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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!


Comics Experience Presents: Writing for Television Master Seminar with Georgia Lee

One-day intensive online course takes place on May 12, 2018

Shelbyville, KY (March 14, 2018) — Comics Experience is pleased to announce the Master Seminar with Georgia Lee: Writing for Television, taking place on Saturday, May 12, 2018. The day-long, online class with Lee, who is a writer on Syfy’s The Expanse and wrote and directed the feature Red Doors, is the first course of Comics Experience’s new Screen Experience curriculum focusing on writing, storyboarding, and character design for film, television, and animation.

In the full-day seminar, Lee will share her experience writing for three seasons of Syfy’s The Expanse. The seminar will cover the essentials of television writing, both craft — breaking down a story, outlining an episode, writing first drafts — as well as the dynamics of collaboration, such as writers’ room etiquette and to how to develop a writing staff. During the seminar, Lee will share her actual documents to show students the “working files” from a real television show as she demystifies the writers’ room experience.

Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt will co-host the seminar and moderate a question-and-answer session with Lee, who is also an alumna of Comics Experience’s Comics Writing course.

“I’ve known Georgia for a number of years now and have always enjoyed her conversational tone and her deep thinking about storytelling,” said Schmidt. “To have her for an extended time like this to drill down on television writing and the writers room experience is a very rare opportunity for any writer or television fan.”

Lee added, “Comics Experience is such a wonderful home and resource for creative spirits. I’m very excited to share my experiences writing in television with the community!”

Spaces are limited for the Georgia Lee Master Seminar, so prospective students are encouraged to register now on the course web page. The price for the seminar is $295, and it includes two weeks of access to a recording of the session, including the question-and-answer portion.

For media inquiries, please contact Jennifer de Guzman.

About Georgia Lee

Georgia Lee is currently a writer and producer on SyFy’s acclaimed space opera The Expanse. Georgia got her start when Martin Scorsese saw her first short film and invited her to apprentice on Gangs of New York. Georgia then wrote and directed her first feature Red Doors which won awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, Cinevegas, and Outfest. Georgia has sold five television pilots to CBS, NBC, Fox 21, and ABC Family. She loves writing about strong women in heightened worlds of mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy. She worked for management consulting firm McKinsey & Company before pursuing her passion in film and television. Recovering victim of Tiger Parents. Oldest of three sisters. Lapsed atheist. Sometimes she believes.

About Comics Experience

Comics Experience is an educational company dedicated to teaching the craft of creating comics — from writing a script, to laying out a page, to marketing a finished product, and every step in between. Founded in 2007 by former Marvel Comics editor Andy Schmidt, Comics Experience helps develop new talent through its online community, the Creators Workshop, as well as through discipline-focused courses, master seminars, and mentorship programs taught by professionals in the comic book industry. The goal of Comics Experience is to provide students with the skills and education they need to work in the comic book industry. As a publisher, Comics Experience has also brought the work of some of its students into print and digital distribution through IDW and comiXology. Follow Comics Experience on Twitter @ComicExperience.

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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!


Creators Workshop Member Travis Rivas in the Accidental Aliens Kickstarter!

Creators Workshop member and Comics Experience course alumnus Travis Rivas, author of Unstoppable Cherub, is participating in the Accidental Aliens Kickstarter campaign. The San Diego-based comic creator collective wants to showcase shorts from its talent base in an anthology… and it’s already exceeded its $3,500 goal! Additional proceeds will pay for table spaces at comic conventions and possible extended content.

Stories cover a wide range of genres, including sci-fi, post-apocalypse, and fantasy. Travis partnered with artist Javier Aranda and colorist Jeremy Colwell for the western short story “Dust.” We spoke with him about the project.

Comics Experience: Please explain your involvement with and a brief history of Accidental Aliens.

