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CE Alum Paul Allor guest writes “Gutters”

gutters-logoComics Experience alum and staff member Paul Allor (TMNT: Fugitiod, Orc Girl) recently was a guest writer on the popular web comic Gutters. The artists on Paul’s strip were Tony and Allen Jackson.

In Paul’s installment, he tackles the question of “what if all fans were like comic fans…”

Gutters-Paul-Allor-Partial
Gutters, described as an “editorial cartoon targeting comic books,” is a series of one-page shorts published three times per week, that parody the comic book industry and the heroes and characters that dwell within.

A new round of talented artists handle the art chores each time.

Gutters is generally written by Ryan Sohmer, but has occasionally had guest writers participate including Mark Waid, Gail Simone, Fred Van Lente, Jim Zub, Jim McCann, Ron Marz, and now Paul Allor as well!

Congrats to Paul on his guest writing gig!

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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!


TweetChat Transcript – Paolo Rivera & Andy Schmidt

twitter_icon-by-thedesignsuperhero.comOn May 7th, Eisner Award-winning artist Paolo Rivera and former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt held a #makecomics “TweetChat” discussing comic art, the use of design in storytelling, and more.

Paolo-Rivera

For those who missed it, a transcript of the highlights is below!

Paolo’s one-day, live streaming course on The Art of Design and Comic Book Storytelling will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 10:00am until approximately 4:00pm Eastern Time, with a one-hour break for lunch.

This is a one-time only opportunity to learn from a modern master of the comic art form!

TweetChat between Paolo Rivera & Andy Schmidt:

Andy: I’m interested in how you got your first comics work. You were in school at RISD, correct? and did you link with pros through professors?

Paolo: Yep, I was still at RISD at the time. I first met Jim Krueger while I was still in high school. Megacon in Orlando was the venue.

Andy: And he liked your work or you just met him and kept in touch? Showing work later…

Paolo: Yeah, I kept in touch throughout my time in college. He had me do a bunch of work for his creator owned projects.

Andy: And he introduced you to whom? And did they lead to more folks following your work?

Paolo: He brought me into the Marvel offices and introduced me to a bunch of editors, none of whom really knew what to do with me.

Andy: Was I one of those editors???

Paolo: Ha! No. I believe Mike Marts was. But he gave me Joe Quesada’s contact info and I emailed him some jpegs.

Paolo: They didn’t really have a book or a project to put me on.

Andy: Was that because of your painting style that they didn’t know what to make of you?

Paolo: They liked the work, they just didn’t have anything for me. Fortunately, Quesada got back to me the next day and said I was hired.

Andy: That was nice of him. And I’m glad he did.

Paolo: Yeah, both he and Tom Brevoort pretty much created jobs for me. I’ll always be thankful for that.

Andy: You were painting originally. Why painting? Is that what you went to school wanting to do, or did you decide while there? and when and why did you make the switch to more traditional pencil and ink and color?

Paolo: I made the major shift in 2008. ASM 577 was my first inked comic. The switch was mainly done for time and money. I couldn’t produce pages fast enough fully painted. Still can’t.

Andy: That’s fair. Would you prefer to be painting still? Or have you grown into liking pen and ink more?

Paolo: Now I don’t really even paint covers. Only commissions and personal work. I still love to paint, but I save it for special projects, like the Iron Man 3 cast and crew poster I just did. When it comes to comics, I much prefer ink. I studied a lot of Milton Caniff to figure out just what I was trying to do. My style ended up looking something like Joe Orlando’s later work, whom I wasn’t even aware of when I started inking.

Andy: And in studying Caniff’s work, did you really start working differently from a storytelling perspective?

Paolo: Not so much. I was trying to steal his inking style more than anything else. When it comes to storytelling, I never really “studied” anyone. I try to approach with a blank slate.

Andy: That makes sense. You can see it in your work–which is really cool. How much pen and ink did you do at RISD?

Paolo: I did almost no pen and ink at RISD. When I started inking, it was something completely new to me, but inking has informed my painting because it forces me to concentrate on composition.

Andy: Do you try to figure out panel layouts first or where you want action/characters, then frame them in panel?

Paolo: It depends on the page, but I usually have some anchor upon which I rest everything else. There’s usually one character or one action that’s most important. Everything else is there to serve it. For me, I block the action out first and that informs panel layouts.

