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Here you will find all the latest Comics Experience news and events! Check back often, or subscribe via RSS for updates!

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!

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

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!

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, 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!

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!