Friday, August 31, 2012

Comics Experience helps TMNT writer on his journey

Today we have a Guest Blog from Comics Experience staffer, alum, and Workshop member, Paul Allor.

Paul wrote a new comic book for IDW Publishing which hits comic shops across the country next week. Below he talks about how Comics Experience has helped him in his comics career.


You can also check out an interview Paul did on the book -- where he discussed Comics Experience as well -- over on Comic Book Bin right here.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Guest Blog by Paul Allor
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Next Wednesday, comic shops across the nation will receive their copies of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series #8, a comic book I wrote. This absolutely would not have happened without Comics Experience.

I've talked a lot in the past about the impact Andy Schmidt and Comics Experience has had on my career; about the industry insight Comics Experience has given me and the writing skills it has helped me develop. But it's given me more than that. It's given me a community.

Since this project was announced I've been talking to a lot of people -- readers, fellow creators, comics media -- and one question keeps coming up, in different forms: "How did you manage to break in?"

It's a question that kind of amuses me, because the answer seems pretty obvious: I didn't. The Turtles book is my first big work-for-hire gig, and an incredible opportunity. But at the same time, it's one of many, many steps along the way (albeit a very big step). These days, making comics isn't a binary proposition. You aren't in or out, a pro or an amateur.

Like most journeys, this isn't one you want to travel alone. And that's where Comics Experience comes in. The Comics Experience classes, and the Creator's Workshop, has given me a community of people -- writers, artist, colorists and letterers -- all on that same journey.

I can not even begin to tell you how much I've learned from the men and women I've met in Comics Experience. Together, we discuss and dissect the craft and art of comics creating. We trade tips on publishers and printers. We discuss legal issues and career developments. We're there for each other when we succeed, and when we fail.

When I was working on my first book, Clockwork, I workshopped several of the stories through Comics Experience, and asked approximately 12 billion questions about printers, paper stock, marketing and distribution.

Two of the artists in the book (Ken Frederick and Carl Peterson) are people I met in the workshop, another (ET Dollman) did my imprint logo, and yet another (Rich Douek) helped design the front cover.

The folks in Comics Experience are my friends, my coworkers and my collaborators. They played a direct role in giving me the skills, the experience and the confidence to pursue and write an issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for IDW Publishing. I absolutely couldn't have done it without them, and I hope they know it.

I look forward to the next step of our journey.

-- Paul Allor






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!

iFanboy's "Make Comics" Podcast, Episode #31 on "Breaking In Through the Side Door"

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

In Episode #31, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and iFanboy host Josh Flanagan discuss "Breaking In Through the Side Door."

What are the ways to get your foot in the door to the comics industry, both directly and indirectly, like being a letterer if you want to be a writer, etc.?

Take note! The Make Comics Podcast has moved to its own feed, which you can subscribe to in iTunes, or here manually.

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

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Into to Comic Book Coloring begins 9/3! Only a couple slots remaining!

In less than one week -- on Monday, September 3, 2012 -- the six-week online course Introduction to Comic Book Coloring begins with instructor Chris "Soto" Sotomayor!

We only have a couple spots left in the class, so sign up now if you'd like to join the course!

Chris Sotomayor (aka Soto) is a professional colorist on countless Marvel titles, including Spider-Man, X-Men, The Avengers, Daredevil, Captain America, Hulk, and many others, as well as working on titles for DC Comics, Image Comics and Humanoids.

In this six-week intensive class for colorists, you'll learn all the necessary tools and tricks for not only coloring with Photoshop, but also how to tell great stories through color. You’ll get access to all the tools of the trade, tips on how to break in, and you’ll be working with Chris on the pages you color for the class.

Below, we're republishing a guest blog by Soto where he discussed the Intro to Coloring class. We hope to see you there!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Guest Blog by Chris Sotomayor
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before I start this guest blog about how awesome my coloring class is, and why it's better than any of the other Comics Experience classes (D'oh! I can hear the typing of angry e-mails from Andy, Rob, and Dave), I'd like to quickly explain how it got off the ground.

Andy already had Comics Experience off to a good start by the time he and I first started fantasizing about how to expand it to include a coloring class. Our first brainstorming session found more hurdles than solutions, but Andy and I share two important things (besides our love of good comics, which I guess would make it three things):
1. Sharing knowledge;
2. Innovating.
When Andy made the move from New York to San Diego, it became apparent to us that technology was going to be the missing link to proper expansion. With that, Andy and I came up with Comics Experience's best first online class (the one that started it all) -- Introduction to Comic Book Coloring.

