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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!


Creators Workshop Member Shaun Manning Appears in STAR WARS ADVENTURES!

Creators Workshop member and Comics Experience course alumnus Shaun Manning is headed to a galaxy far, far away, joined by artist Chad Thomas and colorist Charlie Kirchoff! On January 17, pick up a copy of IDW’s Star Wars Adventures #6 and read their short story, “Podracer’s Rescue,” which follows some of Anakin’s adventures before The Phantom Menace.

“Anakin was fun to write, though, just really great. I don’t think there have been a lot of stories about the days before he met Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, or even the time shortly after. I think there’s a lot of room to play with Young Annie, especially in a series like Star Wars Adventures,” Shaun says.

Transitioning from independent, creator-owned work to breathing life into some of the most iconic fictional characters in all time is as exciting as it is challenging.

“With my creator-owned books, I have to account for how my world works, who my characters are, the full arc of their stories, and so on — there are a lot of moving pieces, but ultimately it’s down to me to decide how these stories are going to play out. I actually found writing licensed characters a lot… harder? A ton of fun, in so many ways. But especially with something like Star Wars, there’s so much to keep track of that isn’t necessarily in my own head,” Shaun says.

“Like, I know the movies, the comics, and some of the cartoons and books, but sitting down to create something new, I had to keep track of the tech, various planets, and the sort of slang used in this universe. It’s not just getting the characters’ voices and environments, it’s a whole far-away galaxy of stuff.”

Shaun’s work in the Creators Workshop introduced him to IDW editor Bobby Curnow. Their friendly working relationship in the forum led to multiple pitches and, eventually, Star Wars Adventures.

He says, “I think the exercise of writing short stories for the workshop, evaluating other members’ stories, and improving through revision is just really useful for writing this sort of short, contained story that has to both read well for its audience and also fit into the broader tapestry of a property like Star Wars.”

Support your favorite local comic book store and purchase Star Wars Adventures next week!

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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 #144 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 #144 — 2017 In Review, Looking Ahead
Andy and Joey talk about a year of Making Comics and looking ahead at the new year.

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


David Pepose’s SPENCER & LOCKE Makes Multiple “Best of 2017” Lists!

Comics Experience alum David Pepose has had quite an exciting year! Spencer & Locke – his Action Lab Entertainment book with artist Jorge Santiago, Jr, colorist Jasen Smith, and letterer Colin Bell – landed on multiple best of lists for 2017! You can read them at…

Make sure to check out the trailer and see what all the excitement is about. We’re all so proud of the Spencer & Locke team!

“It’s beyond exciting to see that Spencer & Locke has resonated with so many fans and critics like this… in particular, it’s been really gratifying seeing my talented collaborators getting some much-deserved praise for their incredible work. I’m so thrilled to be teaming up with my co-creator Jorge Santiago, Jr. and the rest of our creative team for Spencer & Locke 2, which we’re looking to release later this year,” David says.

“Having seen the art that Jorge has already turned in, I can say that our readers have truly inspired us to bring our A-game with this story, and we’re really looking forward to shaking up Spencer & Locke‘s world in a big way for the sequel. If you thought our first arc was wild… well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Oh, and did we mention the upcoming movie adaptation?

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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


New Live Workshops Announced: Blocking, Marketing, and Movement!

ComicsExperience_logoOur next Live Workshop session topics have been announced!

Our Live Workshop sessions are online, monthly events for Creators Workshop members. We focus on unique topics geared toward helping comic creators achieve their personal best.

Details about our next three Live Workshop sessions are below. We hope you’ll join us!

