Introduction to Writing Comics
If you’ve ever dreamt of writing your own comic or wanted to improve your existing skills – this is the course for you.
Learn from renowned comics writer/editors Andy Schmidt and Paul Allor who have edited and written for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and IDW Publishing.
In this class you will conceive, outline and write a complete 5-page comic book script!
In Andy and Paul’s six-week intensive class for writers, you’ll learn all the necessary tools for telling great stories. You’ll also learn about the industry as a whole, tips for breaking in, how to format a script and the pros and cons of self-publishing! For over a decade our Intro to Writing course has been proven effective for hundreds of students – including multiple Marvel and DC Comics writers, top Image Comics creators, and working editorial staff in nearly every major comics publisher.
- You will work with professional comic book editors and writers Andy Schmidt & Paul Allor.
- You will write a complete 5-page comic script under Andy & Paul’s expert guidance.
- You’ll get Andy & Paul’s wealth of experience and training.
- 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 only need to bring your brain—the rest is provided.
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, over a period of six weeks. This intensive course focuses on crafting a relatable and concise story over five pages. The challenge of the five-page limit is part of what makes the course so effective.
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 six weeks. He starts with teaching how to distill a story down to its most basic elements, trimming away the fat, and then building it back up from there with a clear, unifying vision from the author.
From there, expanding out on characters and world-building, Andy shows you how to build those elements into a comic book script. In your story’s infancy, it could develop into any medium, but we’re talking about comics and that’s exactly what Andy does. He helps you develop your story into something that will work as a dramatic (or hilarious or tragic) comic book. He teaches how to communicate with your artist as well as your reader. He covers how to write action, how to write dialogue and how to keep your story fresh.
As you workshop your story, you’ll learn a step-by-step methodology from Andy that is completely repeatable, so you don’t have to take the course again (though you’re welcome to!).
By the course’s end, you’ll have a five-page comic book script and you’ll know what to do with it!
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 the 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.
What else do I learn?
Andy’s course also covers many important industry topics for writers, like how to go about finding an artist for your story, how to become excellent at networking, how to get your foot in the door, what it takes to self-publish, and more.
There is no better way to learn comic writing or how to make comics than Comics Experience’s Introduction to Comic Book Writing.
What else will we be doing?
In addition to talking with Andy during the class sessions (and they are recorded if you have to miss one or more) you’ll also have exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum where your class can meet online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the duration of the course.
And the forum is where you’ll be able to post your work for your classmates to review, comment on, and make suggestions. And likewise, you’ll be asked to comment on your fellow students’ stories as well. The single best way to improve your own writing skills is to read and critique others and here you’ll be able to do that and have conversations with each other about them. You’ll problem-solve together and find new ways to write and work around plot holes and other story challenges.
What do I do after the class?
Once the course is over, you’ll have been taught how to approach comic book stories–not just a set of steps for one specific story. It’s important that the writer be able to repeat the process once out of the classroom!
You’ll be able to confidently approach a story idea, knowing you can flesh it out from the smallest seed into a working script.
Many classmates decide to produce an anthology upon completion, but this is entirely optional.
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!
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…
When does the class meet and for how long?
The Introduction to Writing class meets once a week for six weeks. It meets between 9:00 PM ET and 11:00 PM ET. The course is held live.
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, 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!
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?
Simply add the course to your shopping cart and check out. We will send you a confirmation email typically within 48 hours! If you’ve got any questions or haven’t heard from us withing 48 hours, you can contact us at info@ComicsExperience.com to follow up. Our email confirmation contains information and instructions, giving you everything you need to get started with the course.
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.
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!
Online registration only: To attend Introduction to Writing Comics, you must register online. Enrollment is limited.*
*We do not currently offer refunds after enrollment.