We designed the class with slightly differing, but complementary, goals. Andy wanted a coloring class that he would be excited to take, and would instruct anyone in the steps necessary to coloring a complete piece from the ground up.

I wanted to design a class that was an art class first and foremost (seeing as how my background is in illustration), in order to properly teach how to use the computer as a tool, because I want to see good art and good comics.

What we came up with was one bad-ass class that's an unmatched experience in comparison to anything else available. It's completely interactive and in real time -- meaning that any time you have a question (or want to discuss a particular topic) during any of the 2-hour sessions, you can ask it and get an immediate answer. (Ever try to ask one of those DVD tutorials a question?)

We've had students from all over the U.S. (and the world) enjoy a carefully crafted curriculum that teaches the art of painting and color using Adobe PhotoShop as the tool of choice. Every student comes in with a different skill level--some already professional working artists, and some never having used PhotoShop before. And everyone comes out having learned way more than they thought possible.

Students complete homework assignments using sample artwork from the top comic book publishers, all in an effort to complete a fully realized portfolio at the end of the 6-week course. But one of the best things about the course is the supplement of the private-access forum, where the discussion and learning can continue far past the 2-hour weekly session. Plus, first-time members get one month's free access to the very popular Comics Experience Creator's Workshop, which is a great place to hone your skills and discuss comics, creativity, and art with all the other Workshop members.

Everything that's packed into this class makes it as exciting to teach as it is to take. I've had many students contact me after the course is over, or meet me at conventions, and tell me how fun and informative the class has been. Some have even contacted me to tell me about the paid coloring work they were able to get, based on their completed coloring portfolio.

But be warned: I'm very honest in the class--sometimes to a fault (but not my fault). I don't pull punches, but I do name names. This is a no-nonsense class where your feelings may be hurt, but you will make good art in the process.

Above all else, I enjoy working in comics. It's exciting and rewarding, and I love the idea of sharing my love of comic books, art, and the business side of it all.

-Soto



The next session of the live, online Introduction to Comic Book Coloring class begins September 3, 2012. Enrollment is still open, but seats are limited, so 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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann Tomorrow Night! (8/28/12)

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, we'll be joined on the Creators Workshop by Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann!

We'll be discussing his comics career, editing, and topics such as how to break into the comics industry.

As an Editor, Bill has worked on projects such as Avengers Academy, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hulk Smash Avengers, Thunderbolts, Hawkeye & Mockingbird, Secret Warriors, The Thanos Imperative, Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, Marvel Zombies, and many others.

In the early 90's, Bill had his first job with Marvel as a freelancer on Marvel Age, a comic-book trade magazine, where his initial assignment was covering a rooftop photo shoot with a rapper and a man in a Spider-Man costume. After this Peter Parker-like assignment, Bill later was hired into the catalog sales department, before eventually landing in the Marvel Marketing Department.

During his time in marketing, Bill wrote the popular "Your Man @ Marvel" Internet column. And, after a hiatus from Marvel (including some time spent at DC Comics), Bill got a call from Joe Quesada and has been working in Marvel Editorial since.

We're looking forward to a broad-ranging discussion with Bill, covering the many "hats" he's worn in the comics industry, as well as his editing work and his thoughts on comics creation in general.

There's still time to join us at the Creators Workshop before our live, online session! 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

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Into to Comic Book Art begins 8/30! Only 3 slots remaining!

In just one week -- on Thursday, August 30, 2012 -- the six-week online course Introduction to Comic Book Art begins with instructor Robert Atkins!

We only have 3 spots left in the class, so sign up now if you'd like to join the course!

Robert Atkins is 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.

Below, we're republishing a guest blog by Robert Atkins where he discussed the Intro to Art class. We hope to see you there!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Guest Blog by Robert Atkins
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Intro to Comic Art class provides a great opportunity for me to teach both new and experienced artists about the foundational rules of drawing comics. Within six weeks, you’ll create a portfolio-ready sample story from scratch. We take a professional script and get right to work applying the compositional and storytelling rules gleaned from the lectures each week.

