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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!

Only a Few Spots Left in Intro to Coloring!

EDITED to reflect updated course start dates.

We only have a few slots left in our Introduction to Comic Book Coloring course, which begins on September 18. Veteran colorist Chris Sotomayor will provide personalized instruction on the basics of techniques, development, and finding your own unique style.

Many alumni from the class have gone on to enjoy fulfilling and fun careers in comics. Here’s what they have to say about the experience:

“…Two things were outstanding… The first is the instructor and [the second is the] critiques of our work. Class regularly ran late so that no one was left out, and I learned just as much from the critiques of the other student’s work as I did my own,” say Scott Wegna, co-creator and artist of Atomic Robo.

“One evening we ran an entire hour over, and while it was exhausting, it was great.”

Amy Chu, known for Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death, KISS, and more, says, “For a non-artist like me, this was a great class, largely because Soto is willing to spend his personal time to get you up to speed… I feel like I’m at the point where I can do some basic coloring for some of my shorts and another friend’s strip, which is more than I could have asked for.”

More testimonials about Chris and his skills from former students can be read here.

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

Remember, Intro to Coloring is required if you wish to move on to Advanced Comic Book Coloring. That course will begin on November 6, shortly after the upcoming introductory course concludes. You can learn more about that course here.

Register today for your chance to develop your craft, increase your skills, and achieve your goals as a comics creator! To begin the process, click here.

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

Live Workshop Tuesday, August 8: Breaking the Grid!

ComicsExperience_logoOur next Live Workshop will be on Tuesday, August 8, 2017!

Our Live Workshop sessions are online, monthly events, and they’re available exclusively to Creators Workshop members.

Each Live Workshop discussion focuses on a unique topic geared toward helping comic creators achieve their personal best. Past sessions have covered subjects like maximizing income, reinventing characters, negotiating collaboration agreements, and many more!

Current Workshop members can find details by logging in here.

For more benefits of Creators Workshop membership, head over to our Top Ten Reasons Why the Creators Workshop Is Awesome post! For additional details or to join, please visit our Creators Workshop page here.

Details about our next Live Workshop session is below. We hope you’ll join us!

NEXT WEEK! Tuesday, August 8 at 9:00 pm ET
Breaking the Grid: Comic Page Design that breaks out of the traditional grid-like pattern
ANDY SCHMIDT: The grid and the three-tier system are the backbone of clear visual storytelling in comics. But there are underlying rules to them–rules that almost automatically snap into place when a grid is used in the layouts. In this session, Andy analyzes some of those underlying principles to show how to apply them to art that breaks the grid system or pops out of panels. If the principles are applied properly, pages without panel borders can still flow naturally and intuitively for any reader!


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

David Pepose’s SPENCER & LOCKE is Headed to the Movies!

Course graduate David Pepose will be seeing his neo-noir crime thriller Spencer & Locke head to the big screen! The Action Lab comic, written by David and featuring art by Jorge Santiago, Jr., launched in April and features a unique story blending neo-noir with grown-up fantasy. A detective’s childhood sweetheart turns up murdered, and the only partner who can help him solve it is his imaginary friend.

Adrian Askarieh, best known as the producer behind the Hitman movies, inked a two-year, first-look deal with the team, and plans to submit it to Constantin Film… which happens to be behind a little franchise called Resident Evil.

David says, “The Spencer & Locke movie option was definitely a confluence of a lot of things coming together at just the right moment. I’m a big believer that no one will love a book or advocate for a book more than its creators, and so we pushed really hard to both press outlets and comics retailers to get them as invested in the book as we were.”

He credits the positive critical and popular buzz surrounding the comic as a major factor in landing the film adaptation.

“Ultimately, that critical momentum and positive word-of-mouth helped put us in the right place in the right time — namely, when I found out that Adrian and I shopped at the same comic book store, and that the owner of our store had recommended he read Spencer & Locke. So the moral of this story — always be cool to your local comics shop!”

Adrian is closely involved with the team, and David met with him at San Diego Comic Con to go over possible future Spencer & Locke stories. Although changes will be inevitable in the translation between mediums, everyone is involved with the project this far is excited to see how the characters and the world evolve.

“It’s that unique distillation of what makes a particular property tick, while putting them in the kind of adventure that’s accessible to a wider audience,” says David. “I’m sure certain bits of our book won’t make it from page to screen, and that’s okay — I’d probably be disappointed if our story didn’t keep building and evolving as we make the jump to the big screen.”

No matter where the creative brainstorming takes the project, David’s metric for success stands as evergreen advice for comics creators who want to see their work turned into a movie: “The most important thing for any adaptation is just maintaining the integrity of our characters, keeping the tone of our world, and not shying away from the themes of our story.”

Curtis C’s THE WILD COSMOS Now on Kickstarter!

Creators Workshop member Curtis C has teamed up with artist Mauro Mandalari and colorist Harrison Yinfaowei for The Wild Cosmos Kickstarter campaign!

