6 Week online Course | Instructor: Fred Van Lente
Writing for an Ongoing Series
Readers love serialized stories that let them share lives with favorite characters and their adventures. The key to a successful series is making sure that each installment is a satisfying part of a much larger whole, yet still leaving the audience wanting more. Decorated comics scribe Fred Van Lente, who has helmed such on-going works as Spider-Man, GI Joe, Jennifer Blood, Archer & Armstrong, and many others, will lead students in exercises to strengthen your skill in crafting stories across multiple storylines and character arcs. Once absorbing the finer points of plotting in a serialized medium, students will produce as a final project a Bible and/or pitch deck for a series of their own creation.
- You will learn from professional comic book writer Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man, Taskmaster, MODOK’s 11, Deadpool vs the Punisher, Archer & Armstrong, G.I. Joe, Everything’s Archie, Conan the Avenger, Adventure Time, et al).
- You’ll get Fred’s lessons and lectures and discussions!
- You’ll develop a Bible or pitch deck for a series of your own devising, which by the end of the class should be ready to go out to publishers and producers.
- 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!
Fred Van Lente is a six-time New York Times bestselling comics writer, novelist and playwright whose work spans mystery/thrillers to historical fiction to superheroes to comedy.
Van Lente burst onto the scene with his first collaboration with cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey, Action Philosophers, which became a YALSA Best Book for Teens and the NYT called “intensely goofy but intellectually rigorous”.
From there he went on to a long career at Marvel, where he worked on titles like The Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America and Marvel Zombies. He’s also written for DC, Archie Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Comics, and Valiant, where his run on Archer & Armstrong was nominated for a Harvey Award for Best Continuing Series.
Van Lente has continued writing non-fiction graphic novels, often with his artistic collaborator Ryan Dunlavey, including the bestselling Comic Book History of Comics and the middle grade series Action Presidents. Two entries in the series were nominated for the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards. In 2021, the third volume won the Theodore Roosevelt Association’s Theodore Roosevelt Children’s Book Prize.
After years of short story writing (including “Neversleeps,” which shortlisted for Best American Science Fiction), Van Lente graduated to prose novels with the acclaimed mysteries Ten Dead Comedians and The Con Artist.
His Platinum Studios graphic novel Cowboys & Aliens was adapted into a film in 2011 starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, directed by Jon Favreau. The following year, Helen Cho, a character created with co-writer Greg Pak in their acclaimed Incredible Hercules series, made her MCU debut in the blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron. His MODOK’s 11 and Scorpion became Hulu’s Marvel’s MODOK, which named the elementary school in the show after him (in S1 E2).
King Kirby, his play with Crystal Skillman about the life of the legendary comics artist Jack Kirby, was a New York Times Critics’ Pick on its NYC debut in 2014. It debuted as a much-acclaimed free audio drama podcast in 2020 featuring the original cast on the Broadway Podcasting Network.
Starting as a 2020 pandemic lockdown hobby, Van Lente has a regular comics history column on the website 13th Dimension, where he tackles such burning topics of the day as Stan Lee’s legacy and which is better, Justice League or Fantastic Four?
Of course, none of this should be confused with Fred Van Lente Day, the annual celebration of his work on the Comic Book Resources web site that has been happening since 2005…the year Action Philosophers first came out.
Fred lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the playwright and his frequent co-collaborator Crystal Skillman, and some mostly ungrateful cats. He loves to hear from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need to already be a comics writer to take this course?
Not at all, but taking our Introduction to Comic Book Writing course is a prerequisite to this one. If you’ve completed Introduction to Comic Book Writing, you’re good to go for this one!
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 or an 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?
The general purpose of this course is to develop a series of your own devising, and fleshing out the main characters and how they grow and change throughout each installment. By the end, you should have the knowledge and skill to pitch your series in a professional setting.
Is there anything I should bring with me to this course?
You’ll need some idea of what you want your series to be. It doesn’t have to be all that fleshed out–in fact, the less fleshed out the better, probably, because we’ll be doing a lot of that “putting meat on the bones” work within the class itself.
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.
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?
This course is pretty much all practical industry advice. We’re trying to make this the closest we can to simulating the actual freelance writer experience as possible.
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 within 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.
Prerequisite: You must have completed the Introduction to Writing Comics course to enroll in this class.
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:
- 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.
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Intellectual Property Policy
Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright or Other Intellectual Property Infringements.
- Comics Experience, LLC. respects the intellectual property of others and takes the protection of copyrights and all other intellectual property very seriously, and we ask our instructors, students and other users of our website and services (the “Site”) to do the same. Infringing activity will not be tolerated on or through the Site.
- Comics Experience’s intellectual property policy is to (a) remove material that Comics Experience believes in good faith, upon notice from an intellectual property owner or their agent, is infringing the intellectual property of a third party by being made available through the Site, and (b) remove any Submitted Content posted to the Site by "repeat infringers." Comics Experience considers a "repeat infringer" to be any User that has uploaded Submitted Content to the Site and for whom Comics Experience has received more than two takedown notices compliant with the provisions of 17 U.S.C. 512(c) with respect to such Submitted Content. Comics Experience has discretion, however, to terminate the account of any User after receipt of a single notification of claimed infringement or upon Comics Experience’s own determination.