I’ve been teaching this course for over a year now and have had the chance to see many of my students grow throughout the course. Some even come back a second time to put it all into practice again. With each lecture, I’ll lead you through the process of penciling a comic book from start to finish. We’ll also go over cover design and help you create a cover image appropriate to your portfolio sample.

I’ve had the experience of going through the graduate program at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Sequential Art Department, followed by seven years of work experience drawing monthly comics in the industry. Throughout that time, I’ve found some pretty standard rules that will help you achieve clear storytelling and a finished style that editors are looking for.

Also, during that time, I’ve actively attended many of the comic book conventions across the country and can help advise each student on how to make the most of their convention experience, leading to everyone’s end goal -- getting that job in comics!

I think the class is at its best when supplemented with the Creator’s Workshop offered by Comics Experience. With the Intro to Comic Art class, you’ll get a free month’s access to the Workshop, and I would encourage all the students to make the most of it and explore the site to find how it best suits them. There you can post your work regularly and have industry professionals and other artists comment and critique your work to help you improve.

The Workshop has become a community of like-minded storytellers that are able to encourage and support each other as we all work towards becoming better in our desired fields.

If you enjoy the comics art class, the Workshop is the best way to keep that going, as I’m available there to continue working with you as you go on your way.

So, come prepared to do the work! Like most things in life, you’ll get out of the course as much as you put into it. Bring to the class your excitement for comics, and your creativity and ideas, and I'll give you the foundation and tools you’ll need to put your passion into story.



The next session of the live, online Introduction to Comic Book Art class begins August 30, 2012. Enrollment is still open, but seats are limited, so 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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

IDW Editor John Barber Discusses "Breaking In" and more!

IDW Senior Editor John Barber joined the Comics Experience Creators Workshop recently, to discuss breaking in to comics, and the state of the industry.

Several of the questions revolved around the best way to break into the industry, and Barber repeatedly noted that putting out your own comics -- even if they are self-published -- can help gain attention and help pave the way for future success.

"As a writer, it's extraordinarily hard, if you don't draw, to get a comic done," Barber said, in terms of wrangling talent, financing the book and producing the final product. "Once it's done, you're ahead of the pack, because a lot of people drop off. So if you can get it done, it puts you in another tier."

Barber was the first editor at Marvel to hire writers Jonathan Hickman and Keiron Gillen, and said their previous comics were a big part of what convinced him to bring them on.

"I picked up Nightly News by Hickman, and I was just blown away," he said. "It was like nothing I'd ever read. But it was just enough to see that he could write a Marvel genre comic. Keiron (Gillen), it was the same thing, I read all of Phonogram, and started talking to him.

"In both those cases, they did something in their own comic that clearly wasn't writing what they thought somebody wanted to see. It wasn't, 'zombie comics are selling, so we should do zombie comics.' They were doing their own thing."

Making your own comics also allows you to build up your skills, and take advantage of opportunities that come your way. Barber noted that Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis spent nearly a decade writing and drawing his own comics, before being introduced to editorial staff at Marvel. Once he had that opportunity, Barber said, he was able to show them great comics that didn't read like anything else on the market.

"Breaking into comics successfully requires a lot of luck," Barber said. "It requires you to be in the right place at the right time. But the better you get and the more ready you are to shine at that moment, the more likely you are to get lucky."

Other topics John discussed included:
* What the comics industry could do to capitalize on the success of licensed books
* What it takes to be successful in comics
* The most important things for people to know about the comics craft
* Working with comics writers from other media
* Whether it's better to work on individual issues or graphic novels
* Using comics internships to advance your career
* Finding an editor for your self-published/small press project
* Choosing the right artist for a project
* Why most comics companies don't have open submissions for writers
* The difficulty of launching a comic strip
* Price points of digital comics
* How the disappearance of comic shops would affect the industry
* Whether editors' careers are influenced by finding the "next big artist."
Creators Workshop sessions take place every month, giving members real-world knowledge that will help them succeed in their comics career. Additionally the monthly Creators Workshop Book Club sessions feature guest writers and artists discussing the craft and art of comics, as well as the business side of things.

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

-- Posted by Paul Allor

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Comics Experience Community Supports Aurora Rise Benefit

Aurora Rise is a benefit event dedicated to assisting the victims and victim’s families of the tragic shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado last month.

The benefit organizer, Jason Farnsworth, Manager of All C's Collectibles, wrote that all proceeds from the event will go directly to the victims, their families and/or designated charity or foundation.

