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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!


“Guitar Phantasy” created by FOUR CE alums & Workshop members

guitar-phantasy-panelsA new comic from Moonrise Comics, called Guitar Phantasy, was created by an entire team of Comics Experience alums and Creators Workshop members! The book made its recent debut at St. Louis’s Project Comic Con.

Guitar Phantasy is written by CE alum Tim Bach (Gargoyle By Moonlight), illustrated by CE art alum Carl Peterson (MAD Magazine), with colors by CE alum Robt Snyder, and letters by CE Workshop member E.T. Dollman. It also features a cover by Silvio dB.

The 11-page full color comic book has been called a rock and roll fairy tale mash-up of Scott Pilgrim and Tolkien, by way of Zeppelin.

Guided by the odd little shopkeeper of a second-hand music store, Kev discovers an incredible guitar and uncovers the power of music and the untapped force inside of himself. But when the devourer of all things, a wicked-looking, music-hating demon appears, can Kev play fast enough, hard enough to defeat the demon?

You can check out a preview of the book right here.

You can also purchase a print copy at Indy Planet or a digital copy at Drive-Thru Comics!

Congrats to Tim, Carl, Robt, and E.T.!

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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!


Baltimore Comic Con 2013 “Self-Publishing Panel” featured two CE alums!

baltimore2013selfpublishingpanelThe “Self-Publishing” panel at the 2013 Baltimore Comic Con was “standing room only,” as comic creators, including two Comics Experience alums, provided advice and tips on making comics. And if you missed the panel, it’s now available online, courtesy of The Carolyn And Joe Show podcast!

The panel was organized by CE alum Amy Chu, and also featured CE alum George O’Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, Danielle Corsetto, Dean Haspiel, and co-host of The Carolyn And Joe Show podcast Carolyn Belefski.

Check out the full convention panel right here!

Amy Chu is a co-founder of Alpha Girl Comics, publisher of Amy’s writing in the titles Girl’s Night Out and most recently The VIP Room, among other titles. The VIP Room is about three strangers trapped in a mysterious room, looking to their past for answers. The comic is a 20-page horror mystery one-shot written by Amy, illustrated by Eagle Award-winning Silvio dB, and colored by Cabbral.

George O’Connor is the founder of Homeless Comics, publisher of George’s writing in titles like Healed, and most recently Baby. Baby is about a cryptozoologist, a soon-to-be-retired copy, a monster from the deep…and their fateful meeting at the Jersey Shore. It’s a 24-page one-shot comic book written by George O’Connor and illustrated and colored by Griffin Ess.

Congrats to Amy and George on a successful panel, and make sure to check out their work!

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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!


Episodes #52 & #53 of the Comics Experience “MAKE COMICS” Podcast posted!

MakeComicsPodcastThe Comics Experience Make Comics podcast provides ~15 minutes of advice per episode 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 episodes below or on our Podcast page!

Episode #53, “Why Haven’t I Broken In?”
This week’s question comes from a listener who has self-published, done the convention circuit, and even received some great reviews of his book. But he still hasn’t “broken in.” Is he doing something wrong? Andy and Joey talk career development, breaking in, and next steps!

Episode #52, “Let Me Pitch This To You”
You always hear that conventions are a great place to meet editors. But what if you don’t know any editors? And should you be pitching to an editor at a convention anyway? Andy heard a lot of convention pitches during his years at Marvel and IDW, and here’s his thoughts on what to do…and what NOT to do!

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!


Guest Blog: Andy Schmidt discusses Mentoring & Developing Talent

andy-bioIn this guest blog, former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt discusses the Comics Experience Mentoring Program.

I don’t talk a lot about the Comics Experience Mentoring Program. Maybe that’s why I sometimes find myself explaining to people what mentoring at Comics Experience means.

A lot of people think that mentoring is hiring myself or Nicole Boose or Mike Siglain to edit a project, but that’s not completely accurate. When I describe it to people, I say our mentoring program is “a goal-oriented and individualized program tailored specifically to you.”

That means that unlike the courses which teach to a group, in mentoring, we’re working with you on your specific needs and goals. And that happens in some of the following ways:

  1. We develop a plan with you to accomplish your goals.
  2. We alert you to potential opportunities or pitfalls that may be along your path and help you take advantage of or negotiate them.
  3. We help you develop skills so you can manage your own projects fully, work with collaborators, provide positive and honest feedback, work with publishers, etc. (this alone can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run)
  4. We help you develop your craft for a specific market or genre or style.
  5. We often develop business plans with you that increase your chances of success.

Not every mentoring client requires all of these things. And that’s the point! With mentoring, you’re paying for only what you need to achieve success as you see it. We don’t bring an agenda with us; we’re there only to help you accomplish yours.

ComicsExperience-LOGOOn a personal level, there is nothing more gratifying than helping someone achieve his or her goals. We don’t take credit because you definitely do the work–it’s your goal to achieve, and you will earn it. But it’s such an amazing thing to be on your journey with you, to watch you climb over hurdles and bust through walls. And the pride and sense of accomplishment you’ll get from scaling those hurdles and busting those walls is pretty darn great, too.

If you’re ready for individualized training and attention, if you’re ready to start planning and achieving your comic book dreams-then our Mentoring Program is the perfect place to start.

Take a look at our Mentoring Program page and see if you’re ready to begin developing, not just your project, but also your career!

Andy Schmidt

Here are a few testimonials from past Mentoring clients:

“The Comics Experience mentoring sessions have been an invaluable resource to me, both artistically and professionally. I end every mentoring session armed with new plans, new ideas, and a better perspective on things. I’m still at the beginning of my comics career, but I know that the progress I’ve made is a direct result of the tools, insight and knowledge I’ve gained through Comics Experience.”
Paul Allor
Writer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from IDW Publishing

“Andy has been a huge help in refining my skills. Through a combination of written critiques and phone calls, he has helped me evaluate our beat sheets, scripts, thumbs and finished inks. The entire process has really helped me grow as a comic creator.”
Dave Castlenuovo
Creator of the hit video game and comic book “Pocket God” from Ape Entertainment

“Comics Experience gave me invaluable feedback on my work, encouraged me to challenge myself artistically AND provided essential real-world knowledge about the comic book industry. Throw in a supportive, friendly community that includes top-notch professionals and you’ve got simply the best place to become the comics professional you aspire to be.”
Bobby Curnow
Editor at IDW Publishing, writer of “Night of 1,000 Wolves”

“Jon and I both attribute much of our success to the refinement Comics Experience provided our pitch and first issue. Andy’s guidance and direction helped us turn our first issue into a focused, coherent, well-polished narrative that is intriguing without being obtuse. He also aided us in distilling our original ponderous pitch into its essence. Thanks, Andy!”
Sean McArdle
On becoming Platinum Studios’ 2007 Comic Book Challenge runner up


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!