Thursday, March 29, 2012

Scott Snyder's LIVE Script Critique on Creators Workshop!

On March 13, 2012, Comics Experience Creators Workshop member, Don McMillan, received a live, web conference critique of his work by highly-acclaimed writer, Scott Snyder!

The Creators Workshop is an on-going community of writers and artists all dedicated to getting published and improving their craft.

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 each month for critique by our instructors and special guests!

This month's special guest script critiquer was Scott Snyder, the red-hot writer of Batman and Swamp Thing from DC Comics, American Vampire from DC/Vertigo, and the horror title Severed from Image.

Scott not only agreed to provide a guest critique to this month's winner, but further volunteered to do it LIVE with Don.

Scott provided in-depth feedback on Don's script, "Down by the Pond," during a session that lasted over an hour and a half!

After it was all over, Don tweeted, "Thank you @Ssnyder1835 for the incredible feedback and for taking the time out of your crazy schedule to talk."

With Scott and Don's permission, the session was recorded so that all Workshop members could learn from Scott as well.

The recording will be available to members for several weeks.

Our past guests, who have provided written critiques of our members' work, include:
• Peter David
• Jason Aaron
• John Romita, Jr.
• Wil Moss, DC Editor
• Jim McCann
• Andy Lanning
• Pablo Raimondi
• Tom Feister
• Nathan Edmondson
• Jody LeHeup, Marvel Editor
• Allan Heinberg
• Jim Cheung
• Mike Raicht
• Charles P. Wilson III & Nick Pitarra
• Chuck Dixon
• Joshua Fialkov
• Jim Zub
• Michael Alan Nelson
• Paul Tobin
• as well as Scott Snyder!
This past month, members were eligible for a script review by Cullen Bunn or an art review by Brian Hurtt, the collaborators on books like The Sixth Gun and The Damned from Oni Press, among many other individual credits with Marvel, DC, and more.

Each month, a member also receives critiques from our staff members and professional contributors like: Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt (writer, and former Marvel and IDW Editor); professional penciler and Comics Experience art instructor, Robert Atkins (Snake Eyes, GI Joe, Heroes for Hire); former Marvel Editors Alejandro Arbona and Nicole Boose; and other comics professionals like IDW Editor Bobby Curnow, pro artist Sean Chen, and pro writer David Gallaher.

The Creators Workshop is the ideal place to receive honest and helpful feedback on your work from both like-minded colleagues and professionals!

Comics Experience thanks Scott Snyder -- and ALL our guest reviewers -- for being so incredibly generous with their time and knowledge!


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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Former Marvel Editor Alejandro Arbona Offers Critiques on Creators Workshop!

We're pleased to announce that comic book editor Alejandro Arbona has joined the Creators Workshop, providing critiques to members.

Alejandro is a former editor for Marvel Comics, where he edited Invincible Iron Man, Osborn, Red Skull: Incarnate, Casanova, Legion of Monsters, and more.

He began his career under the mentorship of Warren Simons, as assistant editor on Immortal Iron Fist, Daredevil, Thor, Magneto: Testament, The Order, and others.

Before joining Marvel, Alejandro spent two years at Wizard, writing and editing news and feature articles, interviewing the likes of Alan Moore, and overseeing a sprawling retrospective by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley on the first hundred issues of Ultimate Spider-Man.

Today, Alejandro continues to edit Casanova -- as its third volume, Avaritia, nears the finish line and sets the stage for volume four -- as well as the splash-making, self-published, multiple-sellout mini-series Sacrifice created by Sam Humphries and Dalton Rose.

Alejandro will be checking in on a regular basis, and has already provided a detailed, helpful critique to a member he selected.

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 each month for critique by our instructors and special guests!

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

Welcome to the Workshop, Alejandro!



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

iFanboy's "Making Comics" with Andy Schmidt Podcast, Episode #15 posted!

The fifteenth episode of iFanboy's Making Comics with Andy Schmidt podcast has been released!

In this episode, iFanboy host Josh Flanagan and former Marvel and IDW Editor (and Comics Experience founder) Andy Schmidt discuss "Pitching".

