cursed Comics Cavalcade!

Creators Workshop member and course alum Kenny Porter will be writing a Green Lantern story for the Cursed Comic Cavalcade! Out October 10, he’ll be joined by Riley Rossmo on art, Ivan Plascenia on colors, and Tom Napolitano on letters. For fans of horror comics, now’s your chance to see your favorite DC superheroes fighting seasonally appropriate horrors.

We spoke to Kenny briefly about the project.

Comics Experience: What is your relationship like with the creative team?

Kenny Porter: Riley Rossmo and I developed the story together and we had a blast doing it. We’ve known each other for a while and have similar tastes, so having an excuse to collaborate was a lot of fun. I haven’t met Ivan Plascenia or Tom Napolitano, but they both did excellent work with the colors and letters. Also, our editors Dave and Alex were great to work with and really helped us develop the story.

CE: What are some of the challenges unique to working with a licensed character that you don’t face in personal work crafted from the ground up?

KP: I think that the biggest challenge is saying something new with the character while still being true to who the character is at their core. You know that you’re not the first person to write or draw this character, and you won’t be the last, so you have to add something to a bigger tapestry rather than just weaving your own story any way you want. But those limitations can be really fun when you try to consider the world and the future of the character beyond you and your work.

CE: How has your experience with Comics Experience helped with creating this Green Lantern story?

KP: My classes and the workshop helped me out quite a bit. Early on there were a lot of challenges where we would have to take a licensed character and write a short story as if it were going to be published. I did a Rocketeer story years ago in the workshop that gave me the chance to experiment, research, and prepare for writing other popular characters.

You can pick up Cursed Comics Cavalcade on October 10!


Episode #160 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 #160 – Parenting and Comics
Nicole Boose talks parenting and comic-ing. How kids affect our approach to making comics, principles for managing your time, defining and adjusting goals, and mixing working from home and childcare.

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!

 


Rich Douek’s Wailing Blade to Debut at NYCC!

Comics Experience community member Rich Douek, recently of Gutter Magic, will be debuting the first issue of Wailing Blade at New York Comic-Con on October 4-7! The team also includes artist Joe Mulvey, colorists Chris Sotomayor and Jules Rivera, and letterer Taylor Esposito – plus a cover by Declan Shalvey! You can pick it up at the Comix Tribe booth.

You may have already seen the teaser at Emerald City Comic-Con; now it’s time to check out the full issue. For fans of Conan the Barbarian, Mad Max, and the Masters of the Universe – all of which Rich notes as an influence – this book has plenty of sci-fi and fantasy action to please fans of both genres. Wait until you see the character and weapon designs, too!

We spoke with Rich about how Wailing Blade came together.

Comics Experience: What’s it like building an entirely new fantasy land from scratch? How do you and your team create maps?

Rich Douek: It’s a lot of fun, first off! You have the freedom to build the world exactly how you want it, and you can let your imagination run wild. And it doesn’t have to be a lot of work, at least not at the beginning. My approach is to spend a lot of time thinking about the parts of the world that the story immediately occurs in, and while I have ideas for the rest of the world at large, I leave myself the flexibility to develop them further as the story takes us there.

Creating maps is a lot of work, but also fun, too. We started with the areas the story takes place in, and expanded from there. I found some tools and guides online that helped as far as making the maps – things like how coastlines look, and how to depict mountains and forests. I also found a really cool set of Photoshop brushes that made rendering the map a lot easier and fun. After that was the hardest part – coming up with names for everything on it!

CE: How does writing a purely fictional world differ from writing a parallel reality in our own world, like in Gutter Magic? What are some of the challenges that you weren’t expecting?

RD: Well, as I said, there’s a bit more freedom, but that comes at the expense of familiarity. When you’re creating a world, you want it to feel lived in, like it has a history – in a way, you want it to feel like it could exist even if you weren’t telling this story. Setting something in our own world, of course, takes care of a lot of that for you – you can focus on how your version of it differs from the real without having to establish certain things. Gutter Magic was set in a modern day New York City, and while it’s different from the NYC I live in, setting it there gives me a lot of touchpoints that I don’t need to define independently. With a new world, you can’t take anything for granted.

I think the biggest challenge, with any setting, is making sure that everything is internally consistent. You can make it as crazy as you want, but it has to make sense, from the smallest interaction, to the biggest of the big picture stuff going on in the background. For Wailing Blade, that meant doing a lot of research into how feudal societies work, how the introduction of new technologies can affect people, and lots of things I might not have realized I needed at the start in order to make things work.

CE: What is your relationship with the creative team like? What is your preferred process?

