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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 community hits milestone – 30,000 posts on making comics

Comics-Experience-Creators-Workshop-30000-postsWe recently passed another milestone on the Comics Experience Creators Workshop online community — 30,000 posts focused on writing, drawing, lettering, marketing, budgeting…. MAKING comics!

The Creators Workshop is an on-going community of writers, artists, colorists, and letterers all dedicated to getting published and improving their craft. Our members post their work, critique each other, and discuss all aspects of creating comics in our members-only forums. It’s an entire community focused on making comics.

In addition to critiquing each other, our members are also eligible to receive feedback from working professionals. In fact, over the last several months, more than 90% of posted scripts and art received a pro critique!

Pro critiquers include former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt, legendary comics writer Chuck Dixon, freelance Marvel editor Nicole Boose, up-and-coming pro writer Paul Allor, and recent visiting faculty guest artists like Khoi Pham (Mighty Avengers), Ryan Browne (Manhattan Projects), and (currently) Reilly Brown (Scarlet Spider).

Comics-Experience-Creators-Workshop-Ask-ThreadsThe forums also offer several “ASK” threads, where members can get answers to all their questions by asking pros such as writer Brandon Seifert (Witch Doctor; Hellraiser), artist Robert Atkins (GI Joe, Snake Eyes), colorist Chris “Soto” Sotomayor (colorist of more Marvel books than can be counted), and others.

Plus, Andy hosts live, streaming-online meetings each month focused on the nuts & bolts of making comics and breaking in, like the two recent sessions held on pitching, or the upcoming one on pacing for writers and artists.

And occasionally, a special guest will sit in, such as Dark Horse Editor Jim Gibbons, who will be joining us live in October!

Bottom line, if you’re interested in making comics or learning more about the industry, you should check out the Creators Workshop!

We hope to see you there!


Four CE alums featured in “Unfashioned Creatures: A Frankenstein Anthology”

Publisher Red Stylo’s latest anthology, Unfashioned Creatures: A Frankenstein Anthology, has begun its digital roll-out, and the anthology features work by several Comics Experience alums and Creators Workshop members!

unfashioned-creaturesAs Red Stylo did with their Poe Twisted and Shakespeare Shaken anthologies, Unfashioned Creatures will be a collection of completely original comics and art inspired by its literary predecessor, in this case Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The anthology consists of short comics that use the themes, ideas, characters and concepts in Frankenstein within new and original eight-page comic shorts and/or single-page vignettes.

stroke-white-e1373396407514Rather than adapt or re-tell the novel, forty-three artists and writers were challenged to cut deep into the flesh of the source material and to be inspired to create their own monstrous works

Every two weeks, starting August 28th through Halloween, new stories from an expanded version of the print version will be available for download in the Red Stylo Media store, as well as all other places RSM digital titles are sold. Only $1.99, each story includes digital extras, art, scripts, and notes from the artists, as well as a collection of vignettes and art from other creators around the world.

The CE alums and Workshop members featured, and their digital roll-out dates are:

“Big Man,” with story written by CE alum C.M. Beckett, and art by Gary Fitzgerald, released digitally 9/11/13

“Shelley Portrait”, an art vignette by CE alum Trevor Hanowski, released digitally 9/25/13

“Frankenspace,” an art vignette by CE alum Jason Folkes, released digitally 10/9/13

“Pieces,” with story written by CE alum by Shaun Noel, and art by Mark Mullaney, released digitally 10/23/13

You can purchase the digital releases at the Red Stylo Store!

Congrats to all our alums and members appearing in the anthology!

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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 raises money for CBLDF & Hero Initiative

Allor-ClockworkCE alum and Book Club Manager Paul Allor will be turning 35 on October 3, 2013. And this year, rather than trying to pass his birthday with minimal notice, he’s doing all he can to raise a bit of money for the Hero Initiative, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

“It’s my birthday present to two of my favorite service organizations,” Paul said.

Until October 3rd, if you buy a copy of Paul’s anthology Clockwork, $10 of the cover price will go to the Hero Initiative and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. That’s five dollars each, to these two wonderful organizations.

Clockwork, Volume I is a collection of twelve five-page comics, drawn by twelve talented artists, and was the very first comic Paul ever released, prior to his work on books like Orc Girl (Challenger Comics), Pathfinder: Goblins (Dynamite) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW).

The collection is a handsome, square-bound print anthology that retails for $15, and includes work from artists such as Nikki Cook, Brett Weldele, and JM Ken Niimura, and CE alums Ken Frederick and Carl Peterson.

