"Working with Andy was a real pleasure! He's both friendly and professional. But best of all, he's knowledgeable, creative, and understands how to tell a great story! I'd be happy to work with him again! Excelsior!"
Stan Lee, Creator of Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and The Avengers


Testimonials

Comics Experience Testimonials

We strive for the absolute best in what we do. All our instructors and mentors are well-established industry professionals, creative in their own right, and great communicators. Bounce between the tabs below and you'll see endorsements of all kinds—from industry professionals to students of all classes.

Nick Spencer
Comics Experience student and writer of Ultimate X-Men, Cloak & Dagger, Thunder Agents, creator of Morning Glories and Existence 2.0
"As a former student of the courses myself, whenever people ask me about breaking into comics, usually the first thing I tell them is to look at enrolling in Comics Experience. Not a day goes by that I don't use something I learned in those classes in my own work. Andy Schmidt & co. are fantastic teachers, and anyone serious about telling stories in this medium should definitely consider utilizing the resources they offer."

Stan Lee
Creator of Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and The Avengers
"Working with Andy was a real pleasure!  He's both friendly and professional. But best of all, he's knowledgeable, creative, and understands how to tell a great story!  I'd be happy to work with him again! Excelsior!"

Brian Michael Bendis
Creator of Powers, writer of New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, House of M, Daredevil, Ultimate X-Men, Alias, and Ultimate Spider-Man
"My most successful comics have had Andy Schmidt's name in the credits. This is a man who knows a thing or two about a thing or two."

Bobby Curnow
Editor at IDW Publishing, writer of "Night of 1,000 Wolves," a story workshopped in our forums
"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."

Jody LeHeup
Valiant Editor, former Marvel Editor
"The Comics Experience writing class is a fantastic environment in which to hone your storytelling skills and I recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about the craft of comic book writing. Whether you're looking to begin or improve your work, Comics Experience has something to offer you. Not to mention the fact that the networking I did there played a part in getting me my first interview for work in the industry."

Nicole Boose
Former Marvel Comics Editor
"Comics Experience has been a great resource for professional development: a supportive, constructive forum for current and aspiring comic creators alike to benefit from each other's insights."

Mitch Breitweiser
Marvel exclusive artist of Captain America: The Chosen, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Drax the Destroyer)
"Andy brought me into Marvel with the "Drax" project, then put a largely untested artist without a huge fan-base on his dream project.  Andy believed in me as an artist, and I will always be grateful.  It says a lot about the kind of guy Andy is."

Mike Carey
Writer of X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Ultimate Vision, and more!
"Andy was always an inspirational editor to work for.  A detail man who never lost sight of the big picture..."

David Gallaher
Writer of High Moon, professional editor
"Comics Experience provides a robust online workshop for up-and-coming creators to ask questions, improve their craft, and hone their skills. As a creator, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to participate, share my experience, and interact with others equally dedicated to making great comics."

Klaus Janson
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Daredevil, World War Hulk
"I've worked on only a handful of projects with Andy, but know him very well both from my persistent and regular intrusions into the Marvel offices and our social get togethers with other professionals. It was obvious to me that Andy was smart, intuitive, ambitious and had a great capacity for working with people. Andy loves what he does and he's darn good at it. We could all learn a lot from him."

Scott Kolins
Artist on The Flash, Avengers, Annihilation: Prologue, Omega Flight
"I'd work with Andy any day. He was smart, insightful and helped push every project we worked on to another level."

Mike Malve
Comics Retailer and Industry Enthusiast
"I was amazed at both the detail and honesty from the creators. It has a great feeling, almost like one is being invited into the homes of these guys. You know what I mean? Open a glass of wine and talk shop. I can't imagine how anybody could have this kind of access to comic creators if not for Comics Experience."

David Morrell
New York Times best-selling author and creator of Rambo
"Andy Schmidt is one of the best editors I've ever worked with. His editorial suggestions are always on the mark and very stimulating. After talking with him, I'm filled with new ideas and excited to get back to my writing. He understands what makes a story work, and that's a rare gift."

Michael Siglain
Former DC Comics Editor, Current Disney Editor
"I've had the pleasure of speaking at a few of Andy's classes, and I've walked away impressed each and every time. Andy was able to give his students one-on-one attention while also teaching and working with the class as a whole. For people who are just starting out or who are looking to break in, the class really does allow you to peek behind the curtain and get an insider's view of the industry. It's invaluable."

Dan Slott
Writer of Amazing Spider-Man on teaching a course for Comics Experience
"I'm very passionate about comics and all the nuts and bolts that make them work. To run classes and workshops like this, to really get in there and to both share and explore this medium is something I'm really looking forward to."

Tom Smith
Color Artist, JLA / Avengers, Brave and the Bold
"Andy is a phenomenal editor. He's got a wealth of experience and ideas, and has the ability to inspire others to amazing results with their own abilities. Networking is one of his many strong suits, as is his level head, consistency and focus on producing the best product possible. Working with Andy has been one of the most positive experiences of my career."

