Comics Experience Staff
Fred Van Lente is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning writer of many, many comics, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Archer & Armstrong (Harvey Award nominee, Best Series), Action Philosophers! (American Library Association Best Graphic Novel for Teens), and Cowboys & Aliens (with Andrew Foley), the basis for the feature film.
His many other comics and graphic novels include Weird Detective, The Comic Book History of Comics, The Incredible Hercules (with Greg Pak), Taskmaster, and Marvel Zombies. Pak and Van Lente also wrote the popular how-to book Make Comics Like the Pros for Ten/Speed Random House.
In 2017 Van Lente branched into the world of prose with his debut novel, the stand-up murder mystery Ten Dead Comedians. His follow-up novel, The Con Artist, set in the comic book industry, arrived in 2018.
James Tynion IV is the writer of the New York Times Best-Selling BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES cross-over for DC Comics and IDW Publishing, as well as JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK and DETECTIVE COMICS for DC Comics.
He is best known for his work on the Batman titles, and the Batman Family characters. He is also the writer of several critically acclaimed creator owned titles for BOOM! Studios, including THE BACKSTAGERS, MEMETIC, and THE WOODS, which is currently in development for television by Universal Cable Productions for the SyFy channel, and won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Series in 2017.
He lives and works with his partner in Brooklyn, NY.
Heather Antos was born with secret aspirations to become the next James Bond. However since her lack of British heritage has pushed that dream aside she now spends her days as the girl who will never grow up.
Heather launched her meteoric rise in comics by creating several Kickstarter Projects that were easily funded and became an expert on the platform giving talks at conventions nation wide and has been invited to talk at Kickstarter! Headquarters to help their staff better service comics projects on their platforms.
Having worked as an Editor at Marvel, primarily on the Star Wars and Deadpool lines, as well as being one of the creators of breakout character Gwenpool, she spends her days as a freelance comics editor and story consultant on titles like Redlands and Injection for Image.
Heather is currently an editor at Valiant Entertainment and active member of the comics community. Comics Experience welcomes her to her first Comics Experience course!
Erica Schultz is an American comic book writer, letterer, and editor who has worked in comics since 2008. She started in the industry as a digital artist and lip sync animator on the Astonishing X-Men motion comic “Gifted” from Marvel Comics. From there, she worked on comics production, background art, and ink and color assists for Neal Adams’ Continuity Studios on Batman: Odyssey, the re-release of Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, Harley’s Little Black Book, Batman Black and White, and The Coming of the Supermen for DC Comics, The New Avengers and The First X-Men for Marvel Comics, and Neal Adams’ Blood for Dark Horse Comics.
While working with Neal Adams, Erica teamed up with artist Vicente Alcázar to create the award-winning creator-owned series M3, published by Vices Press. She was one of Gail Simone’s hand-picked writers to contribute to the Swords of Sorrow crossover series with Dynamite Entertainment in 2015, co-writing much of the event with G. Willow Wilson and writing several series solo. Erica lettered the entire 21-issue crossover series.
Following the release of Swords of Sorrow, Erica lettered the relaunch of Dynamite’s “trinity” characters, working on mini-series for Vampirella, Dejah Thoris, and Red Sonja. She also lettered books with comics legends Garth Ennis, Leah Moore and Alan Moore while also lettering for indy publishers to help give them a leg up in the industry.
Erica has written for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Action Lab, ABC Television, as well as contributing to multiple anthologies including Image Comics’ Where We Live for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and the 2016 Harvey-Award Nominated The 27 Club: A Comics Anthology published by Red Stylo Media and Action Lab Danger Zone. She also was editor on Bingo Love for Image Comics which is nominated for a 2019 GLAAD Award and a founding editor of RISE: Comics Against Bullying with Joey Esposito, Adam Pruett, and Kris White.
She was chosen by DC Comics to participate in their pilot program for what became their Talent Development Workshop and wrote a well received story for Hawkgirl with Sonny Liew. Erica is excited to bring her wealth of knowledge and skills to Comics Experience students and Workshop members.
Kieron Gillen first entered the American comic market in 2006 with Phonogram: Rue Britannia, the critically-acclaimed cult comic with his long time artistic collaborator Jamie McKelvie.
Since 2008, Kieron has worked for a variety of American publishers, most extensively Marvel, for whom he has written commercially and critically successful books such as Uncanny X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, Young Avengers, Journey Into Mystery, Star Wars: Darth Vader and Star Wars: Doctor Aphra. He’s basically written every character you’ve heard of, and probably quite a few you haven’t.
After their GLAAD Award-winning reinvention of Young Avengers, Kieron and Jamie McKelvie managed to create the New York Times best-selling creator-owned sensation The Wicked + The Divine.
Kieron is in a position where he gets to split his time between his own projects and whatever Work for Hire projects appeal – presently Star Wars for Marvel.
He is brave enough to entitle this Master Seminar “Surviving Work for Hire” while being entirely aware that this is probably jinxing it.
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-Man, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star 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