Comic Art

5 Week online Course | Instructor: Paul Allor

Comics Writing: Professional Freelance Writing

In this five-week course, comics writer Paul Allor sets the class on their mission–you’ve been hired to write a five-page story on your choice of one of several franchise properties–now it’s your job to get the script done on time and up to professional standards! And that means a monkey-wrench or two along the way! This course dives deep into aspects of freelance writing, like how to get the work, how to work with others professionally, and what to do when the curve balls start coming faster and faster!

Every freelance writer has to deal with a host of complications and still maintain professional and good relationships with any manner of clients. This course is designed to improve your writing skills, but most especially your problem-solving skills and on the fly!

In the first class, the students are told that they have been “hired” to write a five-page story in one of several properties — a few each from DC and Marvel and a few licensed properties from other companies.

But first you’ve got to put together your pitch! Then get notes on the pitch and incorporate them into your outline. Ultimately, you’ll have to turn in a five-page comic book script based on constant (but not always consistent!) feedback!

Writing is rewriting–that’s what they say–and that’s certainly true for freelance writers who are often given conflicting notes throughout a project. This course is designed for those that want to take a crack at writing as a freelancer and being able to always put their best foot forward.

Oh, did we mention you might have to tie that story into a company-wide crossover?

This course is designed to be tough — just like comics freelancing. But it’s also designed to be fun — just like comics freelancing. In this class, we won’t just talk about the best and worst that comics freelancing has to offer — we’ll demonstrate it. So come along for a wild ride that’s unlike any other class you’ll ever take.

This course is currently closed.

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  • You will learn from professional comic book writer Paul Allor (Monstro Mechanica, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, Tet, Past the Last Mountain).
  • You’ll get Paul’s lessons and lectures and discussions!
  • You’ll develop a five-page story, from paragraph pitch to detailed outline to final product. But unlike other Comics Experience classes, your rewrites won’t be entirely up to you. You’ll have a work-for-hire editor giving you sometimes constructive, sometimes flummoxing notes all along the way.
  • All of Comics Experience’s classes help prepare you for a career in comics, but this one throws you into the deep end, giving you as close as we can get to a real-world work for hire experience.
  • 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!
  • Class size is limited to keep it awesome!

Paul Allor

Paul Allor is a critically-acclaimed writer, editor and letterer who began as a Comics Experience student and workshop member, eight years ago. Since then, he has written for Marvel Comics, AfterShock Comics, IDW Publishing, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, Monkeybrain Comics, and the rap-metal band Hollywood Undead, which hired Paul to write a comic telling the band’s fictional superhero origins.

Paul’s comics writing is known for balancing intensely character-driven stories with bombastic ideas and dynamic plotting. His creator-owned books include Monstro Mechanica, from AfterShock Comics; Tet, from IDW Publishing and Comics Experience; Past the Last Mountain, from Gov’t Comics and Comics Experience; Strange Nation, from Monkeybrain Comics; and the self-published comics Orc Girl and Clockwork, the latter of which included Paul’s five-page story from his Comics Experience Introduction to Writing class!

On the work-for-hire side, Paul is perhaps best known for his extensive work in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise for IDW Publishing, including the opening arc of TMNT: Universe; TMNT: Mutanimals; TMNT: Utrom Empire; Turtles in Time and TMNT: Microseries – Shredder, among others. He has also worked on GI Joe for IDW, including the Siren’s Song arc of the main GI Joe title, and the GI Joe: Deviations issue. More recently, he completed a six-issue mini-series based on the board game Clue and in 2019 he released GI Joe #1 through IDW.

Other work-for-hire comics include Secret Empire: Brave New World; Uncanny Inhumans: Monsters Unleashed; Year of Marvels: Iron Man and Nova; and Marvel Universe Presents, Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel Comics; Pathfinder: Goblins, for Dynamite Entertainment; and Bravest Warriors for BOOM! Entertainment.

Paul’s editing work includes Sheltered, from Image Comics, created by Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas, and Creature Cops: Special Varmint Unit from IDW Publishing and Comics Experience, created by Rob Anderson.

Since January 2017, he has served in various capacities with Comics Experience and in 2019 became Managing Editor. He is teaching assistant for the Intro to Writing courses and the instructor of courses on Writing a Mini-Series, Creating Great Characters, Discovering Genre, Freelance Writing for Comics and Writing Creator-Owned and Indie Comics: Building Your Comics Library and Career!  You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulAllor.

When you want to write professionally, you’ll need to be able to react quickly, professionally, and more than anything else–solve problems for your client and yourself. This course is for the comics writer who wants to work in the comics industry and survive it!

Wanting to work in comics is great, but what if I just want to tell my own stories?

Our courses are geared for this exact purpose. No matter where you are on the spectrum, beginner as well as experienced writer, learning from someone who has achieved these same goals and can personally guide you is invaluable!

What do we do in this course?

In this course you’ll develop a five-page story, from paragraph pitch to detailed outline to final product, with the help (and occasional hindrance) of a mock-editor. We’re going to throw some curveballs your way; and hitting them out of the park will make you a stronger writer and a better freelancer.

Do I need to know a whole lot about comics?

Having at least an interest in comics and a basic knowledge as a reader is helpful, but not mandatory. This is about the craft and the form, so we’ll be going over all of the things you’d need to know.

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, and 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!

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.

How do I sign up?
Click on the Paypal button above and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.

In order to complete the work, the following system requirements are recommended:

  • Microsoft Word or some other writing software.

To participate in our live online sessions you will need:

Adam Davis

“I’ve taken a lot of classes with Comics Experience and every single one has been invaluable. Every course I’ve taken has strengthened my knowledge in its respective field and helped me level-up my skills so that I can make better comics, produce better art and tell better stories. The FREELANCE WRITING course was no different.

Paul Allor did a fantastic job of guiding us through the jungle of freelance writing. With real examples and through his own experiences, Paul taught us the best practices for dealing with editors and licensors when doing work-for-hire and how to handle the difficulties of the job in a professional manner. Although tough, the limitations faced with the homework assignments gave us a true look at how freelance writing works and how we should strive to do the best work we can within those parameters.  

While now firmly aware of the challenges one can face with freelance writing, I also feel I’ve been given the knowledge and the tools to have a fighting chance in the comics industry as a freelance writer.”

Paul Payabyab-Cruz

“Paul rocks! The best part of the class was definitely how open and honest he was about the challenges of being a freelance writer. This was a great set-up for all the other technical information and personal anecdotes because it made all of the information feel practical. That’s exactly what I wanted from this class. It gave me tools along with realistic expectations. That, for me, is important for any creative endeavor and passion. 

Other highlights of the class were the challenging editor’s notes based on real life examples, and having editors as guests to answer our questions. The editor notes helped me grow as a writer, and gave me practical advice in a fun and creative way and the guest editors helped me to learn more about the industry.”

Frank Gogol

“No to put too fine a point on it, but this class with Paul was easily the best (and my favorite) class I’ve taken with CE. It felt in-depth and robust…which is befitting of a high-level course. The information was thorough and enlightening and Paul commanded an expert knowledge of what he was teaching. I feel infinitely more prepared to start tackling freelance work than before I started. 

Honestly, if I had to change one thing, I would, personally, add more classes, but only so I could continue to learn under Paul.”

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