Mark Waid
Writer of Flash, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Justice League of America, and Kingdom Come
"Ever since meeting this person on Match.com, my life has improved for the better.  I truly feel as if I've found my soulmate. Wait, which site is this for, again?"

Paul Allor
Professional Comics Writer—IDW Publishing, Challenger Comics, Gov't Comics
"Before I found Comics Experience, I knew I wanted to be a comic book writer, but I had no idea how to make it happen. No idea what editors were looking for, no idea how the industry worked, no idea how to market myself, no idea how to format a comic script.

Comics Experience gave me all these skills. It also gave me an incredible group of women and men who are all working towards the same goal. The Creators Workshop members are a tremendous resource, for support, for guidance and for advice.

This isn't to say that "breaking in" will be easy. It still takes talent, and determination, and more than a little luck. But with Comic Experience's help, it's gone from feeling like a pipe dream to feeling like a realistic, attainable goal. I am so happy to be on this journey, and so proud to be a part of the Comics Experience community."

Joe Witmer
"(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."

Rob Anderson
Comics Experience General Manager
"I had wanted to take Andy's Intro to Comic Writing class for years, but New York City was just too far away. So, I jumped into the first online version of the class with both feet -- and it exceeded even my high expectations. Imagine getting six weeks of live lectures and advice from an experienced Editor and Writer like Andy, while meeting, critiquing, and getting reviewed by fellow writers from all over the country. It's motivating, inspiring, and just plain fun. Andy is there every step of the way to guide and encourage you. You will not want the class to end.

Comics Experience isn't just a bunch of lectures. It's a proven and logical methodology for taking those stories rattling around in your head and turning them into publishable, professional comic book scripts. I left the class not just with a completed script, but also with a group of like-minded friends to keep my momentum going forward. Now we're pursuing self-publishing an anthology right from the classwork. If you have always dreamed of writing comic books, take this class!"

Ivan Antonio
"I've always wanted to work with comics in some capacity, and Andy Schmidt's Intro to Comic Book Writing made me realize that I have the potential to break in. The course's hands-on approach, which makes the students actually create while respecting a deadline, makes for an invaluable experience that I couldn't find anywhere else. Learning the nuts and bolts from an actual editor with tons of experience and behind-the-curtain knowledge is priceless. Having your ideas and process constantly reviewed by Andy is going to improve your writing by leaps and bounds for the duration of the course. Speaking from personal experience, I was impressed by how clear and professional my final assignment looked, and Andy's guidance was vital for me to reach this level of polish. The course was absolutely worth it and I'm already saving up for the Advanced Class!"

Wanda Beck
"For the past two years, my husband has been asking me to work on a comic with him. I wasn't opposed to the idea, but I didn't know anything about comics. I didn't even know how to get started. There's so much stuff out there, and it was very overwhelming. My husband recommended that I take Andy's Intro to Writing Course, and I'm so glad that I did. Now I feel like I have a firm foundation, a really good jumping off place. Andy has created a very nurturing and informative environment, not just in the class but on the message boards as well. I highly recommend this course for anyone who has an interest in writing comics."

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!"

Gary Cohen
Writer/Artist, Editor inkbot.net
"Andy Schmidt is an excellent teacher and a talented editor. He will offer you honest, concise feedback on your work along with helpful suggestions and direction on how to improve it. The class is well organized with great content and insight from a working professional. An added benefit is you will meet other people who are passionate about comics who you will remain in contact with personally and professionally."

Jon Conrad
"What a huge improvement I see in the quality of my work since the beginning of the course… I hope to attend more of your courses in the near future. I am invigorated by your expert tutelage, and am comfortable in knowing that Intro to Comic Book Writing has made all the difference in my desire to enjoy comic book stories in this totally new way; as a creator and not just as a reader."

Ray Crisara
"Andy's class provides an incredible insight into what it takes to work in the industry. Besides learning the nuts and bolts aspect of what goes into good storytelling, Andy gives a great foundation on how to make contacts in the industry, as well as the etiquette required with those contacts. And it's all supported with entertaining examples of his actual experience in the industry. So whether you're an aspiring writer, trying to figure out how to break into comic book writing, or a comic book fan who wants to hear some insider stories about some of your favorite creators, this class is a must."

Eric Drumm
Professional Comics Journalist and Writer
"I had known Andy from my days as a writer for Marvel.com. I had known him to be a very welcoming, nice guy who would talk comics with you and give the proper respect to the work we were discussing. When I heard that Andy was offering a comics writing course, I literally dropped what I was doing and signed up. In my writing, I had always had trouble with pacing and story structure, which would stop me cold when trying to put my story into words. Through Andy's guidance and the support of my classmates, the skills I learned in such a short amount of time have been extremely beneficial. The easy, laid back workshop atmosphere allowed us to do our own thing, which was balanced nicely with the challenging class work. Overall, taking this class was a very smart first step in my comics writing career, and I recommend it to everyone very highly."

