Our community holds the following core values:
- The Golden Rule. The Creators Workshop is a place to learn, grow, thrive, and contribute. Not so much a value as a reality—the more you put into the Creators Workshop, the more you’ll also get out of it. We encourage you to critique the work of others, to start new topics of conversation and to ask questions of those already in the Workshop.
- Comics are for everyone. Our community believes that diversity in content, creators, and fans is the only way that the industry can grow and adapt, and ultimately survive the shifting landscape of the marketplace. To that end, people within our community often have differing beliefs and opinions. We welcome diverse viewpoints, but we maintain an apolitical forum as much as possible.
- When we give feedback, we are honest about the work and areas of growth or improvement.
- While honestly is key to being able to improve your work, so is encouragement. So while our feedback is honest, it is also tempered with compassion and genuine desire to see you improve and grow as a comics fan or creator.
- The Creators Workshop is hosted by several comics professionals who are all CURRENTLY doing work within the industry. Our Creators Workshop Director as well as the other staff and moderators are all up to date on trends and insider conversations within the industry.
Despite recognizing some of the common reasons to join the Creators Workshop, there’s no one person it’s for. It’s a place where we come together, share our ideas, questions, thoughts and our work—some or all of it–and we enjoy each other’s company and insights. No matter whether you fit into a category above, or have your own reasons for joining, there’s a good chance there’s a place for you at our table.
Here are just a few of the broad categories we’ve recognized.
The original Workshoppers were focused almost exclusively on learning one or more crafts associated with comics creation—writing for comics, penciling and storytelling, inking, coloring, or lettering. Over time, that list has grown to include editors, designers, production work, marketing and social media, Kickstarter (and other crowd funding platforms) experts and more. If you want to learn “how to” on just about anything related to comics, and even animation and screenwriting, then the Creators Workshop is right for you.
You’ve got an idea for a thing you want to do, maybe you’ve written a script and want it produced, but don’t want to do all that work yourself, then you’re what we call a “producer.” We get it, life doesn’t give us an infinite amount of time to learn how to do everything ourselves, so if you’re someone who wants to do your part, but get great advice on how to put a team together, maintain course, and find great partners for your projects or creative outlets, then the Creators Workshop is right for you.
Students and Learners
Do you want to dive deeper into how comic books work and how they get put together? Maybe you’re a student, or missed your calling to be a comics student back in the day? Maybe you have a keen analytical interest in the comics art form? Maybe you just want to know more about how the business works and how these magical things get put together? Whether you want to take an active hand in these discussions or sit back and study pros and other aspiring comics professionals explore these questions— the Creators Workshop is for you.
Many of our members are aspiring professionals, in this case, meaning they want to make a career out of comics, or at least a part of a career out of comics. They tend to be driven, active, and have clear goals. But what’s most awesome about so many of these types of creators is that they not only find success within the industry, but they also often stick around to talk about what they’ve learned along the way. If you’ve got your goals set and you’re ready to dive in, then the Creators Workshop is right for you.
The Creators Workshop is first and foremost a community. And membership in it has several benefits. We’ve broken our main offerings into the three sections below.
Private Forums | Tutorials | Networking
The heart of the Creators Workshop is our private message board system which is where many of us choose to interact, post news items, ask questions, and discuss trends and books we’re reading—and the occasional movie, too. The main forum has several sub-forums. Your membership includes full access to all of these:
Our most popular and unique feature, where you can post your work for critique and also critique the work of others. We feature professional creators and comics editors who do pro critiques of works that meet minimum qualifications—a very cool feature that no other message board offers.
Ask The Pros
Professional creators have their own “threads” where you can ask direct questions. Don’t know how something works? Ask a pro!
Looking for partners to help you create your awesome comic? This is the place to do it. You can showcase your work, post “job listings” and discuss best negotiation practices to increase your chances of creating a partnership that will last.
Live Sessions and Video Archives
Our 140+ videos on all manner of topics related to comics, from comics creation and craft, to management, to printing to budgeting to marketing and advertising and crowd funding and many more. All at your fingertips from day one of your membership.
You’ll get the latest updates and information on submission windows for our publishing program right in this forum. And you’ll be able to ask direct questions about it! Please note that your projects are always YOURS. Comics Experience holds no claim to any of the work you do or post on the Creators Workshop and you are under no obligation to publish through our program—but it’s a pretty great option if you want to explore it.
All of the above sub-forums are at your disposal 24/7 with your membership. In addition, we often meet up in person at various conventions around the world. We’ve had meet-ups in England, France, Norway, Germany, Canada, and the United States, and often at more than one convention in a year. In the USA, we usually have about seven or eight in-person meet-ups per year for those who can attend.