As stated on the Benefit's Facebook page:
"As the sole comic and collectible store in Aurora we have been directly impacted by the tragic event on July 20th, as several of our customers, friends, employees, and families were involved in the tragedy.

Our customers, their families and friends are dedicated, hard working people, and as such we’re going to support them by organizing the Aurora Rise: Benefit Event here at our store, All C’s Collectibles, within the coming weeks."
An in-store silent auction, along with in-store signings, will take place on August 25 and 26, 2012, with featured guests like Mike Mignola, Matt Fraction, Steve Niles and more.

Comics Experience Book Club Manager, Paul Allor, organized a donation effort on the Creators Workshop to gather together work from Comics Experience alums and Workshop members for the upcoming auction. As you can see from the photo showing most of the donated work, the packages will contain more than 30 titles. Comics Experience will also be donating a three-month free membership in the Creators Workshop to the winner of the auction package.

If you'd like to learn more about the Aurora Benefit effort or donate, please visit their Facebook page.

Monday, August 20, 2012

CE Alum Gannon Beck Joins Creators Workshop Staff as Art Moderator!

We're pleased to announce that CE alum and Workshop member Gannon Beck will be joining the staff here at Comics Experience as the Art Moderator of the Creators Workshop!

Gannon is a repeat offender at Comics Experience -- he's completed the Intro to Comic Book Art, Advanced Comic Book Art, and Intro to Comic Book Coloring classes.

Gannon has also been a valued contributor to the Workshop forums with his regularly updated Sketch Thread and critiques on the Workshop. Gannon has been with Comics Experience ever since Workshop member Joey Groah brought him along to a CE Meet-Up at the Baltimore Comic Con -- and we're glad he did!

Gannon is also an entrepreneur who makes art for a living at OO-RAH.COM, producing custom designed t-shirts for U.S. Marine Corp units and Officer Candidate Training graduates. No wonder OO-RAH.COM's Facebook page has over 10,000 "Likes"!

Gannon is actively involved in making comics with his creator-owned title, Space Corps, set to launch at this year's Baltimore Comic-Con, and other projects in the works (including the awesome Shark Puncher, written by CE Book Club Manager and alum Paul Allor).

In his new role as Art Moderator, Gannon will be helping to keep things lively on the art front in our forums, working to ensure that our growing artist community receives feedback, and coordinating with our art instructor Robert Atkins on the art portion of the monthly challenge, to name just a few things.

We look forward to the energy, enthusiasm, and drive that Gannon brings to the job!



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, August 15, 2012

iFanboy's "Make Comics" Podcast, Episode #30 on Story vs. Page Count

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

In Episode #30, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and iFanboy host Josh Flanagan discuss "Story vs. Page Count." Should your story be 5, 8, 22 or more pages, and how do you decide?

Take note! The Make Comics Podcast has moved to its own feed, which you can subscribe to in iTunes, or here manually.

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

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

CE Alums to Launch "Deluge" with Moonshot Digital Comics!

On July 29, 2012, MoonShot Digital Comics announced that a project by two Comics Experience alums -- writer J.D. Oliva and artist Richard P. Clark -- would be amongst the first to launch its new digital comics product line.

The project, titled Deluge, is a crime thriller set in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

In the story, an undercover FBI agent tries to outrun a group of rogue cops who have taken to the flooded streets, picking off stranded criminals.

In an interview with the website Pipedream Comics, J.D. explained the origins of the idea:
I was shooting a short film in New Orleans in the summer of 2008 and while at a bar one night the locals started telling Hurricane Katrina stories. One of them was about a group of cops who decided to pick off criminals stranded on their rooftops.

That story always stuck with me, but it took me a few years to figure out how to make it work beyond just the concept. Then in the summer of 2010 while in Andy Schmidt’s Comics Experience Advanced Online Writing course, I had to come up with a miniseries pitch and that was the first thing that popped in my head
...
Deluge was the subject of a successful Kickstarter project which raised more than $6,000 at the end of 2011.


J.D. is a writer and documentary filmmaker from South Elgin, Illinois. He's directed several short documentaries and three feature length documentaries. J.D. wrote a Comics Experience guest blog on Deluge back in late 2011 which you can read right here.

