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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!


Episode #57 of the Comics Experience “MAKE COMICS” Podcast posted!

MakeComicsPodcastA 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 #57, “Who Calls the Shots?”
A frustrated artist writes in this week about a script filled with a lot of art “direction” from the writer. Andy and Joey discuss who “calls the shots” when you’re making 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!


Andy Schmidt interviewed on Word Balloon podcast — 11/12/13 episode

wordballoonFormer Marvel and IDW editor and Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt was interviewed recently by John Siuntres on the popular Word Balloon podcast.

Andy and John discussed Andy’s days in Marvel editorial working on the cosmic Annihilation Saga and other events, his involvement in IDW’s reboot of GI Joe, as well as the state of the industry in general.

Andy also provided an in-depth discussion of the Comics Experience courses, Workshop online community, and what the program offers to comic book creators.

The interview lasts over an hour and is in the November 12, 2013 episode, which also features Jeph Loeb on the Marvel-Netflix TV Deal and more, as well as Boom! Studios Ross Richie looking back at 2013 and the success of 2GUNS.

You can check out the Word Balloon podcast on iTunes or listen right on the Word Balloon website.

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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 Rob Anderson writes My Little Pony Micro-Series — In stores now

MLP_micro09-coverAComics Experience alum and Workshop member Rob Anderson is the writer of the IDW My Little Pony Micro-Series #9, featuring Spike, in stores now.

The issue features interior art by Agnes Garbowska, and two different covers by Agnes and Amy Mebberson.

In the issue, Spike the baby dragon orders new pets…through the mail (“just add water”), and gets unexpected results. Will Spike be up to the task of training his new pets?

A preview of the first ten pages is available on Comics Alliance.

Rob is a graduate of several Comics Experience courses and is currently co-teaching the Making Comics course with Paul Allor. His new mini-series from Big Dog Ink, Rex, Zombie Killer, is also on stands now.

Congrats to Rob!


Dark Horse editor Jim Gibbons offers “breaking in” advice

jimgibbonsDark Horse associate editor Jim Gibbons joined the Comics Experience Creators Workshop recently to discuss his career, Dark Horse Comics, and the art of editing comic books, including Black Beetle and the award-winning anthology Dark Horse Presents.

During the session, Jim was also asked about the best way to break in to the comics industry.

“I think making comics is your best resume or your best pitch to working in comics,” he said. “If you send me a 100-page Word document and you’re like, oh, I’ve got the next 100 Bullets here–I don’t think anyone’s going to really take that pitch seriously until you’re a guy like Brian Azzarello.”

DHP-28Jim explained that the most important thing for him as an editor is seeing that a creator knows how to tell a story, as opposed to showing an ability to put together an extensive pitch package.

“If you can show me four pages that convey that you know how to tell a story, or a comic you’ve written that can convey that…that ends up standing out a lot more because it takes a lot longer to read a script,” Jim said. An editor can look at a comic and get a feel for if it’s working or not in about five minutes, Jim added.

Another benefit of a shorter story is that it either highlights (or exposes the lack of) crucial character work immediately.

“If you can’t put together a short story that conveys some information about a character or some sort of little character journey or something like that, then it’s going to be very hard to cut through everything else you’ve got going in a pitch.”

Jim likes to work with creators who show enthusiasm for their work, and those creators are the ones Jim tends to remember later.

black-beetle-tpb“It’s not necessarily about making something because it’s going to make you money,” he said. “It’s about making something because you have a story you really want to tell and you’ve just got to do that.”

In short, in an age where creators have multiple avenues for distributing their self-published work, from digital to webcomics, there’s nothing stopping a creator from starting to make comics.

“I think DIY is a really good way to get yourself into comics. If you’re taking the time to do it on your own, without a paycheck maybe, it shows you’re not a slouch. You’re working on stuff. You’re passionate enough about it to do it. It tells me you’re serious.”

