Advanced Comic Book Writing: Perfecting a One-Shot
Learn from renowned comics writer/editors Andy Schmidt and Paul Allor who have edited and written for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and IDW Publishing.
You’ve taken the introductory course, and you’ve written a comic book story—now it’s time to hit the big time! In this seven-week intensive course, you’ll expand on the skills you’ve already developed and create your own 20-page comic script! You’ll work hand-in-hand with Andy to propel your scripts to the next level!
Along with extended work-shopping of your scripts, you’ll get additional insight on making it in the industry. Topics include networking within the industry and pitching effectively! It’s time to get published!
- You will complete your very own 20-page comic book script!
- You’ll learn about launching not just a comic, but a property and a comic series!
- 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!
- You’ll get Andy’s wealth of experience and training.
Andy Schmidt, former Senior Editor at IDW Publishing, former Editor at Marvel Comics, and writer of such comics as 5 Days to Die, X-Men: Divided We Stand, and G.I. Joe: Future Noir launched Comics Experience for people who want to make comics or work in the comics industry.
During his nearly six years at Marvel Comics, Andy edited such popular comic books as X-Men, X-Factor, Alias, Secret War, Captain America: The Chosen, Iron Man / Captain America: Casualties of War, Avengers Classic, and the Annihilation saga. As an assistant and associate editor, Andy worked on nearly every major character in the Marvel canon—from Spider-Man to the Avengers and Fantastic Four.
In 2007, Andy founded Comics Experience to pass his knowledge on to students. In 2008, Andy wrote an authoritative, Eagle Award-winning book about making comics: The Insider’s Guide to Creating Comics and Graphic Novels, published by Impact Books. His follow up book, The Comics Experience Guide to Writing Comics: Scripting Your Story Ideas from Start to Finish was published in 2018 to rave reviews.
In 2010, Andy created the Creators Workshop as part of Comics Experience, where students can learn and grow together as a community of creators. Having left corporate life in 2013, Andy began consulting and writing in the entertainment industry on properties such as Spider-Man, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, and Transformers as we all as consulting with film and television studios.
In 2021, Andy launched www.CEXpublishing.com a new comics publisher focused on publishing creator-owned comics by new and upcoming creators with favorable and ethical deals for creators. CEX Publishing is currently distributed globally by Diamond Comics Distributors and books are available digitally and from the website. CEX’s first title (created by Comics Experience alumni) hit comic shops on August 25, 2021. A full slate of titles is constantly growing!
In 2021, Andy wrote the six-issue Crime Syndicate mini-series that re-invented DC Comics’ legendary silver-villains as well as co-wrote both Generations Shattered and Generations Forged, a DC Comics event that spun out of Death Metal.
Andy is the producer of the Comics Experience Make Comics Podcast and the Franchise Fan Guys podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @ComicExperience.You can follow him on Twitter at @39aAndy and @ComicExperience.
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.
The course meets online, once a week for two hours, and the course lasts seven weeks. This intensive course focuses on crafting a relatable and concise story over 20 pages.
During the course, you’ll take your story from its most basic elements and build them up into a fully realized story, ready to hand to an artist or publisher.
What’s the focus of the course?
The classes themselves focus on as much information about storytelling and comic books as Andy can pack into seven weeks. He starts with your story ideas and, like in the introductory class, we begin building them up. A greater emphasis is put on character development and character arcs. And we concretely go over everything involved in launching a longer-form story. Be it a one-shot or a new ongoing series, there are key elements you’ll need to include in order to achieve success.
Beyond building rounded characters, you’ll also be building a world in which your characters inhabit—and you’ll learn how to develop that world around your character.
We also cover more advanced topics on “breaking into comics” and how to approach publishers, as well as self-publishing.
By course’s end, you’ll have a first-issue script ready to go out into the world—be it to an artist or a publisher!
How did Andy create the course?
Andy’s process has been developed primarily by three major influences:
The first is his long experience teaching. Prior to his work in comics, Andy taught both high School and College level courses while getting his masters degree in Media Communications. The years spent teaching and creating curriculum have put him in the unique position of being both a professional instructor as well as a professional comics creator and editor.
Secondly, Andy spent much of his time in New York City and at Marvel meeting and learning from the best creators in the business. He spent as much time as he possibly could absorbing all the knowledge from his fellow editors, publishers, production artists, and of course, the creators he would speak with every day. People like Klaus Janson, Walter Simonson, John Romita Jr., Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, David Finch, Steve McNiven, Mark Millar, Dan Slott, Peter David, and many more. Through them, working with them and learning from them, Andy really began to put pieces together for a methodology that he could teach.
Lastly, Andy’s own work has influenced his approach. Developing his own writing skills and techniques through trial and error have been immensely helpful in crafting tips, skills, and processes that can help writers at all levels of experience.
Do I need to know a whole lot about comics?
Absolutely not. All Introduction courses are designed for total beginners and those seeking to improve their craft. The class has a quick pace, so if you’re very new, be prepared to work, but one thing we pride ourselves on at Comics Experience is our ability to teach to an individual’s skill level.
These courses aren’t about the instructor, and that’s why we keep them small. We have an excellent track record with our students, and it’s our top aim to keep it that way. So, new to comics? Come on in, we’d love to show you around! Old pro? Let’s sharpen those skills and learn a few new tricks! Everyone’s welcome, and the group learning will help everyone improve!
Do I need to be a computer wiz for the class?
Nope. Not one bit. You need to have high-speed Internet access. We recommend that you have headphones with a microphone to plug into your computer, but that’s by no means necessary. Ultimately, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, though we like hearing your voice!
It’s simple once you’re in your first class, we’re sure you’ll get comfortable very quickly.
What computer programs do I need for this course?
None! Just the Internet access and you’re good to go! Of course, a word processing program like MS Word would probably be good…
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. 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!
Learning about comic storytelling is great, but 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.
If I don’t want a career in comics, and just like making comics or even just want to learn more about the art form I love, is this class right for me?
Sure it is! How better to expand your knowledge and understanding of comics than by engaging with creators? And that’s what most of our students are—they’re creators. It’s a great place to learn just for fun if you wish too. We’d love to have you!
How do I sign up?
Click on the PayPal button and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions with two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.
There simply is no better comics writing course offered—on the Internet or live. This is the best—period. Whether you want to write comics for fun or become a pro, your comics career starts here. Go ahead and reserve your spot today! Space is limited.
Prerequisite: You must have completed the Introduction to Writing Comics course to enroll in the Advanced class.
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!
What if I need to cancel my enrollment?
Unfortunately, Comics Experience cannot provide a full refund for course enrollment once the course is purchased.
- From the time of purchase until twenty-one (21) days before the class start date, 50% of the course fee can be refunded.
- Between twenty (20) and seven (7) days prior to the class start date, 25% of the course fee can be refunded.
- Six (6) days or fewer before the course start date, no refund will be issued.
We appreciate your understanding and compliance to help us keep costs down and to continue offering high quality courses.