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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!


New Course – “Making Comics: Self-Published & Creator-Owned” – Open for Enrollment!

Comics Experience is pleased to announce a brand new course focused specifically on making self-published and/or creator-owned comics! ComicsExperience-LOGOMaybe you have a script, but you’re not sure of all the steps involved in turning it into a professional-looking creator-owned comic book…and then launching it into the world? Or maybe you’ve self-published a comic already, but you didn’t achieve the results you expected? In this four-week course, Making Comics: Self-Published & Creator-Owned, you’ll learn how to:

  • Find an artist/colorist/letterer and even an editor!
  • Market & promote your creator-owned comic, from news outlets to conventions
  • Work effectively with your collaborators and handle conflicts
  • Distribute your comic, whether in print or digital formats
  • Minimize your costs throughout the project
  • Submit and pitch your comic (if you want a publisher)
  • …and even how to use your work to pursue future work-for-hire gigs (if that’s a goal for you!)

Your instructors, Paul Allor and Rob Anderson, have done all of the above and are ready to walk you through the entire process of creating a professional-looking project, while helping you avoid the costly mistakes that many writers learn “the hard way.” They will share every hard-earned tip they’ve learned along the way! The class will also be joined one night by special guest Paul Montgomery, co-host of iFanboy’s Pick of the Week podcast, who will provide insight into how to approach media outlets and seek coverage of your work!

Instructor Paul Allor has published creator-owned work such as the critically acclaimed Orc Girl (Challenger Comics) and the self-published anthology, Clockwork: Volume 1, which featured professional artists like JM Ken Niimura (I Kill Giants), Brett Weldele (Surrogates) and Nikki Cook (Memoir). He has since gone on to write properties such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for IDW and Pathfinder: Goblins for Dynamite, while continuing to develop new creator-owned titles. In addition to his writing work, Paul has served as editor on several titles, including the currently-ongoing Sheltered from Image Comics.

Instructor Rob Anderson began self-publishing with his comic Animal Control: Special Creatures Unit in 2009, and has since gone on to write My Little Pony Micro-Series for IDW, the Rex, Zombie Killer mini-series published by Big Dog Ink, and has edited and contributed to the series Great Zombies in History, now collected in trade paperback form by McFarland Press. Join Paul and Rob for this nuts-and-bolts course that will save you time, money, and pain. !


FIVE Kickstarters from CE alums & Creators Workshop members!

Comics Experience alums and Creators Workshop members make comics! And that’s really clear over on Kickstarter where FIVE campaigns with Comics Experience ties are running.

Check out the cool projects below and give them your support!

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DronesChris Lewis – “Drones”

Described as “the War on Terror — now playing in Las Vegas” this Kickstarer collects two years of blood, sweat, and happy tears on the satirical mini-series, Drones.

The writer, Chris Lewis, is both a CE alum and Creators Workshop member, and the book features interior art by Bruno Oliveira. This trade paperback collection will be 110 pages of madcap action, topped off with some pinups, including one by CE art alum Joe Lalich!

The collection containing the five-issue miniseries follows two Predator drone operators who hunt Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan from the safety of a base outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. After a failed mission, the war hits home in a bizarre journey that will take them from a terrorism-themed hotel to a drone-filled sky over the Strip.

In addition to the two drone operators, the story features a pancake-loving terrorist turned playwright, a loveable expert in improvised explosive devices, five well-dressed assassins, a goat who just might know a thing or two about kung fu, and an acrobatic special forces troupe called the Cirque du SEALs.

Incentives include digital and print versions of the collection, comic book script critiques, original art and commissions, and even a version with an exclusive Kickstarter-only cover.

Check out the Kickstarter right here.

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forgotten-planetPete Rogers – “Forgotten Planet”

Forgotten Planet is a Science Fiction graphic novel, created by U.K.-based Creators Workshop member Pete Rogers and Giancarlo Caracuzzo. It follows Cale Beckett, a legendary former mercenary, as he seeks to unravel his past on a frozen planetoid.

The project is described as “a heart-felt science fiction, action adventure about freedom, identity and revisiting your past.”