Our staff and pro-members regularly create and post videos that drill down on particular aspects of comic creation, marketing, printing, workflow, work/life balance, and many other challenges that face budding and professional creators alike.
Our broad topics cover:
Comic Book Creation
Everything from writing to art, to final production work. The majority of our tutorials and videos are on these topics—brass tacks instructional with opportunities to ask questions.
Independent Creator Life
Setting goals and achieving them, project management, finding and negotiating with collaborators, team building, and more. These tutorials and Q&As are about how to balance your life and how to become more efficient. So much of comics creation comes down to how you make the time to do it and what you do with the time when you’ve got it.
Interviews with Comics Pros
We often invite guests to the Creators Workshop for interviews and to discuss current industry topics. We bring in indie creators, old pro war horses and even the occasional comics luminary like Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise, Rachel Rising), or Kurt Busiek (Astro City, The Avengers).
We’ve been known to hold fun book clubs with analysis of the projects and discussion with members.
Town Hall Meetings
The Comics Experience staff hold Town Hall style Q&As to keep members informed on changes and upcoming opportunities as well as take questions about the goings-on around all of Comics Experience.
Nearly all of the video content was recorded live with Creators Workshop members in attendance (online, not in person) so no matter which continent you’re on, you can still participate. And if you can’t make the live date and time, you can still enjoy the video on your own terms or re-watch it to soak up every juicy morsel.
It’s no secret that having your skills honed at a craft is only a part of the solution. Networking is a major topic and activity on the Creators Workshop. We’re often found discussing upcoming conventions and other opportunities to connect, as well as tried and true strategies to get better at networking and being able to analyze your encounters with other creators and professionals.
In addition to great tips on how to improve your networking, we also have a dedicated sub-forum specifically for finding collaborators and working out how to negotiate with one another within the Creators Workshop itself.
We have a dedicated thread that also tracks editorial departments, jobs, and positions, including who is moving to which companies. We do our best to stay as current as possible with who is working where.
No matter what your question might be, about etiquette at a convention or after-party, or about some aspect of comics creation, we aim to give our best insight possible.
From newbie to pro—our Path to Publication offers several routes to submit your work to our publishing program. Our goal is to knock down as many obstacles for creators as possible. Any work that you workshop on the forums is eligible to submit to our Publishing Program.
We are currently publishing between two and three titles per month. Roughly 30 titles per year—that’s a powerful program for new creators with great ideas and professional level execution.
The big question you may be asking is, does our publishing program work? I’d say so. Here’s some key evidence…
As of this writing, our titles have helped launch the careers of multiple comics creators, from Paul Allor, the writer of the ongoing G.I. Joe series from IDW and a frequent Marvel freelancer, to Rich Douek who has been tearing it up with hit creator-owned titles like Gutter Magic, Road of Bones, and The Wailing Blade. Prior to our publishing program, creators like Nick Spencer (Amazing Spider-Man, Secret Empire) and Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja) both leveraged their learnings through Comics Experience and the connections they made here to launch their careers. At that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
In 2019, our title The Fuhrer and the Tramp by Sean McArdle, Jon Judy and Dexter Wee was nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award for best digital comic book (it will see print in 2020) and Frank Gogol’s Grief was nominated for the Ringo Award for best anthology. In other words, we help folks level up and produce quality content. And you could be next!
The Creators Workshop has several staff members that are dedicated almost entirely to it as well as staff who are also involved in our other services such as our courses, mentoring and creative services. Here’s a quick rundown with links to fuller bios.
I want to get published, can you help?
Yes and no. But mainly yes. The Creators Workshop (CW) has an unparalleled amount of resources for you to learn craft, marketing, budgeting, fundraising and everything in between. Anything about making comics that you’ll need or want to know, you can probably find it on the CW already.
Our aim is to help you find the tools you need. But we can’t make you learn everything. The CW provides you access, but we can’t do the job for you.
What if I just want professionals to make my comic for me?
That is a service that we do offer, though we have limited availability for such projects. You can find out more about hiring Comics Experience’s professional and friendly staff to create your comic in the Creative Services section of our website.
So, where do I even start?
Believe it or not, this is one of the more difficult questions to answer. The CW was designed to be a kind of “Disney World” for comics creators and fans. Sure, we don’t do many marathons, but the idea is that you can find a wide variety of things to do and participate in.
So the best way to answer this question is to start with asking you what your goals are. Once we can talk through that on the forums, our staff is more than happy to set you off in the right direction to get started. And we’re always around to answer your questions as well.
We’re about engagement and making sure that you’re not just comfortable, but that you’re finding your footing.
Do I need to be published or experienced to join?
No, people at all levels of experience are welcome. We have members and alumni who are doing work for Marvel, DC, IDW Publishing, Image, Dynamite Entertainment and more, but we also have members who are entirely new to comics. We have an open and welcoming community.
