Up-and-coming writer Kenny Porter discusses how Barnstormers, his graphic novel being republished by Simon and Schuster in September 2020, started from the five page script he wrote for Intro to Writing Comics.
Porter says: There might be writing groups in my city, but no one in them who wrote comics or anything close to that. Intro to Writing Comics was a great opportunity to talk to other people who were interested in what I was doing, familiar with the medium and wanted to get better.
Intro to Writing Comics was a great structured experience. You were given a deadline and specific format and page length to tell a complete story, and on a timeline similar to what a publisher would give you.
I was able to extrapolate that into a bigger story that became a prologue that is now becoming an original graphic novel, Barnstormers, coming out from Simon and Schuster in September.
Douek says: Peer review is a big part of the workshop… in order to upload a script, I had to critique other people’s scripts. Every script I read, I learned something. Every person who read my script, I learned something from them. Nobody’s competitive, everyone who touched the script had an interest in making it the best script it could be.
Douek says: “When I hit page five of the script and wrote “The End”, I went “WOW, It’s done.” It seems small, but it felt really big as my evolution as a writer because I had trouble finishing things. It was this five page story in my hands. It was real. I could print it out and hold it. The question then became how can I do more?”
Douek says: Gutter Magic started off as a 5-page short in the Introduction to Comic Book Writing course, and grew into a full series – first as single issues, then a trade paperback from IDW. A spinoff series, Tales from the Gutter, met its Kickstarter goal and expanded the alternate history steampunk universe further.
During the publishing process, Andy [Schmidt] was an invaluable resource as an editor and advisor. It’s safe to say that Gutter Magic wouldn’t be what it is without Comics Experience, and I’ll always be grateful to it for helping to get my comics writing career off the ground.
Bach says: There are so many people at different stages in their making comics career… there’s wonderful people from professional editors, to professional writers, to professional colorists… they’re willing to be very open about the experiences they’ve had and pass that along to the next generation.
Bach says: Comics Experience gave me that community and experience and framework to get moving… being accountable to people. It’s not a competition, but it’s creative juice that flows into you when you’re down.”