As explained over on iFanboy:
"You've got a great idea? Then you'll need to pitch it. That requires knowing who to talk to, how to talk to them, and figuring out what they want to hear."
Check out this new episode, plus all of the previous ones on iTunes, or listen to them right here:

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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt Join Creators Workshop LIVE Tomorrow Night! (3/27)

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Brian Hurtt will be joining us live for an online Creators Workshop to discuss their careers as well as the topic of "collaboration."

Cullen and Brian have collaborated together on two Oni titles: The Damned and The Sixth Gun.

Cullen Bunn's noir/horror comic (and first collaboration with Brian), The Damned and the follow-up, The Damned: Prodigal Sons, were published by Oni Press.

In addition to The Sixth Gun, his current projects include Crooked Hills, a middle reader horror prose series from Evileye Books; and The Tooth, an original graphic novel from Oni Press

Cullen has also written various work for Marvel and DC including several Fear Itself tie-ins and an original graphic novel for Marvel, Spider-Man: Season One.

Cullen left his day job to write full time almost exactly one year ago, and wrote a blog on that anniversary right here.


Brian Hurtt's art first made a splash during the second arc in Greg Rucka's critically acclaimed series Queen & Country.

He's since illustrated the Queen & Country spin-off Declassified, Oni's Skinwalker, DC's critically acclaimed Gotham Central, as well as the DC series Hard Time, in addition to The Damned and The Sixth Gun with Cullen.

Join us at the Creators Workshop to take part in what's sure to be a great discussion!

[Photo of Cullen and Brian above by Jeff of Draw Me In.]





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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

iFanboy's "Making Comics" with Andy Schmidt Podcast, Episode #14 posted!

The fourteenth episode of iFanboy's Making Comics with Andy Schmidt podcast has been released!

In this episode, iFanboy host Josh Flanagan and former Marvel and IDW Editor (and Comics Experience founder) Andy Schmidt discuss "Making Time for Making Comics".

As explained over on iFanboy:
"This week we talk about making time to work on those comics and finding a way to put in that time."
Check out this new episode, plus all of the previous ones on iTunes, or listen to them right here:

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

GUEST BLOG: Robert Atkins & Quinn Johnson Discuss Elders of the RuneStone Kickstarter

In this guest blog, Robert Atkins, Comics Experience Art Instructor and professional penciler, along with his collaborator, writer Quinn Johnson, have a conversation about their new Kickstarter project, Elders of the RuneStone.

Quinn: First of all, the guys at Comics Experience are incredibly gracious and awesome to give us this opportunity to be featured on their blog. I'm sure there are a lot of comics creators who would kill for a chance like this!

Robert: Well..."Kill" is a strong word, possibly just maim or maybe just the intent to do harm...but I agree, thanks, and I'm grateful to have the chance to work with Comics Experience. [Check out Robert's Comic Book art courses right here.]

Quinn: The basic story of Elders of the RuneStone is about five teenagers--Scott, Jenny, Dain, Kat, and Zeniff--who all come from very different backgrounds and have their own struggles and secrets. To say they would never willingly hang out with each other is an understatement! But everything changes when they find a glowing RuneStone that gives them incredible superhuman abilities.

Forced to work together to discover the mystery of what the RuneStone is and why they were given these powers, they are soon joined by the Adder, a shadowy vigilante with secrets of his own. Almost immediately they are thrust into battle with vicious adversaries, including gangsters, psychopaths and assassins, who plan to tear their city apart. These are truly evil, scary bad guys who will test these unlikely heroes to their limits, both physically and emotionally. The story is loaded with superhuman action, martial arts, high school drama, deep characters, and a good amount of horror. It's very colorful with a profound dark streak. Basically it's everything I've ever wanted in a comic book series. Am I leaving anything out?

Robert: Nope.

Quinn: The first idea for the story popped into my head when I was sitting in my ninth grade science class (almost 20 years ago--yikes!). I suddenly got this picture in my mind of the huge 12-foot Gar (the transformed Scott) crouching and peering though a hole busted through the wall of the high school hallway with Kat riding on his shoulders and also looking through. I wanted to find out who these characters were, and the story expanded from there.