Richard is an artist based in upstate New York. His illustration career began in 1993 while still an undergraduate at The Columbus College of Art and Design, and since then, he has worked for a variety of clients in the editorial, book, advertising, institutional and comic industries, including The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, HBO, Sports Illustrated, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Marvel Comics and many more.

The two creators met in the inaugural online Introduction to Comic Book Writing course in 2009, and both of them continued to develop their writing skills in the 2010 Advanced Comic Book Writing course. Their collaboration on Deluge followed thereafter.

In yet another Comics Experience connection, the book is also edited by CE staff member and alum, Paul Allor.

According to the publisher's website, MoonShot Digital Comics is a creator-owned publisher who "seeks to discover, develop, and publish new talent" with a focus on digital publishing.

MoonShot is the brainchild of George Lentino, a former Nickelodeon executive. You can read an interview with George in a SciFi Pulse interview right here.

Congrats to J.D. and Rich on Deluge!



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, August 13, 2012

Tomorrow night! Artist Ryan Browne Joins the Creators Workshop!

Tomorrow night, August 14, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, our special guest at the Creators Workshop will be Ryan Browne, for a special Book Club discussion of his work, Blast Furnace.

As Ryan puts it on his blog, "Blast Furnace embraces the fun of improv comic making. It is created a page at a time, with an hour spent on each page (or thereabouts), with little to no preplanning."

Blast Furnace began life as a webcomic, although Ryan now offers a print trade paperback version as well. The webcomic tells the surreal and flashback-ridden story of recreational thief, Earnest "Blast" Furnace, as he battles ostriches, security guards, and robot businessmen made out of several smaller robot businessmen. You can read Blast Furnace right here.

Most recently, Ryan has been the artist, with writer Mike Costa, on the new creator-owned series from IDW, Smoke and Mirrors, which tells the story of a stage magician who suddenly finds himself in a world where magic is real. In addition, Smoke and Mirrors incorporates engaging, mind-bending illusions and mentalism principles right into the story itself, using only ink and paper.

Ryan is also the creator behind the wildly popular webcomic, God Hates Astronauts, which Ryan has described as "a bizarre, slightly offensive comic about animal violence." It returned to regular publication on August 1, 2012, after a brief hiatus for his work on Smoke and Mirrors. His work has also been published by Archaia, Image, and Devil's Due Press.

There's still time to join us at the Creators Workshop before this session! 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

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Indie Comics Magazine #6 in stores this week!

Indie Comics Magazine #6, the anthology series from Aazurn Publishing, hit comic shops this week and features five stories by Comics Experience alums and Creators Workshop members!

Indie Comics Magazine is a 64-page black and white comic book featuring eight complete stories in each issue.

The issue on the stands features stories written by the following CE alums and members:

  * Timber Tom (Don McMillan)
  * The Dead and Endless Wastes (Fred Kim)
  * Staying Positive (Glenn Møane)
  * Animal Control SCU (Rob Anderson)
  * The Zombie War of 1812 (Joe Sergi).

The genres range from crime to zombies to sci-fi.

Several of the stories also feature lettering by Workshop member E.T. Dollman. Artists in the issue include Juan Romera, Antonio Bilfuco, Leandro Panganiban, Marc Jameson, and more.

Congrats to all our alums and members appearing in this issue of Indie Comics Magazine!

iFanboy's "Make Comics" Podcast, Episode #29 on Graphic Designers in Comics

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

In Episode #29, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and iFanboy host Josh Flanagan discuss "Graphic Designers in Comics." If you're a graphic designer, where is there a place for you in the comics industry?

Take note! The Make Comics Podcast has moved to its own feed, which you can subscribe to in iTunes, or here manually.

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

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann and Artist Ryan Browne - Upcoming Guests on the Creators Workshop!

In August, we'll have two great live, online sessions at the Creators Workshop: a Book Club discussion of webcomic Blast Furnace with artist/creator Ryan Browne...

AND a Workshop session with Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann on his comics career, editing, and topics such as how to break into the comics industry!

On August 14, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, we'll be discussing Blast Furnace with Ryan.

As Ryan puts it on his blog, "Blast Furnace embraces the fun of improv comic making. It is created a page at a time, with an hour spent on each page (or thereabouts), with little to no preplanning."

Blast Furnace began life as a webcomic, although Ryan now offers a print trade paperback version as well. The webcomic tells the surreal and flashback-ridden story of recreational thief, Earnest "Blast" Furnace, as he battles ostriches, security guards, and robot businessmen made out of several smaller robot businessmen. You can read Blast Furnace right here.