The Kickstarter supports production of a full-color 100-page Graphic Novel, and many of the the special rewards attached to this edition will be exclusively available to Kickstarter supporters only. The incentives include electronic and print versions (including a hardcover option), t-shirts, comic script critiques, and even a featured role in the graphic novel.

Pete is an award-winning British writer, who co-founded Orang Utan Comics, and published an anthology titled Eleventh Hour, featuring his own short stories alongside the work of other rising talent. Within a year the book had been nominated for an Eagle Award. In 2011 his first graphic novel The Interactives was released, to critical acclaim.

Check out the Kickstarter right here.

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Robin HoodMatt Dursin – “Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century”

Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century #1 is written by CE alum Matt Dursin, and is even based on a short comic book script Matt wrote in the Introduction to Comic Book Writing course. The book features artwork by Jason Baroody and Mark McKenna.

In this updated version of the story, the modern-day Robin Hood doesn’t exactly “rob from the rich to give to the poor,” as the saying goes, but instead steals medical supplies and gives them to those in need, or those who can’t afford them or have no health insurance. Matt explains that the story is a commentary on how expensive health care is in the U.S. as well as other issues.

But it’s also a straight-up adventure story that will capture the spirit of the Robin of old.

The Kickstarter will fund the artists, letterers, colorists, and cover artists, as well as printing, distribution, production and other assorted costs. The eventual goal is to produce a four-issue miniseries with enough funding.

Incentives include signed and printed copies of the finished comic, a guest spot on the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen podcast, prints, or even the opportunity to have your likeness featured in the book.

Check out the Kickstarter right here.

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murderthonJames Babbo – “Murderthon”

Murderthon is a five-issue mini-series written by CE alum James Babbo with art by Ken Knudsten, creator of the indie book My Monkey’s Name is Jennifer. The Kickstarter supports production of the first issue.

Murderthon follows the tale of a cross country contest between two serial killers and has been described as a crime-noir story in the vein of crime novelist Richard Stark via indie director Roger Corman – an indie suspense movie in comics form.

But the story is really about Mark Saxon, the referee. It’s his job to make sure the game runs smoothly but a monkey wrench is thrown into the mix when he discovers one of the potential victims, Marabelle, has ties to his dark tormented past. But who is saving who? Marabelle can take care of herself & doesn’t need anyone to help her.

Incentives include PDF and print versions of the book, posters, a shot glass, original art, a featured role in the book, and even a set of the World War II mini-series written by James, The Moses Militia.

Check out the Kickstarter right here.

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seven wondersJeff Coley – “Seven Wonders”

Seven Wonders is an IndieGoGo campaign written by CE Workshop member Jeff Coley. The campaign will fund the “Prelude” issue of the graphic novel and all contributions will go directly to the artists, printing and perks.

Described as “the Good, the Bad and the Dead Issue,” the story follows mercenaries/lovers Sharp and Teague. After they clash with an assassin during a routine operation in Northern Mexico, only Sharp survives. But who was the assassin? Sharp must turn to Teague’s ex-girlfriend, Treasury Agent Jackson, for help, and soon discovers a connection to a cult worshipping a mythical person known only as Uncle Fetus.

In 1999, Jeff Coley completed the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting. In 2007, after relocating to Austin, he discovered the graphic novel format and resolved to create one some day.

Incentives include PDF and print versions of the issue, signed prints and copies of the script, postcards, t-shirts, posters, and having your likeness as the assassin in the book!

Check out the IndieGoGo campaign right here.

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Best of luck to all our alums and Workshop members!

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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!


“Make Comics” podcast returns! Episode #51 — “By Any Means Necessary”

The Make Comics podcast has returned!

Join former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt and his new co-host, Joey Groah, as they discuss all aspects of creating comics and breaking in to the industry.

MakeComicsPodcastJoey is a comic book writer whose day job involves film and video production, and we’re happy to welcome him to the show. (And we send out a big thanks to the co-host of the first 50 episodes, iFanboy‘s Josh Flanagan!)

In Episode #51, Andy and Joey discuss the idea of “By Any Means Necessary?” — that is, if your goal is to work in comics by any means necessary, what are your options? Do internships really work for getting your foot in the door? And what about after that? Plus…what the heck IS the difference between Assistant and Associate Editors?