Allor-Clockwork-31The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium. Their work takes them into courtrooms, classrooms, conventions and libraries all over the United States where they provide legal aid, education, and advocacy to protect the First Amendment rights of the readers, creators, retailers, publishers, and librarians of comics, manga, and graphic novels.

The Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. Since inception, the Hero Initiative has been fortunate enough to benefit over 50 creators and their families with over $500,000 worth of much-needed aid, fueled by contributions. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

Clockwork is also online at www.clockworkcomic.com, so you can even check it out before you buy.

If you like what you see and want to help out these two great charities, buy a copy before October 3rd!

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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!


New Course – “Making Comics: Self-Published & Creator-Owned” – Open for Enrollment!

Comics Experience is pleased to announce a brand new course focused specifically on making self-published and/or creator-owned comics! ComicsExperience-LOGOMaybe you have a script, but you’re not sure of all the steps involved in turning it into a professional-looking creator-owned comic book…and then launching it into the world? Or maybe you’ve self-published a comic already, but you didn’t achieve the results you expected? In this four-week course, Making Comics: Self-Published & Creator-Owned, you’ll learn how to:

  • Find an artist/colorist/letterer and even an editor!
  • Market & promote your creator-owned comic, from news outlets to conventions
  • Work effectively with your collaborators and handle conflicts
  • Distribute your comic, whether in print or digital formats
  • Minimize your costs throughout the project
  • Submit and pitch your comic (if you want a publisher)
  • …and even how to use your work to pursue future work-for-hire gigs (if that’s a goal for you!)

Your instructors, Paul Allor and Rob Anderson, have done all of the above and are ready to walk you through the entire process of creating a professional-looking project, while helping you avoid the costly mistakes that many writers learn “the hard way.” They will share every hard-earned tip they’ve learned along the way! The class will also be joined one night by special guest Paul Montgomery, co-host of iFanboy’s Pick of the Week podcast, who will provide insight into how to approach media outlets and seek coverage of your work!

Instructor Paul Allor has published creator-owned work such as the critically acclaimed Orc Girl (Challenger Comics) and the self-published anthology, Clockwork: Volume 1, which featured professional artists like JM Ken Niimura (I Kill Giants), Brett Weldele (Surrogates) and Nikki Cook (Memoir). He has since gone on to write properties such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for IDW and Pathfinder: Goblins for Dynamite, while continuing to develop new creator-owned titles. In addition to his writing work, Paul has served as editor on several titles, including the currently-ongoing Sheltered from Image Comics.

Instructor Rob Anderson began self-publishing with his comic Animal Control: Special Creatures Unit in 2009, and has since gone on to write My Little Pony Micro-Series for IDW, the Rex, Zombie Killer mini-series published by Big Dog Ink, and has edited and contributed to the series Great Zombies in History, now collected in trade paperback form by McFarland Press. Join Paul and Rob for this nuts-and-bolts course that will save you time, money, and pain. !


FIVE Kickstarters from CE alums & Creators Workshop members!

Comics Experience alums and Creators Workshop members make comics! And that’s really clear over on Kickstarter where FIVE campaigns with Comics Experience ties are running.

Check out the cool projects below and give them your support!

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DronesChris Lewis – “Drones”

Described as “the War on Terror — now playing in Las Vegas” this Kickstarer collects two years of blood, sweat, and happy tears on the satirical mini-series, Drones.

The writer, Chris Lewis, is both a CE alum and Creators Workshop member, and the book features interior art by Bruno Oliveira. This trade paperback collection will be 110 pages of madcap action, topped off with some pinups, including one by CE art alum Joe Lalich!

The collection containing the five-issue miniseries follows two Predator drone operators who hunt Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan from the safety of a base outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. After a failed mission, the war hits home in a bizarre journey that will take them from a terrorism-themed hotel to a drone-filled sky over the Strip.

In addition to the two drone operators, the story features a pancake-loving terrorist turned playwright, a loveable expert in improvised explosive devices, five well-dressed assassins, a goat who just might know a thing or two about kung fu, and an acrobatic special forces troupe called the Cirque du SEALs.

Incentives include digital and print versions of the collection, comic book script critiques, original art and commissions, and even a version with an exclusive Kickstarter-only cover.

Check out the Kickstarter right here.

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forgotten-planetPete Rogers – “Forgotten Planet”

Forgotten Planet is a Science Fiction graphic novel, created by U.K.-based Creators Workshop member Pete Rogers and Giancarlo Caracuzzo. It follows Cale Beckett, a legendary former mercenary, as he seeks to unravel his past on a frozen planetoid.