RD: I’ve known Joe for years, we met at the first NYCC I ever went to and hit it off really well. Since then, we’ve always been looking to work together, but either he was busy with something, I was busy with something, or both. For whatever reason, our availability didn’t line up until very recently – but man, am I glad it did. He’s one of the most thoughtful, hardworking, and friendly people I’ve ever worked with. He brings great ideas to the table, and is really defining the world right alongside every word I write.

With Chris and Taylor, you couldn’t ask for two more seasoned professionals to be working on the book. They both have hundreds of projects under their belts, from indie work all the way up to Marvel and DC. (What that means is that generally 90% of the mistakes come from either Joe or myself. Haha!) But seriously, it makes the workflow that much easier, because everyone knows they can rely on each other to get the job done.

CE: How did your work with Comics Experience help in the creation of this project?

RD: I always try to apply the lessons I’ve learned from Comics Experience courses on every project – be it story structure, engaging dialogue, or pacing – and the enthusiasm and supportiveness of the community always inspires me and keeps me going. Even though this isn’t a CE publishing project, I’m glad to have the Workshop as a place I can talk about the work, and as a resource if I run into a roadblock.

We hope you’ll check out Wailing Blade #1 at NYCC, October 4-7, 2018!


Alum Ramon Gil’s Sci Fi Anthology Now Available Thru Kickstarter!

From “Lt. Yorick,” by Matt Kelly and Nicolo Arcuti

Ramon Gil, a Comics Experience alum and Creators Workshop member, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the fourth installation in his science fiction comics anthology series, Scifies. This collection assembles eight original science fiction stories by emerging and established writers and artists, with editing by Gregory Silber. The Kickstarter runs until Sept 23, 2018, with the collection (and other rewards!) available to backers beginning in October.

The latest Scifies installment marks a departure from previous issues: while the first three books featured Ramon’s writing exclusively, this one features a cross-section of writing talent. Each story is illustrated by a different artist. Ramon himself serves as the publisher of the current edition, although he also cameos as the artist of one piece, titled “The Long Event Horizon.”

From “The Last Survivor,” by Lynne Yoshii

Other stories feature Comics Experience talent as well: “Name Day,” written by alum Marta Tanrikulu, is about a young girl’s fantastical shopping trip with her father. And Matt Kelly, a former Creators Workshop member, is a co-creator of “Lt. Yorick.” For more teaser art, story details, and creative team credits, visit the Kickstarter page!

Asked for his take on finding strong collaborators, Ramon explains: “Basically, I approached people I liked and whose work I admired. People who had already had a track record of producing good work. I’m also doing another anthology from a workshop of more novice creators.”

While Ramon’s comics expertise is wide-ranging, he recognizes the Comics Experience community for helping to hone in on his approach to producing Scifies: “Aside from all the great connections, I’ve learned a lot about how to approach projects and the industry itself. Andy [Schmidt] has always been very encouraging and supportive.”

Still, Ramon’s presence in the comics community expands well beyond the bounds of either Comics Experience or the Scifies series: among his other endeavors, he teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, and is the organizer of the school’s Diversity Comic Con, which debuts this year on October 11.

For more about Scifies, visit the Kickstarter page here, and make your pledge by September 23!

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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


Don’t Forget to Sign Up for Intro to Coloring!

Our always popular Introduction to Comic Book Coloring class with Chris Sotomayor (Spider-Man, The Avengers) starts back up again on October 15, 2018! Don’t miss your chance to take part in a fun and phenomenal learning experience – secure your spot today and start making comics. Because of our personalized, student-centered approach, we cap each course at a strictly-limited number of seats – and they’re filling up fast! You really don’t wait to guarantee your spot.

You can read what Chris has to say about his curriculum and approach to teaching in this interview.

Chris’ course structure benefits more than just aspiring colorists and artists. It provides writers, editors, marketers, and letterers with the visual fluency needed to communicate with team members about their ideas. Comics Experience staffers Nicole Boose, Heather Antos, and Paul Allor all graduated from this course, as have some alumni you may have heard of: Amy Chu, Jamal Igle, Emily Elmer, and Dee Cunniffe, among others. It’s our hope that all students, regardless of their goals in the comics community, can apply their knowledge in practical and creative situations in equal measure.

Remember, Intro to Coloring is required if you wish to move on to Advanced Comic Book Coloring, which will begin again in 2019.

To register, click here.

Visit our Courses page for a complete listing of Comics Experience courses.

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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!


Episode #159 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!

#159 – Don’t Let Social Media Get You Down
Why bother with social media if there’s so much negativity? When DO you read the comments? And why do we create in the first place? Heather Antos talks Social Media blackouts & blocklists, along with other tips & tricks to stay sane.

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