Writing and Editing Testimonials
“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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“As an aspiring comics 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!
“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!”
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.”