Paolo: What actually convinced me to try brush and ink was my fans – they would ask for black and white drawings all the time.

Andy: That’s really interesting. I always tell pros not to listen to fans! Ha ha.

Paolo: Yeah, I ended up showing a Fastball Special pin-up to my editor and he let me try the style on ASM 577.

Andy: So you’re doing the MASTER SEMINAR at Comics Experience. on Design in Storytelling. There’s a lot of design in DAREDEVIL. Was that something you and Mark Waid wanted to do together?

Paolo: Honestly, Marcos Martin opened my eyes. I never knew writers were cool with that. Mark pretty much gave us free reign.

Andy: Cool with what exactly?

Paolo: Cool with interpreting his scripts as we saw fit. Because I knew what Marcos’ script looked like… and what the finished page looked like. I was able to see what kind of liberties he was taking. I just never knew that was an option before. At least with your standard Marvel comic. I also have to give a lot of credit to Steve Wacker, who was open to anything that made the story move.

Andy: Steve has become one heck of an editor, hasn’t he. Really impressive body of work.

Paolo: Yeah, it’s almost like an indy island in the midst of Marvel. But I’m biased.

Andy: Anything you want to hit on before we sign off?

Paolo: Sure: comics are really hard to make. They’re also really fun to make. I hope to make more.

Andy: Thanks for chatting here, Paolo. Much appreciated.

Paolo: My pleasure, sir! Thank YOU!

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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!


CE Alum Shaun Manning launches “Hell, Nebraska” Kickstarter

Hell-Nebraska-titleComics Experience alum and Creators Workshop member Shaun Manning has launched a Kickstarter campaign for hist comic book project, Hell, Nebraska.

Hell, Nebraska is a six-issue, digital-first comic book series on Comixology and iVerse Comics+ by Shaun Manning and Anna Wieszczyk about a man who discovers that Hell does not exist–and decides to do something about it.

Thanks to the power of a mysterious mask, an unassuming high school teacher is able to raise a city of the damned in rural Nebraska… but one of his students could topple his grand design.

The first issue is available for free on Comixology right here.

Shaun is looking to fund publication of a small print run and cover some of the final art costs.

hell-nebraska-pageThe intention is to debut the “Hell, Nebraska” trade paperback at the brand-new Cincy ComiCon in September, along with a con-exclusive variant (and sole print edition) of the first two issues.

As incentives, supporters can choose digital versions of the comics, exclusive print editions, a trade paperback collection, a t-shirt or custom iPhone cover.

You can even be consigned to Hell by the character Abbadon, by having yourself drawn into the comic book!

With nearly a full month left, there’s still plenty of time to jump on this Kickstarter for Hell, Nebraska!

Or check out the video below:

Best of luck to Shaun with the Kickstarter!

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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!


C2E2 2013 – Comics Experience Panels & Meet-Up!

c2e2The 2013 C2E2 Convention was another great one for Comics Experience staff, alums, and friends!

On Sunday, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt (former Marvel and IDW Editor) moderated two panels.

writing-panelOn the Comic Art – How to Make a Living Doing It panel, Andy was joined by Chris Burnham, CE Art Instructor Robert Atkins, and Ryan Browne, who gave the inside scoop on making a career that pays in the comics industry.

And on the Writing for Comics panel, Andy, along with Mike Costa, Josh Fialkov, and CE Book Club Manager and alum Paul Allor discussed the nuts and bolts of word craft in the sequential arts.

audienceBoth panels were packed, and we want to thank everyone who joined us!

But before the panels, we had our annual C2E2 Comics Experience Meet-Up on Saturday night, which included a mix of CE alums and Creators Workshop members, pro comic book creators, friends (and some folks who fit in all those categories!)

The meet-up was attended by Andy Schmidt, Shaun Manning, Nick Dedual, Brad Thingvold, Ed Brisson, Frank Barbiere, Andrew Guilde, Paul Allor, Josh Fialkov, Ryan Browne, Amy Chu, Craig Yeung, and Brian Shearer.

Check out some pics below!

c2e2-2013-meetup01 c2e2-2013-meetup02

If you missed out, we certainly hope to see you at the next convention, whether at the panels, the meet-ups, or both!

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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!