Thanks to Jim for taking the time to join us on the Creators Workshop.

Creators Workshop sessions take place every month, giving members real-world knowledge that will help them succeed in their comics career.

There’s still plenty of time to sign up before the next session. We hope to see you there.


Guest Blog: CE Alum Vito Delsante on learning, lettering and being a creator

vito-delsanteIn this guest blog, CE alum Vito Delsante talks about learning, lettering, and the challenges of being a creator. His Kickstarter project, Stray, is currently live and ends November 8th!

I’ve been a professional comic book scripter for nearly 10 years (my first published work, a back up in Batman Adventures #9, came out December 17, 2003). And in those ten years, my career has gone up and down and up and down. I’ve quit more than once, only to be bugged “back” by some crazy idea that I had to see sequentially translated. I could have gone to film or to novels, but comics just make sense to me and speak to me. As a writer, you live for validation, and when you don’t get it, you lose your way a bit, creatively.

For me, this happened a few years ago. I was working a full-time job at the former Jim Hanley’s Universe, writing at nights and weekends, and just…I was blah. I had three, maybe four, different scripts in four different artists’ hands. I was waiting. And waiting kills creativity. So, I had to get off my butt. I had to stop being a “maker” and start being a “creator.”

And that’s where Comics Experience came in.

stray-interiorI know, it seems like I’m just praising CE just randomly, with a great story of success to follow. Not quite. I’m not what anyone would consider “successful.” I’m not writing for a paycheck or a page rate. I write to write. So, before you think that’s where this story is going, just take a second to read the following.

I signed up for CE’s Comic Book Lettering and Production course with Dave Sharpe. To me, this was an interesting choice. Why not sign up for the writing class? Or the editing class? Why lettering? I think in the back of my head, I thought, “Well, I’ve been published by DC and Marvel and others at this point. I’m always learning new ways to write and new tricks. Will a writing class help me?” The answer is, “Probably.”

But instead, I looked at my past. What always kept my books from coming out? What cost is unnecessary enough that I can save on a creative team? What can I learn? I chose lettering, because my old roommate, Jeff Powell, is an amazing letterer (he letters Atomic Robo). I picked up a few things from him (not much…I never actually asked anything, I just watched). I figured I could pick it up if I got into it.

I’m not going to tell you I’m a world class Todd Klein-like letterer now. I’m not going to say that I’m even good. I’m getting better. At the writing of this, I’ve lettered or I am lettering four different books, three of my own, with a fifth book on the way. And what I’ve learned is the ART of comics. How words and letters work together. As “just a writer,” you forget that. You write, hand off and wait. Now, I write, hand off, wait, and then make the story better. Maybe.

Taking the lettering class extended my career. I was out. Lettering my own comics has made me, dare I say, an artist. Not necessarily a good one, but one that is improving every page. And I get EXCITED to letter! It has made me excited to write, as well. Because now, I’ll put a script together, and then letter the art, and I have to self edit…it’s making me a better scripter!

I would never take away the contributions of any of the great letterers out there, which is why I tend to letter my own comics exclusively…’cause I can take the criticism a lot better. But now, with my two new books (World War Mob for New Paradigm Studios and Stray, currently on Kickstarter), I can’t wait to get into the pages. I can’t wait to write. I can’t wait to letter.

I can’t wait to create.

Vito Delsante

Check out Vito’s Kickstarter for his new comic book, Stray. The campaign ends November 8th! The incentives include copies of the Kickstarter special edition with a cover by Stephane Roux, t-shirts, sketches, commissions, a statute, and more!


Episode #56 of the Comics Experience “MAKE COMICS” Podcast posted!

MakeComicsPodcastA 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 #56, “Script Formatting Tips”
It seems like no two comic book scripts look alike. This week Andy and Joey discuss script formatting and the reasons behind certain formatting practices. Plus, info on the Comic Book Script Archive and the Comics Experience Script Template!

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!