Procedure for Reporting Claimed Infringement.
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- Identification of works or materials being infringed, or, if multiple works are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works;
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- A statement that you have a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
- A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
- For expedited review of your complaint, please fill out the form here (form in English only).
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False Notifications of Claimed Infringement or Counter Notifications.
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- [a]ny person who knowingly materially misrepresents under [Section 512 of the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. 512)] (1) that material or activity is infringing, or (2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification, shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorney's' fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner's authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of [Comics Experience] relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.
- 17 U.S.C. 512(f).
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- Procedure for submitting a Trademark Infringement Notice
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Limitation of Liability
Inaccuracies. A possibility exists that the Services provided on any Third Party Platform could include inaccuracies or errors, or information or materials that violate these Terms. Additionally, a possibility exists that unauthorized alterations could be made by third parties to the Services available on any Third Party Platform. Although Comics Experience attempts to ensure the integrity of the Services on Third Party Platforms, we make no guarantees as to the Services' completeness or correctness. In the event that a situation arises in which the Services' completeness or correctness is in question, please submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org (with the subject line "Inaccuracies in Services on Third Party Platform Name") with, if possible, a description of the Services to be checked and the location (URL) where such Services can be found on Our Services or Third Party Platform at issue, as well as information sufficient to enable Us to contact You. We will try to address Your concerns as soon as reasonably practicable. For copyright infringement claims, see the above Intellectual Property section.
System Outages. Comics Experience periodically schedules system downtime for the Services for maintenance and other purposes. Additionally, unplanned system outages may occur. You agree that Comics Experience has no responsibility and is not liable for: (a) the unavailability of the Services including those available on Third Party Platforms; (b) any loss of materials, data, transactions or any other information or materials caused by such system outages; (c) the resultant delay, mis-delivery, or non-delivery of data, transactions or any other information or materials caused by such system outages; or (d) any outages caused by any third parties, including without limitation, any companies or servers hosting the Services, any Internet service providers, any Third Party Platforms, or any Internet facilities and networks.
You hereby indemnify, defend and hold harmless Comics Experience, and its affiliates, officers, directors, agents, partners, employees, licensors, representatives and third party providers from and against all reasonably foreseeable losses, expenses, damages, costs, claims and demands, including reasonable attorneys' fees and related costs and expenses, due to or arising out of Your breach of any representation or warranty hereunder. We reserve the right, at Our own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by You under these terms, and in such case, You agree to fully cooperate as reasonably required with such defense and in asserting any available defenses.
Notice for California Users. Under California Civil Code Section 1789.3, California websites users are entitled to the following specific consumer rights notice: The Complaint Assistance Unit of the Division of Consumer Services of the California Department of Consumer Affairs may be contacted in writing at 400 R Street, Suite 1080, Sacramento, California, 95814, or by telephone at (916) 445-1254 or (800) 952-5210.
Statute of Limitations. Any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to use of the Services, the Terms, or any services or information available through Third Party Platforms, must be filed within 1 year after such claim or cause or action arose regardless of any statutes or law to the contrary. In the event any such claim or cause of action is not filed within such 1-year period, such claim or cause of action are forever barred.
Comics Experience reserves the right to terminate, suspend, modify, or delete, at Our sole discretion, any (a) Submitted Content, Company Content, Courses, or any Service; and (b) Your access to Our Services or Your Account, as follows:
- If You breach or violate any of these Terms or any of Our applicable policies, as posted on Our Services from time to time, Comics Experience may take action immediately without prior notice to You. If We take action pursuant to this section, We shall not have any liability to You for any Course(s) You may have purchased nor for any other use of Our Services associated with Your Account. For avoidance of any doubt, You understand and agree that You will not be compensated nor be eligible for any refund under any circumstances for any such access lost to Our Services, including without limitation to Course(s) You may have purchased;
- We may also take action for any reason or no reason, in which case We will provide prior notice to You. If We take action pursuant to this section We will refund You for any access lost to Course(s) that You may have purchased during the three (3) months period prior to such termination, all in accordance with and subject to the terms of Our refund policy set forth herein
- You may terminate Your use of the Services at any time, either by ceasing to access them, or by deleting Your Account. We have no obligation to retain any of Your Account or Submitted Content for any period of time beyond what may be required by applicable law. Upon termination, You must cease all use of the Services and Content. Any accrued rights to payment and all representations and warranties shall survive termination.
By using Our Services or communicating with Comics Experience, You agree that Comics Experience may communicate with You electronically regarding security, privacy, and administrative issues relating to Your use of the Services or these Terms. If Comics Experience learns of a security system's breach, Comics Experience may attempt to notify You electronically by posting a notice through the Services or sending an email to You. You may have a legal right to receive this notice in writing. To receive free written notice of a security breach (or to withdraw Your consent from receiving electronic notice), please write to Comics Experience at email@example.com. Notice will be deemed given twenty-four hours after e-mail is sent, unless the sending party is notified that the e-mail address is invalid. Alternatively, Comics Experience may give You legal notice by mail to a postal address, if provided by You through Your use any of the Services. In such case, notice will be deemed given three days after the date of mailing.
