Production and Business 104: Comic Book Editing & Project Management
In this four-week intensive class, you’ll learn how to assemble a creative team, manage a budget and timetable, bring the best out of your writers and artists, problem solve, and make a professional-level project!
This course takes a conversational approach that allows for individualization for every student. Instructor Marc Sumerak will relate a career’s worth of editorial experience in a way that is useful, organized, concise, and fun!
Marc is a working industry professional whose background includes every step of comic book production, from concept through publication. An Eisner- and Harvey-Award nominee, he has contributed as writer and editor to hundreds of mainstream comic books, including editing duties on some of Marvel’s hottest properties (Avengers, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Captain America); and has nurtured emerging talent (Comics Experience’s mentoring program and Creators Workshop)!
His goal remains the same in every case: to bring out the best in every creator, on every project. And in this course, he’ll share that experience and enthusiasm with every student!
If you want to help build great comics with real sales potential, this course is invaluable!
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- Meets one night a week from 9:00 to 11:00 pm ET, for four weeks.
- You will learn how to build a professional project from start to finish!
- You will learn how to get the best work from your creative partners and how to get it on time!
- You will work with professional comic book editor Marc Sumerak.
- You’ll get Marc’s wealth of experience and training.
- Ideal for anyone wanting to work with creative people in any field–especially comics.
- 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!
- There’s a special discount for Creators Workshop members!
Eisner and Harvey Award nominated writer Marc Sumerak has spent the last 15+ years contributing to the legends of a number of today’s most popular characters, including The Avengers, Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, and many more.
Sumerak is best known for his writing work on Power Pack, as well as co-writing the award-nominated Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius series. He has also had memorable runs on the Marvel Adventures line of titles and has contributed to countless other Marvel publications as both writer and editor. His first creator-owned graphic novel, All-Ghouls School, was released in 2011 by IDW.
A seasoned lecturer, Sumerak frequently travels to schools, libraries, and conventions to teach up-and-coming creators the craft of making comic books. He also contuinues to write for a number of high profile clients in comics, books, advertising, and video games.
For more information, visit www.sumerak.com.
The course meets online, once a week for two hours, and the course lasts four weeks. This intensive course focuses on the role of the editor in comic book creation. Editors initiate projects, get handed projects by management, or get pitched them by creators. There’s any number of ways a project can land in an editor’s lap—but no matter what the circumstances, the editor’s role is to make sure the final product is as good as it possibly can be.
What’s the focus of the course?
The course has a number of parts, including working with creative people and freelancers, managing your career and your manager’s expectations, budgeting a project, building an appropriate timeline, troubleshooting, and of course, evaluating the work of others and figuring out how to assemble a creative team that becomes far greater than the sum of its parts! These are invaluable lessons for anyone who will ever work on any collaborative creative endeavor!
How was the course created?
It all started when Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt began receiving requests about doing a class like this. Over time, and with careful consideration, he assembled and taught a curriculum based on his own experience.
Now, Marc has adapted the core principles from Andy’s course while bringing his own experience to the fore! Like Andy, Marc worked as an editor at Marvel and has been working in the industry for well over a decade. He brings the unique perspective gained from the wide range of titles and creators he’s worked with. In short, you benefit from the combined experience of two editors at once!
If you’ve taken this course before, try it again for an updated curriculum and a new point of view!
What else do I learn?
Marc’s course also covers many important industry topics for editors, like assembling the right team to tell each story, developing creator relationships, adapting to the needs of each project, working with publishers vs. self-publishing, and more.
There is no better way to learn comic editing or how to make comics than Comics Experience’s Editing and Project Management.
What else will we be doing?
Evaluating a lot of writing, a lot of art, coloring, and even lettering. In order to be a good editor, you’ve got to have a rock-solid grasp on how the component arts come together and function properly.
What do I do after the class?
Once the course is over, you’ll have been taught how to approach comic book editing—not just a set of steps for one specific story. It’s important that the editor be able to repeat the process once out of the classroom!
You’ll be able to confidently approach a story idea or a pitch you’ve received and guide it through a project process that will enable you to bring out only the best from your creative team and eventually, publish one fantastic project.