Listen to Episode #51, “By Any Means Necessary

Check out links to all the episodes on the Make Comics podcast page!

Or view it in iTunes right here.

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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!


Intro to Coloring SOLD OUT! — Enroll now for Figure Drawing, Editing, and Lettering

ComicsExperience-LOGOOur Introduction to Comic Book Coloring course has officially sold out, nearly a month before the first class meeting! Thanks to everyone who signed up!

Our other upcoming courses are filling as well, so if you want in to our courses below, don’t delay!

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atkins-bioINTRODUCTION TO FIGURE DRAWING & CONSTRUCTION

Introduction to Figure Drawing & Construction will be taught by Robert Atkins, a professional comic book artist who has worked on G.I. Joe, Snake Eyes, Amazing Spider-Man, Heroes for Hire, Ultimatum Fantastic Four: Requiem and many others.

In this online course, you’ll focus on being able to build from scratch the entire human figure with correct and proportional anatomy without the need for photo reference.

atkins-art-class-screenshotDuring the course, you’ll build on an established foundation of basic forms to construct your figures. Each week you’ll receive an intense tutorial describing each muscle group of the body and how the muscles are constructed and drawn. You’ll see examples of how the muscles learned can then be applied to various industry methods of drawing such as comics, animation and concept design.

[NOTE: This is your last chance to fulfill the required prerequisite for our Advanced Figure Drawing & Construction course which begins November 14th!]

And if you want to know more about your instructor, just check out what one of Robert’s former students had to say about his teaching skills right here.

Introduction to Figure Drawing & Construction with Robert Atkins
Begins September 19, 2013!

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andy-bioCOMIC BOOK EDITING AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

In Andy Schmidt‘s four-week intensive class, you’ll learn how to manage a budget and timetable, bring the best out of your writers and artists, problem solve, and make a professional-level project!

Andy takes a conversational approach to this class that allows for individualization for every student as well as relating a career’s worth of experience in a way that is useful, organized, concise, and fun!

workshop screenshotAndy’s techniques and editorial approach have helped craft some of Marvel’s biggest events in the last 10 years (Civil War, Annihilation, X-Men: Messiah CompleX) as well as revived franchises to new creative heights while at IDW (G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Dungeons & Dragons). If you want to help build great comics with real sales potential, this course is invaluable!

Comic Book Editing & Project Management with Andy Schmidt
Begins September 25, 2013!

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sharpe-bioCOMIC BOOK LETTERING AND PRODUCTION

Comic Book Lettering and Production will be taught by professional letterer Dave Sharpe, who has been in the business for twenty years.

In this seven-week course, Dave will take you through the programs, the thought-process, and the decision-making skills to create comics with slick, professional lettering. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also learn the production work associated with publishing comics! Setting up covers with logos, cover elements, integrating the digital lettering files with the digital color files properly, and page set-up along with a healthy dose of trouble-shooting the most common problems.

lettering-screenshotDave started out hand lettering in the Marvel Bullpen before moving to digital lettering, taught lettering at the Joe Kubert School in the mid-90s, and developed and led the Marvel in-house lettering department for two years.

Since then, Dave is now lettering regularly for DC, in addition to working with many small publishers as well. He is, without a doubt, one of the most well respected, talented, and professional letterers in the comics business.

To quote Comics Experience founder (and ex-Marvel and IDW Editor) Andy Schmidt, “Dave can teach. I’ve seen him do it and he taught me much while I worked at Marvel. In the first ten minutes, he taught me enough about lettering that I could talk reasonably intelligently about it with the seasoned Marvel staff. Thank you for that, Dave.

Learning how to letter can save you money on your projects and improve your storytelling. Plus, bad lettering can kill the impression your book makes! Read more about all of that right here.

Comic Book Lettering and Production with Dave Sharpe
Begins February 10, 2014!

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Our courses are offered LIVE, streaming online, and you can attend from wherever you live. You’ll be able to see your instructor and his desktop, interact with your classmates, and discuss your classwork in real time. Recordings are available during the duration of the course if you miss one, and you’ll be able to communicate with your classmates all week long in a special, dedicated online forum for just you and your class.