Most recently, Ryan has been the artist, with writer Mike Costa, on the new creator-owned series from IDW, Smoke and Mirrors, which tells the story of a stage magician who suddenly finds himself in a world where magic is real. In addition, Smoke and Mirrors incorporates engaging, mind-bending illusions and mentalism principles right into the story itself, using only ink and paper.

Ryan is also the creator behind the wildly popular webcomic, God Hates Astronauts, which Ryan has described as "a bizarre, slightly offensive comic about animal violence." It returned to regular publication on August 1, 2012, after a brief hiatus for his work on Smoke and Mirrors. His work has also been published by Archaia, Image, and Devil's Due Press.

Then, on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, we'll be joined by Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann!

As an Editor, Bill has worked on projects such as Avengers Academy, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hulk Smash Avengers, Thunderbolts, Hawkeye & Mockingbird, Secret Warriors, The Thanos Imperative, Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, Marvel Zombies, and many others.

In the early 90's, Bill had his first job with Marvel as a freelancer on Marvel Age, a comic-book trade magazine, where his initial assignment was covering a rooftop photo shoot with a rapper and a man in a Spider-Man costume. After this Peter Parker-like assignment, Bill later was hired into the catalog sales department, before eventually landing in the Marvel Marketing Department.

During his time in marketing, Bill wrote the popular "Your Man @ Marvel" Internet column. And, after a hiatus from Marvel (including some time spent at DC Comics), Bill got a call from Joe Quesada and has been working in Marvel Editorial since.

We're looking forward to a broad-ranging discussion with Bill, covering the many "hats" he's worn in the comics industry, as well as his editing work and his thoughts on comics creation in general.

There's still time to join us at the Creators Workshop before these two great discussions! 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

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Enrollment Open! -- Intro to Comic Book Writing, Art, Coloring, & Lettering Courses!

Comics Experience has four 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 four classes on comic book writing, art, coloring and lettering -- described below -- are open for enrollment right now and will likely sell out, so don't delay.

----------------------------------------------
INTRODUCTION TO COMIC BOOK ART

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 August 30, 2012!
----------------------------------------------
INTRODUCTION TO COMIC BOOK COLORING

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

In this six-week intensive class for colorists, you'll learn all the necessary tools and tricks for not only coloring with Photoshop, but also how to tell great stories through color. You’ll get access to all the tools of the trade, tips on how to break in, and you’ll be working with Chris on the pages you color for the class.


You can read Soto's own thoughts on the class right here...OR read why the class is even better than marriage right here!

Intro to Comic Book Coloring with Soto
Begins September 3, 2012!

----------------------------------------------
INTRODUCTION TO COMIC BOOK WRITING

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 September 26, 2012!

----------------------------------------------
COMIC BOOK LETTERING AND PRODUCTION

Comic Book Lettering and Production will be taught by professional letterer Dave Sharpe, who has been in the business for twenty years.

Dave started out hand lettering in the Marvel Bullpen before moving to digital lettering, taught lettering at the Joe Kubert School in the mid-90s, and developed and led the Marvel in-house lettering department for two years.

Since then, Dave is now lettering regularly for DC, in addition to working with many small publishers as well. He is, without a doubt, one of the most well respected, talented, and professional letterers in the comics business.

To quote Comics Experience founder (and ex-Marvel and IDW Editor) Andy Schmidt, "Dave can teach. I've seen him do it and he taught me much while I worked at Marvel. In the first ten minutes, he taught me enough about lettering that I could talk reasonably intelligently about it with the seasoned Marvel staff. Thank you for that, Dave."

Learning how to letter can save you money on your projects and improve your storytelling. Plus, bad lettering can kill the impression your book makes! Read more about all of that right here.

Comic Book Lettering and Production with Dave Sharpe
Begins February 12, 2013!

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

iFanboy's "Make Comics" Podcast, Episode #28 on Finding Your Voice

After a brief hiatus, a new episode of the iFanboy Make Comics podcast is available!

In Episode #28, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and iFanboy host Josh Flanagan discuss "Finding Your Voice." How do you develop your own original "voice" in your writing or art?

Take note! The Make Comics Podcast is moving to its own feed, which you can subscribe to in iTunes, or here manually.

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

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

Followers