Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Comics Experience Blog has moved!


The Comics Experience Blog has a new home!

Check out all the latest postings right here:

http://www.comicsexperience.com/blog/





Sunday, March 10, 2013

Faith Erin Hicks joins Creators Workshop 3/12/13

On Tuesday March 12, 2013 at 8pm Eastern Time, we'll be discussing Friends with Boys with writer/artist Faith Erin Hicks during a Creators Workshop live, online Book Club session.

Friends with Boys is a coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist, about Maggie McKay, who, after an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, must face the outside world all on her own.

But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life.

Friends With Boys is a 211-page graphic novel published by First Second Books.

A free 20-page preview is available right here.

Faith Erin Hicks is a writer and artist in Halifax, Canada. Her first two graphic novels, Zombies Calling and The War at Ellsmere, were published by SLG Publishing. Most recently, she illustrated First Second’s Brain Camp. Hicks has three brothers and was homeschooled until high school, but has never seen a ghost.

Hicks began drawing comics and putting them on the internet in 1999. Since that time, she's drawn more than 1600 pages of comics including her first online comic, Demonology 101, The Adventures of Superhero Girl, and Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong.

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We're looking forward to a great discussion!

There's still time to join us at the Creators Workshop before these live sessions. We hope to see you there.


If you want to make comics, write or draw comics, or improve as a comics creator, you'll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Rob Anderson
rob@ComicsExperience.com
Twitter / Facebook


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WORKSHOP GUEST: Karl Kerschl discusses design, self-publishing, and the role of music in his work

Recently, comics writer and artist Karl Kerschl joined the Creators Workshop for a Book Club discussion of his work on the web-comic The Abominable Charles Christopher.

The Abominable Charles Christopher tells the path of a shaggy man-beast, Charles Christopher, and the forest creatures and gods with whom he comes in contact.

Neil Gaiman has said of the story:

"To say it's like an unholy mash-up of Walt Kelly, Jeff Smith and Sumerian Mythology is true, but it misses the point completely. It is its own thing, and it does what comics do best: make a world and draw you into it."

Topics discussed during the session included...

Designing the Characters in Charles Christopher

"The look of Charles Christopher came very quickly," Kerschl said. "I think it's really a direct result of my influences. There's a big Miyazaki influence in the story, which I don't do on purpose, but I can't really help because I'm such a big fan of his storytelling."

For the rest of the characters, Kerschl said, "I don't do a lot of design. I set out to tell a funny story about a particular animal, and my process is to do a little bit of research about what that animal looks like, and then go for it."

He also noted that he does not set out to anthropomorphize his characters, but instead lets it come naturally.

"Any time you put an animal in a human setting, you can't help but anthropomorphize them a little, and give them human expressions to communicate their emotions to the reader."

The Advantages of Self-Publishing

Kerschl has self-published the print edition of Charles Christopher. During the session, a workshop member asked if he had considered going through a publisher. Kerschl noted that he was approached by several publishers, and has left the lines of communication open, but that he feels self-publishing holds several distinct advantages.

"Granted, I don't know too much about the publishing industry, but I have a lot of friends and peers who have published their creator-owned work through publishing companies, and they make almost nothing off of it," he said.

The advantage of publishers, for work that is already completed, is that they handle the printing and distribution costs, and work to get the material out to a wider audience. In Kerschl's case, he was able to handle the costs through pre-orders and early sales. And in turn, he keeps 100 percent of the book's profits.

"I'm the furthest thing from a business guy, but this is what made sense to me at the time, and it's still what makes sense to me."

Self-publishing also gives Kerschl a greater degree of control over the final product.

"I had a very specific idea of how I wanted that book to be treated, the presentation of it," he said. "I think I would have had a fight on my hand if I'd argued for a suede cover, and a gatefold, and all of that. It's a really expensive book to make."

The Role of Music in his Work

While discussing his influences, Kerschl brought up the topic of music, and the role it plays in his work. He noted that music helps him create the mood he's looking for, points him in a certain direction, and gives him new ideas for his work.

"More often than not, music will evoke certain scenes or ideas that I would not have thought of otherwise," Kerschl said. He noted that the first section of Charles Christopher was heavily influenced by Sigur Ros. Other influences he noted include Aimee Mann, Miyazaki film soundtracks and the Lord of the Rings soundtracks.

"Usually I'll have some kind of mood in mind, so I'll put together a playlist of mood-appropriate music and shuffle it," he added.