Sean Patrick Flahaven
Playwright, Composer, Arranger/Orchestrator, and Producer of over 50 shows, concerts, and recordings on and off-Broadway
"Andy Schmidt’s class was incredibly valuable; it covered both the basics of comics writing and strategies for dealing with editors and publishers. As an experienced dramatic writer and longtime fan who has recently turned to writing for comics, Andy’s insights, professionalism, and easygoing manner were refreshing. I would highly recommend his class."

Tim Fontaine
"To say that I've learned a lot in this class would be an understatement. The Comics Experience class gave me the tools that helped put the comic-writing puzzle together for me."

William Gatevackes
"Andy Schmidt is everything you want in a teacher. He explains everything you need to know in a way that is easy to understand yet does not insult your intelligence. I really learned a lot from him and would highly recommend him as a teacher."

Steven Harries
"I like the informality and the humor [of the courses] which creates a very comfortable environment (even for British introverts like myself!) whilst providing a wonderfully intense learning experience. Most classes finished near 4am my time but I was always more awake than I had been two hours earlier, my head spinning with possibilities. The balance between encouraging creativity and hard practicalities feels spot on."

Justin Heggs
"The last few days have been great comic-wise, the last class was great and very energizing. I also listened to your ifanboy interview twice today at work. I do construction and I’m basically my own boss, so I made an executive decision today and after listening to the interview again, left work early to go home and write. I love talking about comics, and this week has been very inspiring to say the least."

Ian Hewlett
"I really enjoyed the course - just the first class would have made it worth it. Breaking down the story process to stay focused on one main idea really resonated with me. I already owned your book (and Peter David's and Denny O'Neil's) – so I had been exposed to some of the course material. But attending (or watching if I couldn't make it) the actual classes put a lot of the elements together for me. I was surprised that writing became "fun" again even with the edits I had to do to the script (project management and academic type writing has turned into a burdensome chore). The pitch elements and behind-the-scenes viewpoint were phenomenal. I've gone from a curious if I can do it comics writer to seriously considering a moonlighting "career" of sorts."

Matt Hoverman
Award-winning playwright
"I loved this class! Andy, an experienced Marvel Editor, showed us how to come up with a strong idea for a comic book script, and then – through the same step-by-step outlining process that real Marvel pro’s use – how to develop it from an outline into a fully realized, 5-page comic book script. He also clued us in on the best ways to get our scripts in front of top editors and publishers, and he trained us in the invaluable skill of pitching our ideas. His keen editorial eye and accessible, structured teaching style were greatly enhanced by his fascinating and often hilarious personal anecdotes about what really goes down in the Marvel bullpen. If one or two of the scripts in a twelve-student class were good, you could attribute it to the students’ talent. But if ALL the students' scripts were great – and in our class, they all were – you gotta hand it to the teacher. If you want to write or draw professionally for comics, Andy Schmidt’s classes are a must!"

Jamie Iracleanos
"Yes, you'll learn plenty about the necessities of writing for comics successfully as well as writing in general, but this class is so much more. For people who desire to one day break into the comics industry, this class gives you practical applications and valuable insight toward making that goal a reality. You not only get instruction by one of the best editors in the business, but Andy also gives you something you could only get if you were actually working in the business... worthwhile experience. This class is as much educational as it is fun, but more importantly, it's taught by someone who both cares and believes in helping the next wave of writers reach their full potential."

David Kawalec
"Your process has really shown me how to focus in on the most important bits that I need to tell my story. The class has been such a great experience and I love that I'm learning new things right up until the very end."

Fred Kim
Professional Screenwriter
"When I enrolled in Introduction to Comic Book Writing, I wanted to understand how the comics industry really operated, and develop the skills necessary to tell stories in this medium like a professional. Thanks to Andy, I now have a better appreciation for what it's like on the inside, and I know the secret do's and don'ts that separate a real writer from an amateur one, in the eyes of editors. On top of that I made some new friends with people who love comics as much as I do. I can't recommend this course highly enough to people who are serious about writing for comics."

Joshua Mandelbaum
Advertising Producer for Poets and Writers magazine
"Andy provided practical and valuable insight into what a writer needs to know about scripting a comic and what to do with that script after it’s completed. I walked away inspired not only by the relaxed but informative conversations from each class, but also by the wealth of ideas that were generated by Andy and the other students."

George O'Connor
"Andy's Comics Experience INTRODUCTION TO COMIC BOOK WRITING course was everything I hoped it would be and well worth the money. Andy's enthusiasm for comics and helping writers is honest and infectious. The class helped hone and focus my previous writing skills and background for the comics.