Entire Agreement. These Terms and any policies applicable to You posted on Our Services constitute the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersede all previous written or oral agreements between the parties with respect to such subject matter.
Severability. If any provision of these Terms is found to be illegal, void or unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from these Terms and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions of these Terms.
Waiver. A provision of these Terms may be waived only by a written instrument executed by the party entitled to the benefit of such provision. The failure of Comics Experience to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Terms will not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.
Notice. Any notice or other communication to be given hereunder will be in writing and given by facsimile, postpaid registered or certified mail return receipt requested, or electronic mail.
No Agency. Nothing in these Terms shall be construed as making either party the partner, joint venture, agent, legal representative, employer, contractor or employee of the other. Neither Comics Experience nor any other party to these Terms shall have, or hold itself out to any third party as having, any authority to make any statements, representations or commitments of any kind, or to take any action that shall be binding on the other except as provided for herein or authorized in writing by the party to be bound.
Governing Laws. These Terms and Your use of the Services shall be governed by the substantive laws of the State of California without reference to its choice or conflicts of law principles that would require the application of the laws of another jurisdiction, and shall be considered to have been made and accepted in the State of Kentucky.
Agreement to Arbitrate and Class Action Waiver
THIS SECTION ONLY APPLIES TO USERS IN THE US AND CANADA.
Before bringing a formal legal case, please first try contacting our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Most disputes can be resolved that way.
We Both Agree to Arbitrate. If we can't resolve our dispute amicably, You and Comics Experience agree to resolve any claims relating to these Terms, or any of Our other terms posted on Our Services from time to time, through final and binding arbitration. This applies to all kinds of claims under any legal theory.
Either of Us can bring a claim in small claims court in Shelby County, Kentucky or some other place we both agree on, if it qualifies to be brought in that court.
In addition, if You or Comics Experience brings a claim in court that should be arbitrated or any of Us refuses to arbitrate a claim that should be arbitrated, the other of Us can ask a court to force Us to go to arbitration to resolve the claim (i.e., compel arbitration). You or Comics Experience may also ask a court to halt a court proceeding while an arbitration proceeding is ongoing.
No Class Actions. We all agree that we can only bring a claim against each other on an individual basis. That means: (a) neither You nor Comics Experience can bring a claim as a plaintiff or class member in a class action, consolidated action or representative action; (b) an arbitrator cannot combine more than one person's claim into a single case, and cannot preside over any consolidated, class or representative arbitration proceeding (unless we both agree to change this); (c) an arbitrator's decision or award in one person's case can only impact the person who brought the claim, not other Users, and cannot be used to decide other disputes with other Users. If a court decides that this subsection on "No Class Actions" is not enforceable or valid, then the entire section 16 (Agreement to Arbitrate and Class Action Waiver) will be null and void, but, the rest of the Terms will still apply.
The Arbitration Process. Any disputes between You and Comics Experience relating to the Services that involve a claim of less than US$10,000 must be resolved exclusively through binding non-appearance- based arbitration. A party electing arbitration shall initiate proceedings by filing an arbitration demand with the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The arbitration proceedings shall be governed by the AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules, Consumer Due Process Protocol, and Supplementary Procedures for Resolution of Consumer-Related Disputes. In addition, You and Comics Experience agree that the following rules shall apply to the arbitration proceedings: (a) the arbitration shall be conducted, at the option of the party seeking relief, by telephone, online, or based solely on written submissions; (b) the arbitration shall not involve any personal appearance by the parties or witnesses unless otherwise mutually agreed by the parties; and (c) any judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court of competent jurisdiction. Any disputes between You and Comics Experience relating to the Services that involve a claim of less than US$10,000 must be resolved in accordance with the AAA's rules about whether the arbitration hearing has to be in-person.
Jurisdiction for Legal Disputes Not Subject to Arbitration. If the Agreement to Arbitrate is determined to be invalid or unenforceable or for any disputes that do not qualify for arbitration, the dispute shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal and State courts located in, or nearest to Shelby County, Kentucky. You hereby consent and submit to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction of such courts for the purposes of litigating any such action.
Changes. Notwithstanding the provisions of the modification-related provisions above, if Comics Experience changes this "Agreement to Arbitrate and Class Action Waiver" section after the date you first accepted these Terms (or accepted any subsequent changes to these Terms), you may reject any such change by providing Comics Experience written notice of such rejection by email from the email address associated with your Account to: email@example.com, within 30 days of the date such change became effective, as indicated by the "last updated on" language above. In order to be effective, the notice must include your full name and clearly indicate your intent to reject changes to this "Agreement to Arbitrate and Class Action Waiver" section. By rejecting changes, you are agreeing that you will arbitrate any dispute between you and Comics Experience in accordance with the provisions of this "Agreement to Arbitrate and Class Action Waiver" section as of the date you first accepted these Terms (or accepted any subsequent changes to these Terms).
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