Do I need to know a whole lot about comics?
Absolutely not. All Introduction courses are designed for total beginners and those seeking to improve their craft. The class has a quick pace, so if you’re very new, be prepared to work, but one thing we pride ourselves on at Comics Experience is our ability to teach to an individual’s skill level.
These courses aren’t about the instructor, and that’s why we keep them small. We have an excellent track record with our students, and it’s our top aim to keep it that way. So, new to comics? Come on in, we’d love to show you around! Old pro? Let’s sharpen those skills and learn a few new tricks! Everyone’s welcome, and the group learning will help everyone improve!
Do I need to be a computer wiz for the class?
Nope. Not one bit. You need to have high-speed Internet access. We recommend that you have headphones with a microphone to plug into your computer, but that’s by no means necessary. Ultimately, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, though we like hearing your voice!
It’s simple. Once you’re in your first class, we’re sure you’ll get comfortable very quickly.
What computer programs do I need for this course?
None! Just the Internet access and you’re good to go!
What if I miss a class?
All of our classes are recorded and available to view via streaming link for the duration of the course. And on top of that, you’ll have exclusive access to the Comics Experience forum set up just for the class. You’ll be able to interact with the rest of your class all week long at any time!
If I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?
You bet. We’ve had students jump in from Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa. Not Antarctica yet, but give us time! Some of these students have not been able to attend live, but they’ve viewed the recordings and interacted with their classmates online!
Learning about comic storytelling is great, but do we get any practical industry advice?
You’ll get a LOT of practical industry advice. Networking is one of our main topics in all of our introductory courses. It’s, simply put, essential for anyone who wants a career in comics. We discuss relationship building and ways to get your foot in the door and where to go to meet the right people and so on.
If I don’t want a career in comics, and just like making comics or even just want to learn more about the art form I love, is this class right for me?
Sure it is! How better to expand your knowledge and understanding of comics than by engaging with creators? And that’s what most of our students are—they’re creators. It’s a great place to learn just for fun if you wish too. We’d love to have you!
How do I sign up?
Click on the PayPal button and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.
To participate in our live online sessions you will need:
Comic Book Writer
“When working with a comics editor, I want to be challenged and guided by a competent mind, but I also want to feel encouraged to speak with my own voice. I was in good hands at Marvel with Marc Sumerak.”
writer, X-Men, X-Force; Deadpool co-creator
“Marc was part of an excellent editorial team that was not only smart enough to hire me, they were good enough to make my work readable. Usually. He can definitely teech u how to be a gud editor!”
Executive Editor, Marvel Comics
“When he was a member of my editorial team, I used to call Marc Sumerak ‘The Mechanic’ for the way he’d get his hands dirty in fine-tuning the engine of whatever story we were working on, and his detail-oriented approach to his work.”
“As a comic book professional, I’ve seen a lot of editors come and go in this industry. I have to say, Marc is the kind of editor you want to work with. He’s not a simple ‘traffic manager’ who plays sudoku between crises. Marc works with people. He works with creators. He knows how to get the best out of you, and push you to the next plateau and nurture your talent and the project in ways you wouldn’t have thought of. He’s always a seamless part of the team. And that’s what you want. A teammate. Not someone who rubber-stamps or passes the buck. You want someone looking out for you. That’s Marc. This motherf****** just knows comics.”
Editor-in-chief, Udon Studios
“Marc is an editor that understands the balance between editorial and artistic input. He is always there to listen to the talents and seek solutions to make things happen! An absolute joy to work with!”
“(The) Editing and Project Management (course) proved to be exactly the class I’d been hoping for, packing a career’s-worth of comics-editing insights into four class sessions. The class covered everything from giving notes to writers and artists, to interacting with license holders, to budgeting a project, to the final assembly and production of a book. It was a heady mix of both the business and craft of making comics. Despite what could have been an overwhelming volume of information, Andy’s relaxed, conversational teaching style made each facet of an editor’s job feel manageable, and the end result is that more than ever, I’m hungry to help other comics creators make the best comics they possibly can.”