As someone looking to break into the business, Andy did a wonderful job of pulling back the curtain and showing us the business side of the industry. I now feel much more prepared to assemble a pitch and then present it and myself to companies and editors.

After six weeks, I feel sharper as a comic book writer, more prepared for putting pitches together, more educated about the realities (some of them harsh) of the industry and am more upbeat and excited about writing and creating comics. I really don't think you could ask for more than that."

J.D. Oliva
Professional filmmaker
"…This week I was in New Orleans with my movie at a horror film festival. After the fest, I had an opportunity to pitch one of the major production companies in that area (third largest film market in the U.S.). After last week's (Comics Experience online writing) class, I completely based my pitch package on what we learned in class. I reapplied some of the principals from comics to film. But long story short, it worked and my film pitch was accepted; I'm now 'in development'."

Carol Pinchefsky
"I really enjoyed Andy Schmidt's class. He was a thorough and knowledgeable instructor with a gentle hand at constructive criticism. Plus, the people I met were great fun. I enjoyed every minute of my experience, and better yet, I absolutely got my money's worth."

Colin Prichett
"With Andy's experience in the industry, I was assuming he'd be able to communicate the ability to put together a strong script… [But] he was able to expand on that, delve into his career and experiences, and present such a wealth of information in such an enjoyable atmosphere that it never felt like a 'class,' but more a gathering of friends working towards a common goal. The conversational feel of the course lent itself extremely well to the congenial atmosphere and, I believe, the massive improvement in all the student scripts. I cannot see why a writer cannot have at least some measure of success within the industry if he or she heeds Andy's advice; he provides all the tools necessary for success…"

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."

Dan Rivera
"Andy Schmidt's Comics Experience class has not just given me the confidence and the skill set to write comics, it has made me a better writer PERIOD. You learn it's more about story and substance than style. He also has the unique ability to make you realize how talented you really are."

Christian Rubiano
Writer, Publisher, Inkbot Press
"I'm glad to hear you have reclaimed your helm as worlds most kick ass writing teacher.* I know just about every one from the old class shares in this sentiment… the lessons learned from your class have been extremely helpful in elevating my writing, as a matter of fact I wouldn’t mind attending another or even retaking the same class just to brush up and even expand on what I have already learned."

*Christian took a class prior to my creating Comics Experience. This note was in response to Comics Experience’s debut. Incidentally, I rarely break out that particular title on official documents.

Joe Sergi
Professional Writer
"As an aspiring comic's writer, I first became aware of Comics Experience when they offered panels on relevant topics, such as pitching, story structure and how to break into comics. Over the next several months, I kept hearing very good things about the Comics Experience writing courses, which were held in New York City. Unfortunately, I don't live in New York City; I live outside of Washington, DC. Consequently, although I wanted to attend these classes, doing so would have been highly impracticable for me.

Earlier this year, an on-line version of the writing class was offered and I immediately signed up. I must admit, I had some concerns about how well the class would translate into an on-line format. From what I had heard, one of the main advantages of the classroom setting was the sense of community that developed among the students through in-class activities and critiques. My fear was that these relationships would be lost in the cold impersonal world of computing. Moreover, I was afraid that some of the instructional nuances and personality would be lost without face-to-face interaction.

These concerns were alleviated by the end of the first class. The Webex system* utilized provides face-to-face interaction with the instructor, Andy Schmidt, who utilized a web cam. Most students had microphones so that we could ask questions or make comments (some had web cams as well). As an added feature, there was also a chat function that allowed for questions and comments that did not interrupt the flow of the lesson plan. After each class, students would communicate through email and an online Google community* to give each other comments and criticisms on their work-in-progress.

Through this communication, I really got to know my fellow classmates. Some were established writers and artists who have worked for big name companies. Some, like me, were just starting out in the industry, while others had never written a word before taking the class. Because we all had different genres and writing styles, I found it incredibly helpful to see how each of their stories developed into publishable comic scripts. Now that the class has ended, I am still friends with many of them and we are planning a group project for the upcoming comic convention season.

The class itself is great. Each lesson is focused on a different aspect of comic writing (e.g., story structure, panel layout, and dialogue). In addition, there are specific topics of interest to new writers like pitching and breaking in. Although I had read numerous books and taken courses on creative writing, I still learned a lot in the class about writing comics.

I found Andy Schmidt's teaching style to be highly entertaining and engaging. He mixes academic knowledge with real world experiences and draws examples (both good and bad) from everything from classic literature to comics to movies. We also had an opportunity to peek "behind the curtain" to see works in progress of upcoming projects and talk with comic legends like Chuck Dixon (who wrote one of my favorite books: Nightwing). In addition to providing great fanboy moments, we were also able to see how the knowledge we were gaining in the class was being applied in the industry. In short, the Comics Experience writing class was the highlight of my week and I am sorry that it is over.

