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5 Week Online Course | Wednesdays, May 28 – June 25, 2014 | Instructor: Andy Schmidt

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Advanced Writing: Scripting Your First Issue

It’s no secret that most readers give a first issue a try, then decide if he or she is in for the remaining issues–however many there are. What that means is that the first issue is vitally important–and each first issue must contain certain elements to successfully hook your readers for the long haul!

This course dissects those reader-hooking-requirements and offers them to you as you write a full first-issue (or stand-alone if you wish) comic script, step-by-step during the course!

Join Andy as you work through your first issue script, discussing and honing what required elements hook readers fast and keep them begging for more. From story construction, to creative ideas, to building characters that pull on our emotions–it’s all here!

You’ll also be a part of in-depth discussions on the current marketplace for comic series and advanced networking tips and publishing do’s and don’ts! In just five weeks, you’ll learn what it takes to create a slam-dunk first issue!

Prerequisite: You must have completed the Introduction to Comics Writing course to enroll in the Advanced class.

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  • Details
  • Instructor
  • FAQs
  • Requirements
  • Testimonials
  • You will work with professional comic book editor and writer Andy Schmidt.
  • You will develop a fully formed first issue script no more than 22-pages long.
  • You’ll learn tips and tricks to creating a great script and hooking readers fast.
  • You’ll get Andy’s wealth of experience and training.
  • Meets one night a week between 9:00 and 11:00 pm EST, for five weeks.
  • You also get exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum.
  • You’ll have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion—so you never have to miss a class!
  • Simply click on the PayPal button and you’re enrolled.
  • On the first night of class, bring your idea—the rest we build together!
Andy Schmidt

Andy Schmidt, former Senior Editor at IDW Publishing, former Editor at Marvel Comics, and writer of such comics as 5 Days to Die, X-Men: Divided We Stand, and G.I. Joe: Future Noir launched Comics Experience for people who want to make comics or work in the comics industry.

During his nearly six years at Marvel Comics, Andy edited such popular comic books as X-Men, X-Factor, Alias, Secret War, Captain America: The Chosen, Iron Man / Captain America: Casualties of War, Avengers Classic, and the Annihilation saga. As an assistant and associate editor, Andy worked on nearly every major character in the Marvel canon—from Spider-Man to the Avengers and Fantastic Four.

In 2007, Andy founded Comics Experience to pass his knowledge on to students. In 2008, Andy wrote an authoritative, Eagle Award-winning book about making comics: The Insider’s Guide to Creating Comics and Graphic Novels, published by Impact Books. In 2010, he created the Creators Workshop as part of Comics Experience, where students can learn and grow together as creators. In 2013, Andy left corporate life and began consulting and writing in the Entertainment Industry on properties such as Spider-ManThe AvengersGuardians of the GalaxyStar Wars, and Transformers as we all as consulting with film and television studios.

In January 2016, Comics Experience launched a digital-only comics line from Creators Workshop members available exclusively through ComiXology.

Andy is the co-host of the Comics Experience Make Comics Podcast and you can follow him on Twitter at @ComicExperience.

Why do I have to take the Introduction to Comic Book Writing course first?

The Intro course serves several functions, and a few of them are necessary here. The reality is we’ve got a lot of new ground to cover in this course, so we need to make sure that everyone in this course has a base-line of understanding of certain things—the methodology taught in the intro class being a big one, but a commonality of terms and some experience writing. We’re taking a big step forward, and it’s not fair to the rest of the class if we have to keep covering material from the first class to catch someone up.

How does this class differ from the Intro class?

The Intro class offers up a ton of foundational material, but this course offers brand new material and greatly expands on subjects that just get touched on in the Intro course.

What if I haven’t taken the “Build A Series” Advanced Writing Course?

That’s okay. We recommend taking the “Build A Series” course first, but it is not a strict prerequisite. So you can start there, and have that extra mojo going into this script, or you can start here, and then develop it further in that course. It can be done either way and there are merits to both approaches.

What happens if I can’t make a class one night? Can I make it up?

Have no fear—each class is recorded and you’ll have access to the recording for the duration of the entire class. If you miss one night, no problem! In fact, we have students from all over the world and it’s not uncommon for some to never attend a single session live—but they still get a great class experience through the recordings and interactions on the private class online forum!

Is there homework?

Yes. Each week there is an assignment that will help you build your story, characters and strategies! There’s no better way to learn than by doing!

How much interaction and feedback will I get with and from Andy personally?

As with all Comics Experience courses, one of the greatest aspects is the level of interaction you get from the instructor. This course is no different. Andy will be reviewing your work throughout the course and giving direct feedback—as well as getting feedback from your peers. This is a hands-on course—for you, and for Andy!

What do I learn here, that I can’t learn some place else?

With all of our courses, we pack a ton of information into every night. But we also do something that no other comics teaching institution does—we create our own methodology and approach to the creative experience and endeavor. In other words, the actual process that you’ll go through is not taught anywhere else and was specifically created for comics! Not movies or TV. Not novels or short stories—but for comics. And that’s why we are confident when we say that Comics Experience courses are simply the best courses about comics available today.

Prerequisite: You must have completed the Introduction to Comics Writing course to enroll in the Advanced class.

To participate in our live online sessions you will need:

  • A computer or mobile device that meets Adobe Connect’s minimum requirements
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Headphones/ear buds with microphone (optional, but strongly suggested)
  • A mind like a sponge!

Cameron Jarvis

“I have nothing but positive feedback for the advanced writing courses. It’s a step up from the beginner courses; it felt fairly intense and really raised the difficulty level, but was all great! I am greatly appreciative of the honest feedback on our pitches…if you develop another course, sign me up!”


Bret Bernal

“The advanced class is non-stop learning about the craft of writing comics. Sure, it’s possible to pick up a few writing tips by reading online interviews with creators. But that’s nothing compared to the weekly classes crammed with advice, Andy’s expert instruction, unlimited Q&A, and instant feedback. If you’re serious about learning how to write comics, this class is a must.”


Luigi Cicala

“Man, it’s been a crazy, great year! Letterer is finishing up our 32-pager now, the team is working on the rest of the script, thanks again, Andy, for helping me get back into comics!”


Tim Rassbach

“For [the Advanced] class, I really wanted to push myself. I set three hurdles for myself. Rather than coming in with an idea, I wanted to develop something cold… I wanted to do a first issue of an ongoing, and I wanted to try breaking a team book. I figured I’d get my money’s worth, using the crucible of the class interactions to try something big… I learned a lot of lessons… and I’ll add these lessons to my writing toolbox… I’ll definitely have a stronger story.”