Saturday, March 27, 2010

Listening to Music While I Work

I don't know if I'm the only person who does this, but I go out of my way to pick appropriate music for what I'm working on. I have a large collection of film scores, classical music, rock, etc. And depending on what I'm working on, I'll listen to different things.

I often wonder if this is a good thing of not? While writing, does it influence me to be more like the film that I'm listening too? While I'm editing a script, does it make me like the script more because it brings up memories of something else I enjoyed? In other words, does outside media influence one's perspective? Does it alter my perception of what I'm working on?

I'd think it would have to to some degree. But I also think it sets my mind in a more focused way towards a goal and it might get me to concentrate a bit better. I don't know for sure. I don't think there's a way to know for sure.

But I do know it makes working a bit more fun and that Phillip Glass is a genius.


Monday, March 22, 2010

CE alum in ZUDA Competition!

I can't tell you how cool it is to watch as students of the Comics Experience courses go forth into the world of comics and pop up all over the place! And sure enough, hot on the heals of the announcement about Nick Spencer's property getting bought up by Hollywood, here's another success story!

Ken and Janinie Frederick have submitted their comic "Aleksander Christov: Assassin" in this month's online Zuda competition. Ken took the Comics Experience art course last year in New York City and his wife Janine has recently joined the Comics Experience Book Club. But their love of comics wa pre-dates their time with Comics Experience.

Janine said of their decision to submit to Zuda, "Our decision to make an entry for Zuda came while Ken was working on a 5-page comic for an anthology book, after he had finished the Comics Experience class. While he was busy drawing, I was writing. I had an idea in my head for a not-so-short story that was scratching and clawing to come out. Ken read part of my story and asked if I could turn it into a comic book script. So - our adventure began! A few weeks later we had a fully completed 8 screens worth of story, ready to submit to Zuda. When we found out our comic had made the cut for the March competiton, much jumping up and down and squea ling ensued. I did most of the squeeling... Ken doesn't squea l. :-)"

Thier project is currently averaging a hefty four out of five stars and leading the month's competition! But it isn't over yet, so please click on over to the Zuda Competition HERE and give them a vote! The deadline for voting is March 31st at noon! Don't wait, give 'em a helping hand right now!

And my most sincere congratulations to both of you, Ken and Janine. This is truly exciting for you, and we're all very proud of you.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

CE Alum hits Hollywood!

Wow! What a week! There's been a lot going on with Comics Experience and its alumni in the last week, and it all happened while I wasn't looking! I've hardly been at my computer in the past 10 days, but man, a ton of great stuff coming up and announced! I'll be getting to some others in blog posts throughout this week and next, but let's send out a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to CE Writing class alum NICK SPENCER!

Check out these links on the front page of the Hollywood Reporter and Reuters! His awesome indy comic EXISTENCE 2.0 has been optioned by not just anyone at Hollywood, but these are big guys!

Hollywood Reporter Article

Reuters Article

Very cool, Nick. Congratulations.

You know, getting this news reminded me of STAR WARS (but, you know, what doesn't remind me of STAR WARS?) when Darth Vader tells Obi Wan that he was the student but now he's the master. You're the master now, Nick. Just don't become a master of evil like Darth, my friend.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Intro to Coloring Class a Huge Success!

As many of you probably know, Chris Sotomayor, colorist of nearly every comic book published by DC and Marvel at one time or another, and I co-created the Comics Experience course, “Introduction to Comic Book Coloring.”

Now the goal was, in a word, a "stretch." We were hoping to take in seasoned colorists and complete beginners with no working knowledge of Photoshop and stick them in the same course, keeping it interesting for both and informative for both and helping elevate everyone’s coloring skills.

Tall order, like I said. But HOLY MOLEY, everyone surprised me. EVERYONE. We did have a couple complete beginners, most people were somewhere in the middle, with either painting courses under their belts or a good knowledge of Photoshop, and yes, we even had a professional colorist or two who had been working consistently for quite some time in the industry already.

Well, why don’t I just stop talking and show you some examples of the assignments that came in. It was truly amazing to watch these comics enthusiasts (for the most part) become capable color artists. The real high-marks go to the students themselves. Their own enthusiasm was catching. And Chris did an outstanding job as an instructor, knowing when to push further and when to let the students explore on their own. I couldn’t have imagined a more successful first outing.

How do I know it was a success? A) Everyone loved the class, myself and Chris included. B) They loved it so much, we’re already about to begin an Advanced Course because enough of our students wanted to continue on and Chris and I were just that enthusiastic! Okay, shutting up now. Take a look at what these amazing students did!

First week’s project: Do flat color on a page, choosing your initial color scheme as you go, separating planes.

Second week’s project: A value study to understand the brightest and darkest spots on the page and composition of the whole piece.

Third week’s project: A study of color combinations that work well together and tell a story.

Fourth week’s project: Render a couple of pages of artwork. Model the images to give that three-dimensional look that we’ve all come to know and love.

Fifth week’s project: Take notes given in class and give us amazing, fully rendered pages.

I think we can all agree, just at a glance, that this is some amazing stuff. At the very least, every student came out with a couple of good, professional, portfolio pieces. I can’t wait to see what they can do after the Advanced Course.

Special thanks go out to DC Comics, IDW Publishing and Marvel Comics for the use of their line art files for these learning experiences.