…Has my writing improved? Absolutely. I think the class has helped me become a better storyteller. And, at the end of the day, that's all that any writer can ask for.

I highly recommend this class."

*We no longer use WebEx or the Google Community as we have found even better systems for teaching and interacting. Always improving!

Lynn Sewell
"I enjoyed the class and hope to take another sometime soon. I found the access to the work of classmates of great benefit. Seeing the different styles and genres was inspiring, for me, as it gave me the confidence to do my own story in my own way. I also liked the step-by-step element to the script writing. As a novice it gave me a place to start and direction. I look forward to following these steps on my next idea."

Vaughn Summers
"The amount of information Andy brought to the table, with his knowledge and experience, was priceless. The environment was positive and friendly, and I had no problems discussing my work with the other participants; there was a shared sense of community with everyone involved."

Alberto Veloso
Professional Screenwriter
"After a lifetime of wondering how to break into comics, Comic Experience provided all the answers. The course taught me how to generate ideas, plot out the story, correctly format the scripts, and collaborate with artists. Thanks to the class, I was able to write my first comic script, and my second, and my third, and hopefully many more to come. If you're serious about a career in comics, then Comic Experience is a must!"

Scott Weinstein
Producer for “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live and co-creator of After School Agent
"Breaking into Comics for Writers* was a great summer surprise. It offers an introduction to the mysterious world of comic book writing for people with absolutely no experience. And for those of us who have already tried our hands, there are plenty of professional tips to be had. Andy Schmidt brings a wealth of professional experience to the class. But, more importantly, he is enthusiastic about comics, and patient with students as they learn. I can't recommend this class enough."

*Scott took an earlier version of the Introduction to Comics Writing class.

Nathaniel Allen
"Chris Sotomayor's knowledge of the technical aspects of digital coloring is astounding. And his working knowledge of color theory and the use of light and color as a storytelling device were fantastic. I don't think I've ever had as thorough an explanation of the effects of color and light from an instructor, and I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in fine art. Last, but certainly not least, is his ability to effectively communicate his knowledge to his students. Perhaps best of all, as a student looking back over the work done for the class, I can clearly see improvement and the development of a deeper understanding."

James Babbo
Colorist for Dynamite Entertainment
"Having gone through both coloring classes, I've seen my skill level increase exponentially – an opinion shared by my friends and colleagues who have seen my coloring work. I owe this progress to an exceptional teacher – Chris Sotomayor. Not only is his guidance tempered by an infinite patience to explain technique and the underlying reason beneath it, he's inspirational in his constant strive to increase his own skill. That drives me to continue stretching my own level with constant practice practice practice. Definitely will recommend these courses to others."

Gannon Beck
Professional Artist, Comics Experience Creators Workshop Moderator
"Robert is an amazing illustrator who has worked on titles for Marvel, DC and IDW. Incidentally, his teaching is on par with his art… Robert has the uncanny ability to make artists feel good about what they have produced even while covering their art in corrections… At the end of a critique, rather than feel bad that I didn't do the art better, I felt invigorated to have new artistic weapons in my arsenal. As a result of Robert’s instruction, I left every class a better artist. I don't consider myself a great artist yet, but I feel that I've been firmly placed on the path to become one. That's what a great teacher does. Now, if anyone asks me who my favorite teacher is I can tell them: It's Robert Atkins."

Nicole Boose
Former Marvel Editor, Current Workshop Staff Member
"I decided to take the Comics Experience introductory coloring course not because I wanted to become a professional colorist, but to develop some new skills within the comic industry, and to better understand coloring from the perspective of an artist rather than solely as an editor. From instructor Chris Sotomayor's guidance, I got what I was looking for and then some. Soto and Andy's teaching style invited a sense of camaraderie within the class while also providing direct, helpful instruction that we could put to use starting with the very first session. I went from having zero practical experience with Photoshop to a much more fluent understanding, and gained a solid foundation in the art and science of coloring. My goal was to learn more about the technical aspects of color, improve my Photoshop vocabulary, and learn enough do a bit of professional flatting work. Thanks to this course, I've been fortunate enough to fulfill all those goals, and I'm continuing to learn. Thanks, Andy and Soto!"

Neil Brady
"I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Atkins' Intro to Comic Book Art class. Robert is a very good teacher and explains a lot in great detail and is always willing to help beyond the class, if necessary. He is very patient and has great humor. I live in the UK and, although it's early hours of the morning here when the class is held, it is well worth staying up for!"

Amy Chu
"For a non-artist like me, this was a great class, largely because Soto is willing to spend his personal time to get you up to speed… I feel like I'm at the point where I can do some basic coloring for some of my shorts and another friend's strip, which is more than I could have asked for."