Many traits and background bits on the main characters are closely based on myself and kids I grew up with, so there's a lot of heart in the story. The series became my lifelong obsession and I kept developing it over the years. I had a breakthrough when I met Robert at the Savannah College of Art and Design about 10 years ago, saw how his art was on a whole different level than mine would ever be, and convinced him to join me on my quest to get the series fully realized and published. Besides just his awesome art, Robert is an incredibly awesome guy and we have become very close friends. He's a great example to me on so many levels!

Robert: What really grabbed me from the start was the relationship of these kids. Reading the scripts and having Quinn describe how they interacted seemed so real to me and put me right back in high school dealing with those same successes and frustrations. Well and there were ninjas....honestly he had me at ninjas.

Quinn: The scientific formula for "awesome" is universally "(Anything) + Ninjas." As to how our Kickstarter campaign started, Robert and I had been putting tons of work, time and money into the series for years. One of the major obstacles we kept hitting was the enormous amount of capital it would cost to get the production off the ground, especially if we wanted to retain complete ownership of the story and its characters. We struggled, discussed, and both being devoutly religious guys, prayed about it many times. Robert and I came upon Kickstarter.com and it just felt very right--suddenly the possibility of raising the necessary capital seemed like it was actually possible.

Robert: For anyone looking to work together and make a comic they hope to become a long-term story, there takes a certain trust and a lot of honest communication. Quinn and I have been friends for a long time, and over the years I've seen times where it could have easily fallen apart. More often then not, you have to be willing to listen and set your pride to the side to keep things on track. I was wary about Kickstarter at first, but in recent months I've seen many projects get funded successfully. I noticed that it all centered around a solid concept and even more solid marketing. The marketing aspect is something I thrive on and get excited about.

Quinn: For the Kickstarter project we're working to raise $9,000 to fund the production of the first 4-issue miniseries. With that under our belt, we'll be in a great position to secure a great publisher, and build the story from there. (I've already written 36 issues worth of storyline, so people can expect a lot of awesome story in the future once we get this first miniseries finished!) We've spent the past several months putting together a tight plan for costs, rewards to give to backers, and promotions, including the video featured on our main page to explain the project and ask for support. I think it's all really paid off as we've already gotten a huge response! It's cool to see so many people get so excited about the story and want to support it seeing the light of day...especially when some of the rewards involve having themselves inserted into the story!

Robert: I found that we've built up a solid fanbase even without having a book on the shelves, and that all comes from marketing decisions we've made these last couple of years. With just a little more support, we'll have the Kickstarter funded and be able to finish production!

Quinn: Yup, we still have a long way to go to hit our goal and make all that funding and the promised rewards a reality! We have to hit our goal of $9,000 by April 8th or none of the funding becomes official. So we're really hoping more and more people will spread the word and join our team! As far as other projects I've worked on, my big break was writing an issue of the Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series back in 2007. That was a huge dream come true as I'm a Ninja Turtles fanatic! Since then I've also written for the Kung Fu Panda and Megamind comic books, as well as Richie Rich and more titles.

Robert: I'm pretty sure I'm famous because I started teaching with Comics Experience. Now that I'm getting stopped on the street for autographs and photos it's getting rather annoying. My completely obscure fame as a comic artist was much more comfortable. My career has mostly centered around G.I. Joe for IDW Publishing. I've done some work at Marvel Comics during breaks, including Amazing Spider-man, Ultimate Fantastic Four, and X-Men Forever.

Quinn: People stop you in the street and get your autograph? Wow, how would that be? Seriously though, without fail I'm astounded with Robert's skill. There's nothing more rewarding then seeing an idea I've become so passionate about become an awesome cover or page! Well, maybe having that idea hit stores worldwide would be more rewarding. As far as my feelings about writing comics, it's hard work, but it's a labor of love for me. I love people and I'm fascinated with how people think, what makes each person individual and what drives them. I love taking characters with very different personalities, throwing them into a room together, and seeing how they play off each other. I think through character interaction like this, we can actually learn a lot about ourselves in the real world.

Robert: He also likes writing because it takes so much less time than drawing. Heh.