Their second outing on the crowdfunding platform sends readers on a rollicking adventure across the galaxy, where Captain Cooper struggles to maintain his small crew amid a plethora of perils. Unusual for a Kickstarter comic, this one will be in an 8”x12” format.

Curtis says, “I really enjoy reading the bigger sized comics, almost like that European style size. From the way it feels in my hands to just having the bigger sized pages to show off the art, I think 8”x12” will work well for The Wild Cosmos.”

He also notes that the larger pages make it easier for readers to absorb themselves in the lush spreads the team has planned. Curtis is excited to be bringing the team from his first Kickstarter back for some galactic gallivanting, and showcasing how their skills have grown in the interim.

“They are the professionals in each of their fields, so sometimes I have to take a step back and let them experiment and try new ideas,” he says of his relationship with Harrison and Mauro.

“Then you also have to take into account that we’re all in different countries and time zones, as well as some language barriers. But we’ve all been working together for over a year now, and it’s been a pretty smooth process for a while; Google Docs is a life saver.”

Curtis’ time with the Creators Workshop also significantly influenced the direction of The Wild Cosmos.
He says, “Networking and finding collaborators in the Creator’s Workshop has been huge for me. I’ve found help getting logo designs to even editing (and all for free!). That’s huge when you’re just starting out and on a tight budget.”

“Also just being able to pop in and read some scripts is a great resource. It’s helped me with my own writing, from script format, panel descriptions, and more. And I can’t wait to take some of these courses one day!”

You can support The Wild Cosmos here.

Episode #137 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 #137, “Budgeting: Making a Collaborative Deal”
Part 3 of the budget discussion mini series: making a collaborative deal for you and your creative collaborators.

List of All Episodes

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

Comics Experience Panels at Comic-Con International: San Diego, July 20-22, 2017!

Join Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and esteemed comics industry guests for a host of fun, informative panels at this year’s Comic-Con International: San Diego!

View our full schedule below for details, and feel free to spread the word.

We hope to see you there!


Breaking Into Comics

Thursday, 7/20/17

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Room 11

With the shifting landscape of the comics industry, this is your invaluable guide to breaking into the world of comics. What it takes, whose attention you’re vying for, and how to get it in a productive way, but most importantly, what do you have to do to get up to speed and ready for the big show. Join Comics Experience founder and publisher Andy Schmidt, with Dave Marshall (Dark Horse, EIC), writer Erica Schultz (M3, DC Comics’s New Writer Talent Showcase) and Rickey Purdin (Marvel Talent Manager) for the best and most up-to-date panel on breaking into comics and staying in!


Maker of Worlds: The Art (and Writing) of World Building

Friday, 7/21/17

3:00 p.m. – 4:00p.m.

Room 11

The often talked about but rarely understood art of world building is unraveled in this panel. World building requires different skills than scripting and illustration, the world itself becomes a character and needs to be mapped out in ways that create clear structure and flexibility. Join comics, prose, and video game writer Andy Schmidt (Comics Experience, Marvel), comics artist and designer Reilly Brown (Marvel, Dark Horse) for a presentation through a world built just for this panel and all the behind-the-scenes info they can pack into an hour!


Visual Storytelling and Comics Art Fundamentals

Friday 7/21/17

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Room 2

Take this crash course into how to create powerful, readable comic book art. The basic fundamentals for what makes comic book art different from illustration, painting, and storyboarding. How to make a story flow, how to lead the eye, how to use the page to your advantage as a storyteller, what to plan for, and when to go big and when to go small. It’s all covered by the experts from Comics Experience! Presented by Andy Schmidt (Marvel, IDW) with Reilly Brown (Deadpool) and Rickey Purdin (Marvel’s Talent Manager).


BAM! SPIFF! Writing for Comics

Saturday, 7/22/17

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Join Andy Schmidt, (Comics Experience, Marvel) with guests Fred Van Lente (Archer & Armstrong, Incredible Hercules) and Erica Schultz (M3, Swords of Sorrow) for an in-depth look at writing for comics. Story applies to all media, but knowing story isn’t enough to write great comics. Want to know how to write inspiring and powerful panel descriptions? What the difference is between writing dialogue for TV and comics? How many panels fit on a page? What it means to you as a writer that the images are all next to each other and how to use that to your advantage? Then you’ve come to the (w)right panel! Turn your writing into comics writing!


Creating Your Own Destiny: The New Comics Career

Saturday, 7/22/17

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Room 11

The traditional comics career used to be all about begging for work and turning your creations over to “the man.” NOT ANYMORE! The last decade has seen a complete change as comics creators are determining their own fates and blazing their own trails to more creative freedom and higher potential payoffs. “The New Comics Career” has arrived. Andy Schmidt (Comics Experience, Marvel, IDW, Boom!) outlines all the ways to plot a course for your career and tailored to your goals and needs. We’ll cover defining and setting your goals, how to set yourself up for success, fan building, and of course, marketing yourself to both fans and publishers alike. Join us, and take control of your own creative destiny!


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