Jason Folkes
"I enjoyed the Intro to Art class so much, I decided to take the Figure Drawing class, too. I don't think anything speaks more than someone paying to take another class. I feel like I learned a lot of very valuable info and was super impressed with the teachings of Mr. Atkins. I don't ever remember having a teacher with his level of enthusiasm. He has almost an infectious excitement I found very refreshing. I found the Intro to art class very challenging but, at the end, it's one of the most rewarding things I've ever done."

Ken Frederick
Student, now Professional Comic Artist
"The Introduction to Comic Art class was a fantastic experience for me! It was a thrill to draw pages from actual comic book scripts and get feedback and advice from a working editor. The instructor, Mike Siglain, was incredibly generous with his time and genuinely wants his students to succeed. My classmates and I keep in touch with him to this day. The friendships and networking opportunities from this class were so much more than I expected. The artists from my Introduction to Comic Book Art course got together with the writers from the Introduction to Comic Book Writing course and we self-published an anthology book together. Today, we are working on another anthology and have lots of projects planned for the future. Needless to say, the class was worth every penny!!"

Deborah Fritz
"I am so glad I took this class. I have learned so much in a short time; just by doing, feedback, observation, and critique. I cannot say enough great things about Robert Atkins. He is approachable, honest, helpful, recommends resources, encouraging (I really needed that), highly talented, caring, and I am missing a lot more adjectives. Thank you for offering this class with a terrific teacher. I do hope to take more classes taught by Robert."

Kerith Hopper
"You have struck gold with Mr. Atkins! It is quite a coup to find an accomplished artist that is also adept at teaching. Two very different skill sets, yet he manages them both seamlessly. He is amazingly approachable, and takes time with each student, offering an individualized experience. He shares freely and gives so much. In just moments and with the smallest tweak, he offers a completely new perspective and deeper level of understanding. I marveled watching him. He is so down to earth. He breaks the material down in a way that confusing and daunting things become natural and easily understood. I took more than I could have imagined away with me from the course."

Jason Lewis
"I really have to commend Soto. I feel he went above and beyond for us every class. Everyone seemed to get the individual attention they needed. I learned just as much from his critiques and paint overs of the other student's projects as I did my own. Soto may say that he's not going to pull any punches and blast us with the brutal truth, but I felt he did a good job of curtailing his criticisms to the individuals' skill level, while still being encouraging and never overly harsh."

Seth Martel
"(Robert Atkins) really is a patient teacher whose lessons engage all skill levels and personality types. There's something for everyone week to week. He's a really valuable resource to Comics Experience."

Shannon Miller
"I just completed Intro to Art and it was a wonderful experience! I've taken some studio art classes but am new to making comics, so I was a little hesitant to take the class but I'm so glad I did! I learned so much, both from Robert and the other students. The constructive criticism and positive atmosphere has given me the confidence and motivation to get serious about creating my own comics."

Matt Mucha
"Thanks to you, Andy and Soto, and to everyone who I took the (Introduction to Coloring) class with. I learned a ton and hope to keep learning and take the advanced class… I would recommend it to anyone."

Carl Peterson
Student, Professional Comics Artist
"I knew I wanted the class to make me a better artist. And it did. But I didn't imagine I would have the opportunity to work with writers, illustrate independent comics, and build my professional experience and network.

That's what I loved about taking Comics Experience classes: Robert taught me essential pencilling and storytelling techniques, but I was also able to interact with up-and-coming writers and artists on the CE (message) boards. The artists offer support and suggestions and several writers have approached me about collaborating on their independent projects.

In the time since I took the Introduction to Pencilling course, I pencilled and inked my first published comic artwork, with more on the way, and I'm in touch with editors at both Marvel and DC.

If you want to be a better penciller and get hooked into a supportive community full of opportunities, a Comics Experience course is a great choice. Good luck, and I hope to see you on the boards!"

Carl Peterson
"Breaking into the comic book industry is tough. You have to be better than the next guys (and there are a lot of them) and you have to know the right people inside the industry. As part of my attempts to break in, I've taken several classes that helped build my art skills. But in addition to expert art instruction, the Comics Experience pencilling class gave me insight on how to get my art in front of the right eyes.

Over six weeks, professional penciller Robert Atkins taught my fellow students and me how to pencil a clear, entertaining story on a deadline. He covered all the essential processes, from interpreting a script to thumb-nailing to finishing a page. And Robert was great at tailoring the class to the interests and abilities of his students. He regularly critiqued each student's art, offering suggestions on how to improve his/her personal storytelling and technique.

And even though the bulk of the class was focused on art (rightly so), the most useful part for me was the discussion on how to network. Meeting editors, presenting original concepts to publishers and making the most of conventions were a few of the topics Robert discussed during the class. Even after learning all this, it's clear that getting a pencilling gig requires skill, persistence and lots of thick skin, but thanks to this class, at least I can see the path.