"And when something clicks with me I'll play the same few tracks over and over and over again. It's like I'm playing out a movie trailer in my head.

"This is how I work on everything, by the way; by putting on music that's appropriate, and letting the images kind of go through my head. They don't always make sense at first, but certain ones kind of click. I make a note of it and go from there. I don't know how it will fit, usually. I just think, okay, that's something I like, and maybe I can steer the ship in that direction."

Other topics discussed:

   * The genesis of Charles Christopher
   * The planning process for the web-comic
   * Switching between longer arcs and one-off strips
   * Servicing such a large and beloved cast
   * The different reading experiences of web-comics vs. printed books
   * His script process, and how it's changed over the years
   * Marketing and promoting a web-comic
   * How much of the end Kerschl already has in mind
   * Advice for other creators, and things he wished he had known
   * And many more

Creators Workshop Book Club sessions are held throughout the year, featuring guest writers and artists discussing the craft and art of comics, as well as the business side of things. Additional live Workshop sessions take place every month, giving members real-world knowledge that will help them succeed in their comics career.

There's still plenty of time to sign up before the next session. We hope to see you there.

-- Posted by Paul Allor

Monday, March 4, 2013

In March - Faith Erin Hicks joins Creators Workshop; Andy Schmidt discusses comic art storytelling & dynamics!

In March, we'll have two great live, online sessions at the Creators Workshop: a Book Club discussion of Friends with Boys with writer/artist Faith Erin Hicks...

AND a Workshop session with former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt discussing "Comic Art: Storytelling & Dynamics."

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On Tuesday March 12, 2013 at 8pm Eastern Time, we'll be discussing Friends with Boys with writer/artist Faith Erin Hicks .

Friends with Boys is a coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist, about Maggie McKay, who, after an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, must face the outside world all on her own.

But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life.

Friends With Boys is a 211-page graphic novel published by First Second Books.

A free 20-page preview is available right here.

Faith Erin Hicks is a writer and artist in Halifax, Canada. Her first two graphic novels, Zombies Calling and The War at Ellsmere, were published by SLG Publishing. Most recently, she illustrated First Second’s Brain Camp. Hicks has three brothers and was homeschooled until high school, but has never seen a ghost.

Hicks began drawing comics and putting them on the internet in 1999. Since that time, she's drawn more than 1600 pages of comics including her first online comic, Demonology 101, The Adventures of Superhero Girl, and Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong.

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Then, on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 9pm Eastern Time, we'll have a nuts and bolts comic craft discussion with Andy Schmidt!

Andy will be reviewing artwork -- both classic and more recent -- and discussing what works and what doesn't for comics storytelling.

This will be a session of great value to BOTH artists and writers!

Andy is a former Senior Editor at IDW Publishing, a former Editor at Marvel Comics, and writer of such comics as 5 Days to Die and Challenger Deep.

Andy worked with nearly every major character in the Marvel pantheon during his time there, and edited titles such as X-Men, X-Factor, Alias, Secret War, and the Annihilation saga. At IDW, Andy oversaw both the Transformers and GI Joe franchises.

Andy is also the founder of Comics Experience, which he launched to help educate people who want to make comics, work in the comics industry, or just want to know more about the fantastic medium of comics.

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We're looking forward to two great discussions!

There's still time to join us at the Creators Workshop before these live sessions. We hope to see you there.


If you want to make comics, write or draw comics, or improve as a comics creator, you'll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Rob Anderson
rob@ComicsExperience.com
Twitter / Facebook


Sunday, March 3, 2013

iFanboy's "Make Comics" Podcast, Episode #45 on "Studios and Artist Collectives"

A new episode of the iFanboy Make Comics podcast is available!

In Episode #45, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and iFanboy host Josh Flanagan discuss "Studios and Artist Collectives."

Check out the new episode, plus all of the previous ones on iTunes, or follow the links right here:

Listen to Episode #45, "Studios and Artist Collectives"

Listen to Episode #44, "Ending the Partnership"

Listen to Episode #43, "Keep Moving Forward"

Listen to Episode #42, "Making A Living"

Listen to Episode #41, "Criticism"

Listen to Episode #40, "The Pitch"

Listen to Episode #39, "Production"

Listen to Episode #38, "Endings"

Listen to Episode #37, "Writing Dialogue"

Listen to Episode #36, "Character Design"

Listen to Episode #35, "Comic Book Art Training and Education"

Listen to Episode #34, "Mailbag"

Listen to Episode #33, "Collaboration"