“Make Comics” TweetChat on 5/7/13 with Paolo Rivera and Andy Schmidt!

twitter_icon-by-thedesignsuperhero.comThis Tuesday, May 7th at 1:00pm Eastern Time, both Eisner Award-winning artist Paolo Rivera and former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt will be holding a #makecomics “TweetChat” discussing comic art, the use of design in storytelling, and more.

A TweetChat is a planned, live event and anyone using twitter can join in — simply follow Paolo, Andy, or the #makecomics hashtag on Twitter. Bring your #makecomics questions, especially those related to design and storytelling…

Paolo: @PaoloMRivera
Andy: @ComicExperience (no “s” on “Comic”)

The TweetChat is part of the lead-up to Paolo’s one-day, live streaming course on The Art of Design and Comic Book Storytelling. on Saturday, May 18, 2013

Paolo-Rivera

The course will be held from 10:00am until approximately 4:00pm Eastern Time, with a one-hour break for lunch.

This is a one-time only opportunity to learn from a modern master of the comic art form! Paolo will be teaching you how to use design techniques–from script to finished page–to create more intense, dynamic, and thrilling comics.

Daredevil-10Rivera’s work is influencing an entire generation of comic creators right now as more creators focus on page design and panel composition as storytelling components, a trail blazed by Rivera.

“This seminar is about the true heart of comics: creating a narrative through visual means,” Paolo said.

“The fundamental ideas can be understood by anyone who can see.

“In fact, the universality of vision is what allows our readers to make such fantastic leaps of logic, turning static images into lives lived.”

While graphic design will be the primary focus, Paolo adds that, in this context, this doesn’t mean typefaces and serifs, but rather “how people see.”

“Once we have a working knowledge of the visual process,” Paolo said, “we can use it to direct and foster attention.

Paolo Rivera Daredevil

“Contrast is key, and I hope to show how its many dimensions can be utilized to convey meaning efficiently – and tell a great story.”

In addition to artists, this day-long seminar is open to all comics creators and fans, from writers who want to consider design at the script stage to color artists, letterers, and more.

All are welcome for this live, online streaming session, and there are no pre-requisite courses.

Along with Rivera, former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt will co-host the day’s event, and the course will include a Q&A from the audience.

Rivera has graced the pages of dozens of Marvel Comics over the years and has constantly been evolving his art–starting as a painter, doing painted comics, and evolving into a line art style that recently earned him an Eisner Award along with Mark Waid for Daredevil #7.

Rivera’s laid-back manner, and deep knowledge of comics storytelling as well as graphic design and color theory make him the ideal creator for teaching this Master Seminar.

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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!


CE alum Paul Allor’s story in Free Comic Book Day’s “Red Ten #0”; Store signings by CE members

TheRedTen-0-FCBDComics Experience alum and Book Club Manager Paul Allor (TMNT: Fugitoid, Orc Girl) will have a story appearing in the Free Comic Book Day 2013 issue of The Red Ten #0, published by ComixTribe.

ComixTribe is a 2013 Silver Sponsor for Free Comic Book Day 2013, the publisher’s Free Comic Book Day debut. The Red Ten #0 will be distributed for free at thousands of participating comic book shops across the country on Saturday May 4, 2013.

The Red Ten is a ten-issue superhero re-telling of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit And Then There Were None.

Included in the issue is an Oxymoron back-up story by the critically acclaimed team of Paul and artist Aaron Houston entitled “Quiet Riot”. Paul and Aaron previously collaborated on the graphic novel Clockwork.

Paul, as well as other Comics Experience alums and Creators Workshop members will be signing at comic book shops on Free Comic Book Day 2013.

If you’re in the area, check out the following signings:

* Paul Allor (TMNT: Fugitoid, Orc Girl) – Comics Cubed, Kokomo, IN
* Rob Anderson (Rex, Zombie Killer, Great Zombies in History) – Laughing Ogre, Landsdowne, VA
* Amy Chu (Girls Night Out, The VIP Room) – The Comic Book Shop, Wilmington, DE during the day, and then at Carmine Street Comics in the West Village, New York City from 7-8pm.
* Nick Dedual (Torchbearer) – Manhattan Comics, New York City from 7-8pm.
* George O’Connor (Healed, Baby) – New England Comics, Malden, MA
* Brandon Seifert (Witch Doctor, Hellraiser) – Collectors Corner, Baltimore, Maryland

Congrats to all our members!

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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!