I would encourage anyone who is serious about pencilling comics professionally to take the Comics Experience pencilling class. Between the art instruction and the industry insight, I know you'll learn something useful."

Colin Prichett
"I wanted to thank Comics Experience and Robert Atkins for the Intro to Art class. Combine Robert's affable personality and a very effective teaching style and it made for a highly informative and very enjoyable experience. It was a revelation to me how easily [Robert] was able to work with both his and the student's art to demonstrate rather than just tell. That's an invaluable educational experience – to be able to see exactly what he's thinking rather than just trying to describe it really emphasized the work. Bottom line, I was quite shocked at the quality of the course. Based on that experience, I will always be recommending the course to those interested in comics."

Rocky Richmond
"Robert Atkins is a great instructor. Where else can you learn from a professional comic book artist active in the industry like Robert Atkins? Through this class you really get the feel and understanding of what actually takes place in the comic book world. I also like how the forums are set up. I like looking at other participants' artwork and original stories. Thanks again for a great class.”

Stuart Roddy
"Robert Atkins' Intro to Comic Art was the 'right' class for me. Six weeks of hands on instruction on storytelling, anatomy, composition and pencilling techniques showed the possibilities of comic art. Informative and insightful from beginning to end.

I'm pretty picky about spending money on education because of a tight budget, (wife and kids!) but I would do it again. Robert is a great teacher and I'm thinking of joining his class again… so hopefully it will work out. Thank you for creating the workshops, I really enjoy them when I get a chance to.”

Chris Shehan
"Comics Experience to me is like sitting in a room with Robert Atkins once a week while he pours all his knowledge and experience and thought process out for me to see and learn from while he also explains in depth how to amp up my own work to the level required to be a professional. It's not just a critique or a lesson, it’s an experience. Just like the name says."

Matt Simich
"Robert Atkins was a great teacher. He was always an open book when it came to our questions. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed myself every Thursday evening. This business is like Fort Knox when trying to get in. This class gave me hope and confidence that with dedication and perseverance I can do it."

Jimmy So
"Robert Atkins really helped me understand the work it takes to be a comic book professional and how the industry functions. The students were very diverse and at different skill levels and Robert was able to give each student the one-on-one time to improve on their specific needs. He opened my eyes on being a better storyteller and I look forward to taking his Advanced class."

Dave Strong
"Robert Atkins knows his stuff and he was a great, GREAT teacher! The "Intro to Figure Drawing" class was one of the most amazing educational experiences I've had! I was able to jump past a lot of the road blocks that have been bothering me for years. I just got really energized and inspired to do more with my own work. I thank you for putting this all together, helping me feel connected again, and really getting my creative gears turning!"

Seth Teter
"I can't tell you enough how amazing Robert Atkins's "Intro to Art "class was. It has been a phenomenal experience for me personally. I am a fanboy/novice and I learned buckets of mind-blowing information to use for future endeavors. Robert's storytelling advice and knowhow has just been eye opening … and a rich learning experience. If he teaches a final rendering/anatomy/character design class I would take it in a heartbeat. His teaching style, and critiques have helped me immensely. I can't say enough about Robert. I am a teacher and you can tell he knows how to work with students. He mentioned his wife is a teacher. It must run in the family. Again, please consider more classes to be taught by him. He is FANTASTIC!"

Seth Teter
"I have thoroughly enjoyed retaking the "Intro to Art" class. My goal was to further my storytelling and to find a process to getting pages done. I really found myself and my voice over the last six weeks. So many things clicked and hit home. Robert is an AMAZING teacher. I am very thankful to be able to take classes from him."

Daniel Toledo
"Robert Atkins' Intro to Comic Book Art class was REALLY GREAT. I learned so much about drawing a comic, storytelling, and the industry. Robert gave great critiques/advice about my and everyone else's work. I'll for sure take the class again and the Advanced course as well."

Kevin Volo
"I thought the class was well thought out and the progression of lessons and assignments was perfect. Chris is the best kind of teacher, one who is both extremely knowledgeable and passionate about coloring. Chris, being a professional colorist, also has great insights into the business of comics, which is just as valuable as technique. Great class, great teacher. If there was an "Advanced" Advanced class, I'd take it."

Scott Wegner
Atomic Robo artist and co-creator
"…two things were outstanding about the class, (Beside’s Soto’s easy-going manner). The first is the instructor and (the second is the) critiques of our work. Class regularly ran late so that no one was left out, and I learned just as much from the critiques of the other student’s work as I did my own. One evening we ran an entire hour over, and while it was exhausting, it was great."

Ravi Wilkie
"I took Andy Schmidt's "How To Break Into Comics"* class and found it helpful and inspiring. He was influential in my decision to not only pursue a career in comics but to develop my own conceptual design and art production company. Three cheers for Andy."

*Course no longer offered.