Quinn: I cannot overemphasize how completely true that is. Unlike Robert, I actually get to sleep more than 2 hours a night. I wish I were exaggerating!

Robert: I really enjoy comics because of the ability to tell a story with my art. Even in my sketching I try to incorporate where a character has been or something they are about to do all built within the sketch. It makes the reader/viewer think and automatically engages them in the art. Luckily Quinn is an artist himself, and has a clear vision for this story. That helps me with the script because he describes a scene and I can see it immediately in my head.

Quinn: Robert is extremely patient with all the details I ask for! On a side note, Robert and I also co-host (with my video game expert brother Troy Johnson) the Darkhan City Podcast. It's a ton of fun, with lots of goofy joking around, interviews with big-name professionals in the entertainment industry (including the esteemed Andy Schmidt), and reviews of comics, movies, video games, and more. And of course a rapid succession of Chuck Norris jokes. (Has Chuck Norris ever been in love? Even Cupid knows that NO ONE shoots an arrow at Chuck Norris!)

Robert: On another side note, I like roast beef sandwiches. Especially with lettuce and a little horseradish on the si....

Quinn: HUGE sandwiches. When you've watched our Kickstarter video you'll know what I'm talking about!

Robert: Hey I wasn't done. So you put that all on some sweet bread and a side of kettle chips... man, that's heaven on a plate.

Quinn: Did I mention that I love working with Robert?

Check out Robert and Quinn's Kickstarter project right here -- before the end date of April 8, 2012: Elders of the RuneStone

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

GUEST BLOG: Bobby Curnow on Learning, Inspiration, and Comics Experience

In this guest blog, Bobby Curnow, IDW Editor, Comics Experience alum, and Creators Workshop member, shares his thoughts on learning and Comics Experience.

Bobby's creator-owned miniseries, Night of 1,000 Wolves, which he produced in collaboration with Eisner-nominated artist Dave Wachter is solicited for pre-order in the current March 2012 Diamond PREVIEWS catalog and will be in stores in May.

Bobby also wrote Godzilla Legends #5, which hit comic shops last week! On Godzilla, Bobby collaborated with Eisner-nominated artist Dean Haspiel. Both books are being published by IDW. Here's what Bobby had to say:


I've just spent the past five minutes staring at a blank page, trying to think of a smart or funny opening to this guest blog. As you can tell from this sentence, I wasn't successful.

This is one of my biggest weaknesses as a writer--waiting for inspiration to hit. Which is stupid, because inspiration won't come to you. You have to go out and find inspiration and then throw rocks at it until you piss it off. Then inspiration will start throwing rocks at YOU. And those rocks will have a gooey center of good ideas. So when you get hit in the head, the rock breaks and the ideas seep into your brain via head wound and...

Holy crap, this is a terrible introduction. I'm talking about inspiration rocks and head wounds. Okay.

But you know what? That's fine. Because this is a key technique I've learned from Comics Experience. Just start. Don't worry about the terrible, terrible drivel that comes out. Start typing on that blank page. Get going and don't stop. You can always go back and edit. Just start.

Seven years ago, I knew I wanted to make comics but I didn't know where to start. I lived a couple blocks from the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in NYC, and saw that some guy named Andy was teaching classes there about how to write for comics. Intrigued, I signed up. The first thing I learned? I didn't know ANYTHING about what goes into writing comics.

But I started to learn. I learned that you can't show two different actions in one panel. I learned what editors look for in a pitch (unmarked bills, ideally). I learned that creating comics is a genuine collaboration between everyone involved and if you don't respect your co-creators you will crash and burn.

From there, I learned that I wanted to learn more. So I did. I took the writing class. Again. I took the advanced writing class. And so on.

Each step I learned more. Learning about making comics is an addiction. There's ALWAYS more to learn. This is what I tell aspiring creators... your first goal should be to just get better. Don't worry about being published. You won't, not for a while. Just start. Learn. Get better. Keep on getting better. Fail a bunch (that's key!). Get so good you can't be ignored. But keep learning.

I started interning at IDW Publishing so I could learn more, first-hand, from people who lived and breathed comics. Now I'm a full-time editor and a published writer. Well, almost published. Godzilla Legends #5 comes out this month! My creator-owned project, Night of 1000 Wolves with artist Dave Wachter comes out in May!