Tuesday, January 9, 2016 at 9:00 pm ET
Blocking: What it Means and How to Get a Whole Lot Better At It
ANDY SCHMIDT: Blocking is a term that comes from the theater. It takes place early on in a reversals, in which the director and actors “block out” the staging–where everyone stands, when and where they move to, how they will stand close or away from the audience, at what angle will they turn, and of course how and when any other physical movement happens. It’s like creating a sketch of the play. We do this in comics (and if we don’t, we should!), but it’s a much different process and it has different effects. In this workshop, Andy will go over how we do this as a writer, how an artist will do it, and several tips to make your blocking (I’m looking at you, writers) much more engaging and dramatic to make for more visually dynamic pages.

Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Indie Corner: Working With Your Publisher on Marketing
PAUL ALLOR: In the first of our new INDIE CORNER workshops, PAUL ALLOR will join guest RYAN LINDSAY to discuss the process of working with a small-press publisher to market your creator-owned book. How much should you expect to do? What tips and techniques will yield the best results for the time invested? How important is communication with the publisher? Broaden your marketing skill set to make the most of your creator-owned career!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Movement on the Page (well, the illusion of it, anyway)
ANDY SCHMIDT In this session, Andy covers how to deal with the problem of static images meant to convey movement. Television and film thrive on things like car chases and complicated action sequences, but comics struggle with certain kinds of action in large part due to the fact that there is no perceived movement in a static image. Andy goes over some key way to create the illusion of movement and some accepted tropes within the industry to get your comics up and running!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Camera Angles
ANDY SCHMIDT It’s easy for a writer or an artist to just do the job. To run the bases but not crank up the heat. One of the easiest ways to turn the mundane into a visual delight is by varying up camera angles and shots. In this session, Andy will cover not just the various types of camera angles (and terms), but also demonstrate the effect that they have on the reader–thus teaching you when and why to call for them in your script or add them into your page layouts.

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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


All About Our Creators Workshop!

comicsexperience-logoCreators Workshop is one of the major points of pride for Comics Experience. We bring together a wide range of aspiring, established, and even legendary comic book creators for lively discussions and critiques. Members also enjoy access to monthly live sessions covering topics like marketing, editing, social media strategies, overlooked art techniques, and plenty more.

“The discussions that we have in earnest about the industry and that feeling that we all share in each others’ successes and we all share frustrations for one another,” says Comics Experience founder and CEO Andy Schmidt.

“Sometimes it’s fun and jovial and we’re all chatting about things we love and at other times there’s such real compassion and a thirst to learn and grow that I honestly find the whole thing inspiring.”

Nicole Boose, Comics Experience’s general manager, agrees.

“My favorite aspect is that it’s a universally, unconditionally welcoming place to grow. Every member has a different background, different experience level, different knowledge, and different goals from every other. We try to keep the climate as open and inviting as possible, so that each member can connect with the information and support that’s most valuable to them,” she says.

Participants in the Creators Workshop are held to a high standard of basic decency and respect. Andy and Nicole attribute this to a variety of factors, and believe the forum’s values directly nurture the productivity and creativity within the community.

“There are a few important things to know about how we uphold a safe and welcoming climate. One is that all members use their real names, so there’s a sense of transparency and responsibility for your own words. Second, we encourage open and honest discussion, with the understanding that we treat all other members with unconditional respect,” says Nicole.

“Our boards are moderated in order to ensure we all uphold that standard, yet it’s been extremely rare in the Workshop’s history that a discussion has needed intervention. Members themselves do an excellent job of keeping the tone thoughtful, respectful, and candid, in equal measure.”

Andy says, “We value critical thinking, we value positive attitudes, honest evaluation and critique. We value a love of the craft and of telling stories. We love creators who experiment and try new things. We value honest discourse. It’s okay to disagree and it’s okay to break the mold. We value differences of opinion as much as we value individual respect.”

If you’re interested in taking part in our Creators Workshop to meet fellow creators and expand your skill set and opportunities, you can sign up here! Did we mention it makes a great gift? Because it makes a great gift… even if you’re the recipient.

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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 #143 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 #143, “Making Comics to Make Connections in Comics”
Andy and Joey address a listener question, and discuss making comics to make connections in 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