The project is described as “a heart-felt science fiction, action adventure about freedom, identity and revisiting your past.”

The Kickstarter supports production of a full-color 100-page Graphic Novel, and many of the the special rewards attached to this edition will be exclusively available to Kickstarter supporters only. The incentives include electronic and print versions (including a hardcover option), t-shirts, comic script critiques, and even a featured role in the graphic novel.

Pete is an award-winning British writer, who co-founded Orang Utan Comics, and published an anthology titled Eleventh Hour, featuring his own short stories alongside the work of other rising talent. Within a year the book had been nominated for an Eagle Award. In 2011 his first graphic novel The Interactives was released, to critical acclaim.

Check out the Kickstarter right here.

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Robin HoodMatt Dursin – “Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century”

Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century #1 is written by CE alum Matt Dursin, and is even based on a short comic book script Matt wrote in the Introduction to Comic Book Writing course. The book features artwork by Jason Baroody and Mark McKenna.

In this updated version of the story, the modern-day Robin Hood doesn’t exactly “rob from the rich to give to the poor,” as the saying goes, but instead steals medical supplies and gives them to those in need, or those who can’t afford them or have no health insurance. Matt explains that the story is a commentary on how expensive health care is in the U.S. as well as other issues.

But it’s also a straight-up adventure story that will capture the spirit of the Robin of old.

The Kickstarter will fund the artists, letterers, colorists, and cover artists, as well as printing, distribution, production and other assorted costs. The eventual goal is to produce a four-issue miniseries with enough funding.

Incentives include signed and printed copies of the finished comic, a guest spot on the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen podcast, prints, or even the opportunity to have your likeness featured in the book.

Check out the Kickstarter right here.

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murderthonJames Babbo – “Murderthon”

Murderthon is a five-issue mini-series written by CE alum James Babbo with art by Ken Knudsten, creator of the indie book My Monkey’s Name is Jennifer. The Kickstarter supports production of the first issue.

Murderthon follows the tale of a cross country contest between two serial killers and has been described as a crime-noir story in the vein of crime novelist Richard Stark via indie director Roger Corman – an indie suspense movie in comics form.

But the story is really about Mark Saxon, the referee. It’s his job to make sure the game runs smoothly but a monkey wrench is thrown into the mix when he discovers one of the potential victims, Marabelle, has ties to his dark tormented past. But who is saving who? Marabelle can take care of herself & doesn’t need anyone to help her.

Incentives include PDF and print versions of the book, posters, a shot glass, original art, a featured role in the book, and even a set of the World War II mini-series written by James, The Moses Militia.

Check out the Kickstarter right here.

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seven wondersJeff Coley – “Seven Wonders”

Seven Wonders is an IndieGoGo campaign written by CE Workshop member Jeff Coley. The campaign will fund the “Prelude” issue of the graphic novel and all contributions will go directly to the artists, printing and perks.

Described as “the Good, the Bad and the Dead Issue,” the story follows mercenaries/lovers Sharp and Teague. After they clash with an assassin during a routine operation in Northern Mexico, only Sharp survives. But who was the assassin? Sharp must turn to Teague’s ex-girlfriend, Treasury Agent Jackson, for help, and soon discovers a connection to a cult worshipping a mythical person known only as Uncle Fetus.

In 1999, Jeff Coley completed the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting. In 2007, after relocating to Austin, he discovered the graphic novel format and resolved to create one some day.

Incentives include PDF and print versions of the issue, signed prints and copies of the script, postcards, t-shirts, posters, and having your likeness as the assassin in the book!

Check out the IndieGoGo campaign right here.

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Best of luck to all our alums and Workshop 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!


“Make Comics” podcast returns! Episode #51 — “By Any Means Necessary”

The Make Comics podcast has returned!

Join former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt and his new co-host, Joey Groah, as they discuss all aspects of creating comics and breaking in to the industry.

MakeComicsPodcastJoey is a comic book writer whose day job involves film and video production, and we’re happy to welcome him to the show. (And we send out a big thanks to the co-host of the first 50 episodes, iFanboy‘s Josh Flanagan!)

In Episode #51, Andy and Joey discuss the idea of “By Any Means Necessary?” — that is, if your goal is to work in comics by any means necessary, what are your options? Do internships really work for getting your foot in the door? And what about after that? Plus…what the heck IS the difference between Assistant and Associate Editors?

Listen to Episode #51, “By Any Means Necessary

Check out links to all the episodes on the Make Comics podcast page!

Or view it in iTunes right 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!