William Wolford
"I just wanted to tell you that I am planning on taking future courses with you; the writing, the drawing, and the advanced coloring. Both you and Soto made the (Introduction to Coloring) class interesting and fun. During the six weeks I have learned so much from you both and feel confident in my abilities. Something I would not have if I had learned to do digital coloring on my own. You made me look forward to class every Thursday. You put so much of your time and effort into your course and it shows that you really enjoy what you do. It's nice to see you sharing your knowledge with others."

Achilles Yeldell
"This past February, I submitted my artwork at the DC Talent Search. The following day, I went to the convention, confident I'd be on the list for a one-on-one session… After all, I had spent months working on those three pages!

My not seeing my name on the board was a life changing moment. The 'rejection' wasn't even the hardest part. It was the not knowing why my pages weren't good enough. Books help; I'd already read plenty of them. But there are thousands of factors specific to a writer and artist that play into their work.

Enter Comics Experience. There's a huge gap between the guy who's drawing his favorite heroes in his favorite poses and the guy who’s submitting stuff that meets the standard of the industry. Your classes proved to be the perfect step to closing that gap."

Steve Sluyter
"I really enjoyed taking the intro to art class. I learned a lot and Robert is a great teacher. I've recommended it to my artist friends."

Bobby Curnow
Editor at IDW Publishing, writer of "Night of 1,000 Wolves," a story workshopped in our forums
"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."

Keith Davidson
"The critiques people gave me on my work were extremely helpful, and I'm confident my next draft will be vastly improved because of it. I probably learned more from the critiques than I did from the university extension class I recently took on graphic novel writing."

Kevin LaCoste
"I'm super-grateful for having found Comics Experience. I've got three short scripts (one penciled and inked!) under my belt in my approximately two months in the workshop. Without the CE Workshop I'd still be thinking about maybe, possibly, trying my hand at writing something, eventually– It can't be overstated how valuable an environment like this is for lighting that proverbial fire under one's ass."

J.D. Oliva
"Andy Schmidt's Comics Experience gave me an insight into storytelling and character that I previously hadn't been shown. I was able to take the lessons we learned for story-pitching and secured a feature film development deal."

Tim Rassbach
“I'm writing to say thanks for starting Comics Experience and for working so hard to make it such a vibrant community rich in knowledge and practical application.

This weekend, at long last, I launched 'Gargoyle By Moonlight' into the world. I shared a table with my penciller, Brian Atkins (brother of CE's Robert) at Project Comic Con, the St. Louis convention. I was excited just to be there and to have a book. My goal was to sell 10 books over the weekend. (Truthfully, I thought I'd sell 5, if I was lucky.) But the book did extremely well: over the two-day con, we sold 42 copies of GBM…

To see this thing that I had created out of thin air (and slaved over with an incredible team for more than a year) go out into the world and do so well, find such a great reception, was an awesome feeling. I'm still processing everything, but, man, I feel so good. (This feeling is going to keep me going through all the cons that don't go great--I know there will be some--and the creative frustrations that are natural to this process.)

The methodology I've learned in your classes has helped me organize and harness my creative thoughts. What's more, the Creators Workshop helped with everything from critiques on the original Gargoyle story to what to take to a con, how to act, and how to pitch/sell. There's also the networking and personal contacts I've gotten from the group: personal recommendations on everything from vendors to colorists. Much credit goes to the creative team on the book: Brian, our inker/letterer, and our colorist. At the same time, I know that GBM is a good book because Comics Experience is great place for creative people to meet and interact. So thanks for that.”

Paul Allor
Creator of Clockwork and Orc Girl, writer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from IDW Publishing
“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.”

Mark Behar
Owner, Cartoon Daydreams
“I learned a great deal while working with Andy. He and his team of qualified experts own the expertise required to mentor aspiring creators. I can’t overstate the importance of receiving direct guidance from those who have earned success in the industry. It ain’t easy, but the folks at Comics Experience can show you how it’s done.”

Dave Castlenuovo
Creator of the hit video game and comic book Pocket God
“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.”

Sean McArdle
On becoming Platinum Studios’ 2007 Comic Book Challenge runner up
“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!”

Keith Salmon
"I took Andy's consultation and found him very easy to relate to. We talked about breaking in with different types of publishers and I got to ask many questions about his experience as a professional editor, working with licensed properties, and producing his first creator-owned comic. The best part was how it was tailored specifically based on his questions about me. I plan to take another consult again in the future, after I have made some actual attempts at approaching editors. I feel much more confident. Thank you Andy."

Michelle Therese
“These mentor sessions are fantastic! Nicole has been extremely helpful and I am beginning to venture out of my comfort zone and into the challenging territory I have always avoided due to lack of confidence in my ability as an aspiring writer. It might sound like a cheesy advertisement clip but whatever: Comics Experience is absolutely making my dream come true! I might not end up published any time soon but I am moving forward! How else do you achieve your dreams unless you move forward, right?”