Travis Rivas: My involvement with The Accidental Aliens began before it was even formed. Everyone knows about San Diego Comic-Con, but there’s a smaller show in town called San Diego Comic Fest that highlights local talent and creators. When I decided to try and break into the comics industry, the first show I attended was Comic Fest, where I met Scott Lost, the creator and artist of a comic book called The 2nd Shift, as well as several other artists. Comic Fest is a pretty intimate show so you get to know people pretty well. Scott started a drawing group where other artists could work on comics together, and at the time I wanted to work on my drawing skills so I started hang out with them. It wasn’t too long before we all decided to start pulling our resources together and we created our label, The Accidental Aliens. Last year we successfully launched our first Kickstarter, the 2017 Accidental Aliens Anthology, where we each had our own short story that we created, and we’re trying to do the same thing this year.

CE: Without spoiling anything, what can you tell us about “Dust?” Where did you find the inspiration and what was your process like in developing the story?

TR: “Dust” is set in a future where climate change has ravaged the planet Earth and the only currency left is healthy human organs. Dust and his wife were farmers who defaulted on their loan to the Baron, so the Baron took her heart. Our story picks up with Dust on the quest to get that heart back. I had always wanted to do a western comic but wanted to put a different spin on it. Once I figured out that in this world people would use organs instead of money it all kind of came together.

CE: What is your working relationship like with Javier Aranda?

TR: Javier is great. I actually was following him on instagram for a while and I loved his style. He had some really great cyber punk looking pieces and thought Dust would be a great fit for him. I reached out to him on Instagram and eventually sent him a copy of the script and he really seemed to enjoy it. I knew I wanted “Dust” to have a weird and distinct look but Javier just took it to a whole new level. And then Jeremy Colwell came on board to color the project and took Javier’s pages to a whole new level.

CE: How has your experience with Creators Workshop and Comics Experience helped shape your work, particularly “Dust?”

TR: Well, the script for “Dust” was actually written for the intro to writing class I took through Comics Experience. I had written a number of scripts prior to taking the class but Andy did such a great job of teaching us how to break the scripting process down to a very nuts and bolts approach. Andy and the other students gave me such great feedback on the script that it got to be something that I was really proud of, and in my final review Andy told me “I want to hold this comic in my hand and read it.” That was such great encouragement that I knew then and there it was going to be my entry into our next anthology project. “Dust” literally could not exist if it wasn’t for Comics Experience.

You have until April 1 to support the Accidental Aliens Kickstarter! Click here to help!

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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: Camera Angles! Layouts! Sandman!

ComicsExperience_logoOur next Live Workshop session topics have been announced!

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

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Book Club – Sandman
PAUL ALLOR: Break out your eye-shadow and your ankhs, because we’re talking about Sandman! Rather than our usual guest format, this will be a freewheeling discussion moderated by our own Paul Allor. Workshop members who would like to make their own presentation on some aspect of Sandman’s craft, let us know! Our session will focus on the first volume, but the entire series is game for analysis (and spoilers). This should be a fun discussion, as we dig into just what makes this book such an endearing classic.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Layout and Panel Order
ANDY SCHMIDT: We talk a lot about how a core tenet of comic book storytelling is clarity. But when dealing with a visual medium with juxtaposed and static images, what does that mean? How do we bring order to the madness? What are the boundaries of what works with layouts and what goes too far, making a page difficult to read? The answers lie within this Live Workshop session!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Craft Presentation – Pacing
PAUL ALLOR: The monthly Comic Book medium is marked by its extreme space limitations, creating  a series of unique challenges for writers and artists alike.  In this session, volunteers from our community will be sharing their thoughts on how to overcome these challenges — best practices, how the masters of the craft have used narration, common traps to avoid and more!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Character Acting
ANDY SCHMIDT & PHILLIP SEVY: We often get so caught up in our cool layouts and the sizes of the images, that we forget about the characters themselves. That cuts us off from perhaps the most important and powerful part of comic book storytelling–emotive characters who draw us in! Andy and Phillip will talk about (and show) the power of character acting on the comic book page!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 9:00 pm ET
Flashbacks
ANDY SCHMIDT : Andy laments that flashbacks were the bane of his existence as an editor, where “No one trained writers or artists on how to deal with them properly, how to make them intuitive, or for that matter, what they were supposed to do dramatically. Too often they were mis-used and mis-handled.” In this Live Workshop, Andy will explain how to effectively use flashbacks dramatically as well as how to execute them clearly. You’ll never have a mis-fire flashback again!