I may not have learned how to plug subtly yet.

But maybe I'll be better a year from now. I'll keep trying, keep learning.

I started learning about the comic book industry with Comics Experience. In the time since that first class with Andy, Comics Experience has grown leaps and bounds. Want to know how to letter your own comics? Take the Production class. Want to get your script workshopped immediately? Go to the Creators Workshop. Want to ask Scott Snyder a question? Book Club. There is a staggering wealth of knowledge at Comics Experience, ripe for the plucking. If you want to learn how to make comics, you are living in a golden age.

So go ahead, get started. Who knows what awful rock-throwing metaphor awaits?

-- Bobby Curnow

Monday, March 19, 2012

Former Marvel Editor Nicole Boose Offers Critiques on Creators Workshop!

We're pleased to announce that comic book editor Nicole Boose has joined the Creators Workshop, providing critiques to members.

Nicole is a former editor for Marvel Comics where she edited titles including Cable & Deadpool, Iron Man and Stephen King's Dark Tower adaptation.

She was also part of the editorial team that produced the Marvel Illustrated adaptations of literary classics, and was involved in Marvel’s custom publishing program, which does comic projects with partners outside of Marvel.

Currently, Nicole is a freelancer, providing edits on a number of titles, including several from Mark Millar.

She is also a contributing writer on GeekMom.com, where she wrote a comics-related article entitled, What Comics Taught Me About Parenting.

Nicole has an interest in comics education, and she lives near Cleveland, Ohio with her family.

Nicole will be checking in on a regular basis, and has already provided a detailed, helpful critique to a member she selected.


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 each month for critique by our instructors and special guests!

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

Welcome to the Workshop, Nicole!



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 14, 2012

Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt Join Creators Workshop LIVE Tuesday, March 27th!

On Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Brian Hurtt will be joining us live for an online Creators Workshop to discuss their careers as well as the topic of "collaboration."

Cullen and Brian have collaborated together on two Oni titles: The Damned and The Sixth Gun.

Cullen Bunn's noir/horror comic (and first collaboration with Brian), The Damned and the follow-up, The Damned: Prodigal Sons, were published by Oni Press.

In addition to The Sixth Gun, his current projects include Crooked Hills, a middle reader horror prose series from Evileye Books; and The Tooth, an original graphic novel from Oni Press

Cullen has also written various work for Marvel and DC including several Fear Itself tie-ins and an original graphic novel for Marvel, Spider-Man: Season One.

Cullen left his day job to write full time almost exactly one year ago, and wrote a blog on that anniversary right here.

Brian Hurtt's art first made a splash during the second arc in Greg Rucka's critically acclaimed series Queen & Country.

He's since illustrated the Queen & Country spin-off Declassified, Oni's Skinwalker, DC's critically acclaimed Gotham Central, as well as the DC series Hard Time, in addition to The Damned and The Sixth Gun with Cullen.

Join us at the Creators Workshop to take part in what's sure to be a great discussion!

[Photo of Cullen and Brian above by Jeff of Draw Me In.]




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

COMMUNITY NEWS: CE Alum Bobby Curnow's Godzilla Legends #5 on Stands Today!

Writer Bobby Curnow has a new book on the stands today: Godzilla Legends #5!

Bobby is both a Comics Experience alum and a member of the Creators Workshop, where he offers members pro critiques on their work.

Godzilla Legends #5 has a story written by Bobby with art by comics great Dean Haspiel. In the story, an old adventurer comes out of retirement to climb Godzilla!

The issue is on stands right now with covers by both Art Adams and Bob Eggleton.

Bobby's new creator-owned miniseries, Night of 1,000 Wolves, is solicited for pre-orders in the current March Diamond PREVIEWS catalog and will be in stores in May. That title features artwork by Eisner-nominated artist Dave Wachter.

Bobby is also an editor at IDW where he began by editing titles like Robert Bloch's That Hellbound Train and John Layman and Alberto Ponticelli's Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths before moving on to his current position working on both the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Godzilla franchises.