Listen to Episode #32, "Kickstarter with Tyler James"

Listen to Episode #31, "Breaking In Through the Side Door"

Listen to Episode #30, "Story vs. Page Count"

Listen to Episode #29, "Graphic Designers in Comics"

Listen to Episode #28, "Find Your Voice"

Listen to Episode #27, "Self Review"

Listen to Episode #26, "Act Structure"

Listen to Episode #25, "Photo Comics and More"

Listen to Episode #24, "Running a Convention Table with Mike Dawson"

Listen to Episode #23, "Make Digital Comics"

Listen to Episode #22, "Be the Letterer"

Listen to Episode #21, "Question: From Editor to Writer"

Listen to Episode #20, "Page Turns"

Listen to Episode #19, "Where Should I Live?"

Listen to Episode #18, "Comic Book Coloring with Chris Sotomayor"

Listen to Episode #17, "Art Portfolio with Robert Atkins"

Listen to Episode #16, "Conventions and Critique"

Listen to Episode #15, "Pitching"

Listen to Episode #14, "Making Time for Making Comics"

Listen to Episode #13, "Story"

Listen to Episode #12, "Marketing"

Listen to Episode #11, "Artist Portfolio"

Listen to Episode #10, "Inspiration"

Listen to Episode #9, "Online Networking"

Listen to Episode #8, "Building A Page"

Listen to Episode #7, "Professionialism"

Listen to Episode #6, "The Comic Book Script"

Listen to Episode #5, "Convention Networking"

Listen to Episode #4, "Good Feedback"

Listen to Episode #3, "Long Stories or Short Stories?"

Listen to Episode #2, "Finding Collaborators"

Listen to Episode #1, "Start Writing"


If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you'll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Rob Anderson
rob@ComicsExperience.com
Twitter / Facebook

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pro artist Khoi Pham joins as visiting faculty & offers critiques on Creators Workshop!

We're pleased to announce that comic book artist Khoi Pham has joined Comics Experience, where he will be acting as visiting faculty for the next few months, providing art critiques to members of our Creators Workshop community!

Before becoming a comic book artist, Khoi Pham was a criminal defense lawyer, and, for a time, simultaneously worked as both a lawyer and an artist. During his acclaimed run on The Incredible Hercules, he left his job as a lawyer, and he is now a full-time comic book artist.

Khoi currently works on books like Scarlet Spider for Marvel and Cyber Force for Image Top Cow.

He is perhaps best known for his work on Hercules, as well as his work on Mighty Avengers with writer Dan Slott. Khoi is also a member of Ten Ton Studios.

The Creators Workshop is an on-going community of writers, artists, colorists, and letterers all dedicated to getting published and improving their craft. It's a community focused on making comics!

Our members post their work, critique each other, and discuss all aspects of creating comics in our members-only forums. But in addition to all that, members are eligible for critique by our instructors and pro members!

Khoi has now joined our regular line-up that includes working comic book editors, writers, artists, colorists and more.

Welcome to the Workshop, Khoi!



If you want to make comics, write or draw comics, or improve as a comics creator, you'll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Rob Anderson
rob@ComicsExperience.com
Twitter / Facebook



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

CE alum Paul Allor's "Strange Nation" to be published by Action Lab Entertainment!

Comics Experience alum and staff member Paul Allor recently announced his first creator-owned mini-series, with artist Juan Romera.

Strange Nation, a four-issue mini-series, will launch later this year through Action Lab Entertainment.

But before that, an advance copy of issue #1 will be available from Paul at Emerald City Comic Con and Fabletown and Beyond.

According to Action Lab, Strange Nation is a madcap tale of tabloid myths. The story stars Norma Park, a reporter who discovers a bizarre conspiracy, tying together aliens, Sasquatch and mad scientists.

The book is already receiving great advance reviews, including this one from Multiversity Comics! You can also read an interview with Paul and see more pages over on CBR's Robot 6.

Paul is a graduate of the Comics Experience writing, lettering and editing classes, and is a longtime member of the Creators Workshop.

His previous works include Clockwork, Vol. 1, a collection of five-page comics, many of them workshopped through Comics Experience; Orc Girl, a one-shot with artist Thomas Boatwright; and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fugitoid, a one-shot for IDW Publishing.

Congrats to Paul and Juan on this upcoming mini-series!


If you want to make comics, write or draw comics, or improve as a comics creator, you'll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Rob Anderson
rob@ComicsExperience.com
Twitter / Facebook

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