The Creators Workshop sounds expansive. Is it easy to find the information I need?
There is a search function which is super-useful. And there are hundreds of threads, so it can all be a bit daunting. But our staff is friendly and happy to help if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Is there more to it than the forums?
Yes. We often have live events held online that you can participate in and we encourage workshop members to work together on projects. We also have a publishing program that your work, when workshopped, is eligible for. There’s a lot more to the Creators Workshop, but best of all is the supportive community you’ll meet along the way.
Do I need to take Comics Experience courses to be a member of the Workshop?
No. We certainly have many alumni who are members of our community, but the courses are NOT a prerequisite for membership in our forum community, nor do we push them on you.
What if I fit in the profile of a “Producer” as you call it and I don’t want to learn how to draw and market my book but I’m interested in help getting my comic made?
The CW is still a great resource for you. If you’re really dead-set on being hands off, then you might consider taking advantage of Comics Experience’s Creative Services. You can read more about that on the Creative Services section of our website. Many people will use the CW and the CS in combination to reduce the overall bill for the CS because they won’t need a completely full-service option.
Do I have to post my work in order to be a member or can I just hang back?
No, there’s no requirement that you post your work. Some members simply enjoy interacting and learning on the forums. Others prefer to only sit in on our live sessions — or even just watch the recordings after the fact. How you engage with the CW is up to you.
What if I miss a live session?
We record our live sessions and, as a member, you’ll be able to view the recording as many times as you like via your computer. All of our videos and sessions are posted and you have instant access to them included with your membership.
Do I need any special equipment or software for the live meetings?
You’ll need a computer with an Internet connection and a web browser, and a high-speed connection is highly recommended. If you want to interact verbally, you’ll also need headphones or ear buds (to avoid echo) and a microphone, however it’s possible to participate via text chat even without those, and many members simply listen to the conversations.
How do I qualify to have my work reviewed by professionals?
Scripts and Artwork have two different qualifications to meet in order to receive a professional review. For artwork, simply posting it is enough. For scripts, there is a requirement that you must critique a few other scripts of similar length before your script is eligible. While eligibility is not a guarantee of a professional review, we currently give professional reviews to over 90% of the work posted that is eligible.
You may also be surprised at the level of quality feedback you’ll receive from peer reviews as well. When you’re a part of a community that is focused, driven, and excited to see each other succeed, good things tend to happen.
I only want to write for the Big Two…OR…I only want to write indie/creator-owned comics. Is the Creators Workshop for me?
We have members who fall into either category — or both! Regardless of your goals, you’ll be welcome and you’ll find a lot of helpful tools.
Who are the professionals who stalk the boards?
Comics Experience has a rotating cast of professionals who interact on the CW. We seek creators who have a true interest in working newer talent and in giving back to a community that has supported them. They genuinely believe in what we do.
The reason the cast is rotating is because most professionals are freelancers and that means they go through periods with crushing deadlines from time to time. In order to make the CW a place they’ll visit and come back to, we do give them berth when they need to focus on their work.
How do I cancel my membership?
You simply log into your PayPal account and cancel your automatic payment. PayPal then sends us a notification and we email you letting you know we’ve received the notification and the date your membership expires.
What is your refund policy for time not used at the time of cancellation?
We do not offer refunds on time not used, so please choose your payment plan carefully if you think you’ll need to cancel soon. To help make that decision, you could take part in our free trial offer first to make sure this is the right fit for you!
To participate in our live online sessions you will need:
- A computer or mobile device that meets Zoom’s minimum requirements
- To agree to the terms included in Comics Experience’s User Agreement.
- High-speed Internet access
- Headphones/ear buds with microphone (optional, but strongly suggested)
- A mind like a sponge!
Jump on in and grow your creativity while having fun!
Traditional workshops can be expensive. But the Comic Creators Workshop is priced at only $29.99 per month. Or, sign up for six months for $149.95 (with savings equal to one month free). We also have an annual membership option, at savings equal to four months of free membership. Under any of these billing options, you will be billed automatically. And you may cancel your subscription at any time.*
Enrollment is open to anyone interested in growing their creativity and honing their craft. If you have any questions about the Workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use the PayPal buttons to enroll now and start yourself on the path to comic book writing success!
*There are no refunds at the time of cancellation but your membership will last until the time you have paid for expires.
10 DAY FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP OFFER
Thinking it over but not sure you want to commit right away? How about a free, 10-day trial? We’re confident that you’ll be able to find value in the Creators Workshop if you jump in. And there’s way more than 10 days worth of content to absorb and involve yourself with.
Fill out the form below and we will email you with a welcome email and your registration and log-in information.* Please be patient; these are generated by hand, not automated.
*Comics Experience retains the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. Free trials are open to first time users only.