Congrats on your Godzilla tale hitting the stands, Bobby!

iFanboy's "Making Comics" with Andy Schmidt Podcast, Episode #13 posted!

The thirteenth episode of iFanboy's Making Comics with Andy Schmidt podcast has been released!

In the thirteenth episode, iFanboy host Josh Flanagan and former Marvel and IDW Editor (and Comics Experience founder) Andy Schmidt discuss "Story".

As explained over on iFanboy:
"You’ve got beautiful art, crackling dialogue, and the best cover on the stands, but if the story isn’t there, it’s all for nothing. Beginning, middle, and end are the name of the game, and this week Andy and I go over some of the ideas behind making sure your story is the best it can be."
Check out this new episode, plus all of the previous ones on iTunes, or listen to them right here:

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Workshop Members Take On the Eagle/MCM Challenge!

On January 27, 2012, the Eagle Awards and MCM London Comic Con announced a new competition for comic artists and writers.

The "Huntsman's Challenge" competition called on comic creators to submit a completed five page story, in color, with a plot relevant to a dark fantasy setting. The catch? All submissions -- of finished stories -- had to be submitted in a month, with a deadline of February 29th.

Despite the short deadline, members of the Comics Experience Creators Workshop community were up to the challenge, with no less than FOUR members submitting completed stories!

Since the winners haven't been announced, we're only going to share quick peeks at early character designs or panels representing each story, but it looks like a very interesting range of dark fantasy stories were submitted!

Here are the entries from Workshop members (in alphabetical order by title):


Bonita and the Creature
Writer: Joe Sergi
Artist: DaFu Yu
Colorist: John Hunt
Letterer: ET Dollman
Edge of the Village
Writer/Letterer: Paul Allor
Artist: Dwa
Colorist: Donna Gregory


Long Live the Emperor
Writer/Letterer: Amy Chu
Artist/Colorist: Cabral

The Time of Reflection
Writer/Letterer: Alex Wilson
Artist/Colorist: Silvio dB
The competition is to be judged by Titan Publishing senior editor Steve White, bestselling writer Tony Lee and Eisner-winning artist Mark Buckingham.

The Judges will select two winners: one for best design and art, and another for best writing. Both winning teams will be nominated for a new Eagle Award, the MCM Expo Award For New Visionaries and have their story included in the MCM London Comic Con show program. Both winners will also be invited to the 2012 Eagle Awards ceremony and after-party, along with industry passes to the full London Comic Con weekend.

We wish everyone the best of luck in the competition!


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



Monday, March 12, 2012

Enrollment Open! -- Intro to Art -- Advanced Coloring -- Intro to Writing Courses!

Comics Experience has three courses lined up that will help you build your skills and reach your comic book goals, whether that's breaking in or doing creator-owned work.

The three classes -- described below -- are open for enrollment right now and will likely sell out, so don't delay.

In fact, our Advanced Comic Book Writing class recently sold out, in record time, before we could even post about it on this blog!

Make 2012 your year for pursuing your comics career!

--------------------------

Introduction to Comic Book Art will be taught by Robert Atkins, a professional comic book artist who has worked on G.I. Joe, Snake Eyes, Amazing Spider-Man, Heroes for Hire, Ultimatum Fantastic Four: Requiem and many others.

In this online course, you’ll learn how to improve your storytelling, what the professional standards are, how to avoid common pitfalls, how to build a great cover, and strategies to break into the business.

You’ll be asked to complete five pages of sequential comics pages under the guidance of your instructor and you’ll get all the behind the scenes tips Robert can pack into six weeks.

You can read what one of Robert's former students had to say about his teaching skills right here. Or check out Robert's art and get a sense of his teaching philosophy in this Guest Blog about the Intro class from August of last year.

Introduction to Comic Book Art with Robert Atkins
Begins April 26, 2012!

--------------------------

Advanced Comic Book Coloring will be taught by Chris Sotomayor (aka Soto), professional colorist on countless Marvel titles (Spider-Man, X-Men, The Avengers, etc.).