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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


Frank Gogol’s Kickstarter Anthology GRIEF Comes to Source Point Press!

Creators Workshop member and ardent Comics Experience student Frank Gogol is bringing his Kickstarter success Grief to our Source Point Press collaboration! On this anthology, he is joined by collaborators Nenad Cvitcanin, Kim Holm, Ryan Foust, Bethany Varni, Jey Soliva, Luca Bulgheroni, Esther P. Gil-Munilla, Emily Elmer, Sean Reinhart, and Dani Martins.

“The most important lesson I learned, without a doubt, is to make a campaign personal. Anyone who’s read Grief or has watched my campaign video on the Grief Kickstarter page knows that Grief is an incredibly personal book for me. Creating it was cathartic in a lot of ways and sharing it was meant to be my small contribution to help others who are grieving. And I channeled those things into the book and into the campaign and it resonated with people,” Frank says.

Grief and the Kickstarter campaign, I think, became more than one person trying to sell their comic book to other people. The backers felt connected to me and to the book, and that’s a powerful thing.”

The anthology explores the various ways in which people experience and express grief, using Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ outline of the five stages as a framework. Grief began life as a direct result of Frank’s start taking Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt‘s Introduction to Comics Book Writing course.

“From there, I set out to write a few more stories that had been percolating in the background. I figured I could put together a portfolio of short stories—different genre pieces and with different characters and so on—to show some storytelling range. I wanted to start out small, to build myself up, and to try new things, and if I had a couple of pieces to submit to anthologies or to show to editors, all the better,” Frank said.

“Then one day, I was sort of taking stock of the comics I’d made to see where I might go with the next story. I’d done sci-fi. I’d done horror. I’d done drama. And though these genres were pretty disparate, I noticed that all of the stories were about characters grieving in one way or another. That was sort of the spark of the idea that these stories could all fit together as an anthology.”

Beyond the introductory writing course, he also found the Creators Workshop community a pivotal source of support and growth as he worked on Grief and other projects. The connections he forged during his time guided the story to Kickstarter, and then on to Source Point Press.

“Top-to-bottom, the Comics Experience community, especially the Creators Workshop, is a place designed to help members succeed… The CE community is a place full of people, who just like me, want to make comics. It’s pros and amateurs and everything in between as peers,” says Frank.

“They support one another and empower one another. And without that support and empowerment, I absolutely would not have been able to move along at the pace I have… Being able to interact with and learn from my peers on the Creators Workshop was invaluable to me as I put Grief together and to it becoming the book that it is.”

You can pick up Grief and the other Source Point Press/Comics Experience beginning with the launch at C2E2 April 6-8!

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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 #147 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 #147 – Page Rates and Asking Questions
A conversation about page rates including finding other people to talk about industry rates, what questions to ask, and thinking about your personal budget planning.

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


Introduction to Comic Book Coloring Begins Again in March!

Our popular Introduction to Comic Book Coloring class starts back up on March 26, 2018! Don’t miss your chance to take part to grow your skills in the new year. Remember: because of our personalized, student-centered approach, we cap each course at a limited number of seats – and they tend to fill up fast, so sign up as soon as you are able!

Taught by prolific colorist Chris Sotomayor, Intro to Coloring emphasizes coloring comics with Photoshop and how to use color as a storytelling device. You can read what Chris has to say about his curriculum and approach to teaching in this interview.

And you can watch Chris in action up on YouTube. This sunrise cloud tutorial and a Nightwing cover should give you an idea about what to expect from the course.

Intro to Coloring is required if you ever want to move up to Advanced Comic Book Coloring. 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 Comics Experience classes.

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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