We hope to see you in our courses or as part of our Creators Workshop community. Sign up now!

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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 Aniz Ansari joins DC Comics

imageComics Experience alum Aniz Adam Ansari was recently named to the position of Assistant Editor of DC Comics in their Digital Division based in Los Angeles.

In his new role, Aniz is working with Senior Editor Jim Chadwick on Digital First titles such as the popular Batman 66 and Injustice, as well as the print title Masters of the Universe in conjunction with Mattel.

Aniz is an alum of the Comics Experience Introduction to Comic Book Writing course, which he took in September of 2012. After completing the course, he continued to pursue writing, starting with several minicomics, as well as a number of full-length scripts in development, envisioned as eventual miniseries.

In his new job, Aniz reports that he’s getting the opportunity to understand the back-end aspects of comics production on another whole level and work with some of his favorite writers and artists.

“What better way to learn and improve as a writer than spending my days reviewing scripts by Jeff Parker and Keith Giffen?” Aniz said.

“The fundamentals I learned in Comics Experience gave me the foundation to assert myself and navigate my way through the comics industry with confidence,” Aniz added. “It also gave me a level of credibility, that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, that I feel made a significant difference in me getting the job.

“So don’t be surprised if you hear me enthuse about the value of what I learned from Comics Experience (and the Make Comics podcast for that matter!) to new and aspiring creators for years to come!”

Thanks so much Aniz, and we’re all so happy for you! Good luck with your new job!

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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!


Last chance! Master seminar with KLAUS JANSON, streaming online on 8/24!

janson-bioTime is nearly up to enroll in our special one-day, one-time only Comic Book Boot Camp Master Seminar on Saturday, August 24, 2013 with the legendary Klaus Janson!

This is your opportunity to have one of the most heralded creators of the last 30 years impart his considerable knowledge on making great comics to you.

Plus, as a special bonus, students who send in up to three pages of sequential art before the Seminar deadline will receive a written critique of their work from Klaus following the Seminar!

“Klaus is the guy companies hire to come in and teach their young creators and editorial staff about storytelling,” said Andy Schmidt, founder of Comics Experience.

“When I was at Marvel, I was lucky enough to attend classes taught by Klaus two or three times. As an editor, it was such a crash-course in storytelling, but it also made me a much better comics writer. I saved every note I made, and my hand never stopped writing.

BMDMCv5-cx“There is one word for this: INVALUABLE,” Andy said. “I’ve been trying to get Klaus to do this or something like it since 2007. He’s agreed to do it ONLY ONCE.”

This course is recommended for artists, writers, and comics enthusiasts alike. Topics covered range from writing for visual storytelling, pacing, layouts, moment-to-moment transitions, storytelling and dramatic power, decision-making, draftsmanship, clarity of communication, and more.

Klaus believes that communication is the most powerful tool human beings possess. The ability to communicate can come in many forms, but at its root, communication is called storytelling.

Janson’s years of professional experience both as a comic creator and as a comics teacher have made him the most sought after instructor of comics in the world.

His body of work is seen in seminal works from both DC Comics and Marvel Comics as well as his own personal works. His teaching experience goes back 20 years with New York’s School of Visual Arts.

Pun1When DC Comics decided to publish a book on penciling and inking comics, Janson was who they had to get–the result is Janson’s books The DC Comics Guide to Penciling Comics and The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comics.

Klaus’s artistic and storytelling journey has led to some of the most creatively and artistically successful comics in mainstream America as well as ground-breaking runs on popular characters like Batman, Daredevil, The Punisher and the Avengers. In 1986, Klaus and Frank Miller changed the course of the comics industry with their powerful work on Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

Along with Janson, Comics Experience’s Andy Schmidt will co-host the day’s event, and the day will end with a Q&A from the audience, so come prepared!

The course will be held from 10:00am until approximately 4:00pm Eastern Time, with a one-hour break for lunch. This is a one-time only opportunity to learn from a modern master of the comic art form!

All are welcome for this live, online streaming session, and there are no pre-requisite courses.

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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!