If the Intro to Comic Book Coloring course just got you geared up to learn more and take a crack at paid professional work, then the Advanced Coloring is for you! If you’re a working professional looking to improve your skills and learn in a group setting, then dig in, because colorist guru Chris Sotomayor has cooked up an incredible seven-week course that builds upon the skills developed in the level one course!

Covering how to customize paint brushes, dealing more in-depth with layers and special effects, creating time-saving Photoshop Actions, customizing your palette, enhancing your experimental styles and increasing your overall skill level, this course is packed with insider information, tricks, tools, and insight that you can’t get anywhere else!

Plus you'll have a bonus guest speaker: One night during this session of the course, Laura Martin will drop in to review your work, give tips of her own, and take your questions directly! No other comics course offers this level of access to the working pros!


You can read Soto's own thoughts on why his coloring classes are even better than marriage right here!

Advanced Comic Book Coloring with Soto
Begins June 4, 2012!

--------------------------

Intro to Comic Book Writing will be taught by former Marvel and IDW Editor and writer, Andy Schmidt.

During his time at Marvel, Andy worked on nearly every major character in the Marvel canon, and edited hit titles such as X-Factor, the Annihilation saga, Alias, and more.

At IDW, he managed major franchises like GI Joe and Transformers. He is also the author of the Eagle Award-winning book, The Insider's Guide to Creating Comics and Graphic Novels, published by Impact Books.

In this six-week course, not only will you learn comic book writing from a pro, but the course will be packed with practical, real-world advice on the industry and "breaking in" to help you pursue your career in comics!

That's why Comics Experience alum, Nick Spencer, tweeted:
"For all aspiring comic pros asking for advice on craft/breaking in, I once again highly recommend Andy Schmidt's @ComicExperience courses."
A few years ago, Nick had to move to New York City to take Comics Experience classes (check out his guest blog here to read that tale). But you don't have to move, now that the courses are online. This one will sell out fast!

Introduction to Comic Book Writing with Andy Schmidt
Begins July 25, 2012!

--------------------------

Our courses are now offered LIVE, online, and you can attend from wherever you live. You'll be able to see your instructor and his desktop, interact with your classmates, and discuss your classwork in real time. And you'll be able to communicate with your classmates all week long in a special, dedicated online forum for just you and your class.

We hope to see you in our courses or as part of our Creators Workshop community. Sign up now!



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

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Robert Atkins Launches Kickstarter for Elders of the RuneStone!

Comics Experience art instructor and professional penciler, Robert Atkins (G.I. Joe, Snake Eyes, Amazing Spider-man) has launched a new Kickstarter campaign along with writer Quinn Johnson (Ninja Turtles, Kung Fu Panda, Megamind) for their project Elders of the RuneStone!

Elders of the RuneStone is a four-issue miniseries that Quinn and Robert have been working on for years (almost 20 in Quinn's case!), and the money raised will fund production of the book, including penciling, inking, coloring, and printing.

Here's the low-down on the story, from the Kickstarter page:
"What is your purpose? It's the question Scott, Kat, Dain, and Jenny must ask themselves when their typical teenage lives are thrown into upheaval by a glowing RuneStone that gives them amazing superhuman abilities.

Joined by the Adder, a shadowy vigilante with secrets of his own, the team must put aside their differences to save Darkhan City from a vicious crime lord with powers far beyond theirs...who knows more about their origins than they do."
Reward incentives for pledging include items such as Robert Atkins sketchbooks, script and art critiques by the creators, custom art commissions from Robert, original art, and a 3-month membership in the Comics Experience Creators Workshop!

For some pledge levels, supporters can even be drawn into the story and/or have their name used! Incentives are offered at all levels, from $5 to $500, so definitely check it out!

Good luck to Robert and the whole creative team on Elders of the RuneStone!


Check out the Kickstarter video and incentives here!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Paul Cornell Joins Creators Workshop LIVE this Saturday, March 10th!

Just a reminder that this Saturday March 10, 2012 at 3pm Eastern Time, writer Paul Cornell, will be joining us live from London for an online Creators Workshop Book Club discussion of Knight and Squire published by DC Comics!

As Paul said on his own blog when the book was set to be released:
"[Knight and Squire] is a very British one....they come from a deliberately over the top, tremendously fun DC Britain that had previously been only slightly explored.

If Captain Britain was a more realistic take on British superheroics, Knight and Squire delights in Mary Poppins absurdity, in what I think is a quite 2000AD way. The artist on this six issue miniseries is the great Jimmy Broxton.
"
The miniseries also had an interesting and unusual structure, as previously discussed by our Book Club Manager, Paul Allor, in the article "Knight & Squire: A Study of Structure."

In addition to writing comics, Paul Cornell is a novelist and TV writer, notably for the television show Doctor Who.

Most recently, he has written both Demon Knights and Stormwatch for DC Comics.

Coming soon is his new creator-owned series from Vertigo entitled Saucer Country, where Paul and artist Ryan Kelly tell the story of a U.S. presidential candidate and her alcoholic ex being abducted by aliens.

Join us at the Creators Workshop to take part in what's sure to be a great discussion with Paul!


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

iFanboy's "Making Comics" with Andy Schmidt Podcast, Episode #12 posted!

The twelfth episode of iFanboy's Making Comics with Andy Schmidt podcast has been released!

In the twelfth episode, iFanboy host Josh Flanagan and former Marvel and IDW Editor (and Comics Experience founder) Andy Schmidt discuss "Marketing".

As explained over on iFanboy:
"Marketing comics...is about the hardest thing in the world...We’ll talk about some of the ideas and tools creators have at their disposal, and the importance of thinking about marketing when it comes to comics. It turns out there’s a lot to talk about."
In particular, Andy discussed the approach taken by Comics Experience Book Club Manager, Paul Allor, when he marketed his anthology Clockwork, Volume 1 to editors in the industry. In fact, you can read the full "convention panel" story Andy mentioned on the podcast in the CE Blog report on NYCC 2011 right here.

Listen in to hear a lot of great ideas on marketing!

Check out this new episode, plus all of the previous ones on iTunes, or listen to them right here:

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

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Comics "Workshopped" in the Creators Workshop Coming to Comic Shops Soon!

The Comics Experience Creators Workshop hit an important milestone recently, when two workshopped comics appeared in Diamond Distribution's Previews catalog, making both titles available to comic shops across the country.

Comics Experience members and alum appear in Previews on a regular basis, as writers, artists, colorists, letterers and editors for companies including Marvel, DC, IDW Publishing, Dynamite Entertainment and more.

But this marks the first time Previews has featured comics based on scripts that were workshopped through the Creators Workshop.

The Creators Workshop is an online community where aspiring and professional creators can critique each other's work, offering feedback and serving as a sounding board for creators seeking to hone their skills.

The Diamond Previews March catalog features Night of 1,000 Wolves #1 from IDW, written by Creators Workshop member Bobby Curnow, with art by the Eisner-nominated Dave Wachter.

Night of 1,000 Wolves is a Dark-Age horror tale about a family ripped apart by unthinkable tragedy – and a horde of wolves set on their destruction.

Night of 1,000 Wolves is a three-issue mini-series, and Curnow workshopped all three issues through the Creators Workshop.

Meanwhile, the February Previews catalog featured Rex, Zombie Killer from Big Dog Ink, written by Comics Experience General Manager and workshop member Rob Anderson.

Rex, Zombie Killer is a double-sized one-shot issue, and tells the story of a small pack of animals – including a bat-wielding gorilla -- who seek safety in the wake of a zombie apocalypse.

Rex marks the first time that an entire creative team on a book in Previews is made up of Comics Experience Workshop members, alumni and staff.


In addition to Rob writing the book, the team includes artist DaFu Yu, colorist Kevin Volo, letterer/designer ET Dollman and editor Paul Allor.


Both Night of 1,000 Wolves and Rex, Zombie Killer are available now for pre-order through comic shops.

Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt said he is certain these will not be the last workshopped comics to appear in the Previews catalog.

"The Creators Workshop was designed as a place where people could come together to learn from comics professionals, as well as each other; where they can support one another, collaborate and create something new," Schmidt said.

"I am incredibly proud of the community our members have formed, and as a comics reader, I look forward to seeing what they come up with in the coming months and years."

-- Posted by Paul Allor

Followers