Monday, October 29, 2012

CE Workshop Member Paul Littell Launches "Get Carly" Kickstarter

Creators Workshop member Paul Littell has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his comic project Get Carly.

The script was workshopped on the Creators Workshop, and Paul even kindly mentions the role of Comics Experience in his Kickstarter description.

The story is an action-thriller about Marco, a shy techie-type, who finds himself racing across Kosovo in a laydown racer to save a beautiful woman.

Laydown racers can go over 130 miles per hour, just inches from the ground -- and Marco is being pursued by some very evil men...

Paul's Kickstarter is to produce a 110-page graphic novel, and, if stretch goals are reached, can be given additional life with animatics/motion comics as well.

As of this writing, only two days into the campaign, the Kickstarter has already garnered more than 30 backers toward its overall $10,000 goal.

In addition to the book itself in print and digital form, those pledging can receive other incentives including special character profiles and sketches, color prints, slipcase editions, ring tones, a Get Carly peace belt, or even be drawn into a group portrait with the cast!

With more than twenty-five days left as of today, there's still plenty of time to jump on this Kickstarter!

Or check out the video right here:


Best of luck to Paul with the Kickstarter!



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

Friday, October 26, 2012

"The Ride" -- A New Anthology from Comics Experience Alums!

The latest anthology created by Comics Experience writing alums is now available!

Comics Experience: The Ride is a 24-page comic book anthology containing both full color and black and white stories written during the January 2012 Introduction to Comic Book Writing course.

In the past, a number of Comics Experience classes have teamed up to produce class anthologies after their course ended.

We're happy to have our January 2012 alums joining those ranks!

The genres in The Ride include sci-fi, slice of life, Western, and even a trip to heaven.

The book also contains a Foreword by former Marvel and IDW Editor (and CE founder) Andy Schmidt.

The Ride may be ordered via IndyPlanet.

The writers -- now all CE alums! -- are Kerith Hopper, Patrick McHugh, Alex Wilson, and Eric Wilder.

One of the stories features art by CE alum Jorge Donis as well as lettering by CE alum Kevin Lintz.


Other artists contributing include Sean Carner, Mario Boon, and Tim Hall.

Check it out in print here:
Comics Experience: The Ride

Congrats to everyone! We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!



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

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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Pitching for Professionals" - Notes from the NYCC 2012 Panel!

Hey, did you miss the Comics Experience panel on pitching, held at NYCC 2012?

Well, if you did, you still don't have to miss out on all the tips.

Louis Falcetti provided his notes from the session in a report filed on Bleeding Cool on October 20, 2012, so it's almost like you were there!

Click here for the full report:
Article: Pitching For Professionals At NYCC

And here's the description of the panel from the NYCC 2012 program:
Pitching for Professionals
Thursday, October 11
2:30PM - 3:30PM
Location: 1A04

Speakers: Andy Schmidt, Bob Schreck, Nick Lowe, Paul Allor

When you finally have an editor willing to hear your ideas, will you be ready? From tips on how to succeed in a "bake-off" competition to how to present ideas cold, this panel will help you and your project get the green light it deserves! Listen in as former Marvel and IDW editor Andy Schmidt, Marvel Editor Nick Lowe, writer Paul Allor (TMNT Micro-Series, Clockwork), and Bob Schreck, Editor-in-Chief of Legendary Comics and former DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and IDW Publishing editor, discuss the ins-and-outs of pitching!
We hope to see you at the next convention!



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 "Make Comics" Podcast, Episode #36 on "Character Design"

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

In Episode #36, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and iFanboy host Josh Flanagan discuss "Character Design."

What goes into what characters look like, and who is responsible?

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 #36, "Character Design"

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

Listen to Episode #34, "Mailbag"

Listen to Episode #33, "Collaboration"

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

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

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

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

Listen to Episode #28, "Find Your Voice"

Listen to Episode #27, "Self Review"

Listen to Episode #26, "Act Structure"

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

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

Listen to Episode #23, "Make Digital Comics"

Listen to Episode #22, "Be the Letterer"

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

Listen to Episode #20, "Page Turns"

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

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

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

Listen to Episode #16, "Conventions and Critique"

Listen to Episode #15, "Pitching"

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

Listen to Episode #13, "Story"

Listen to Episode #12, "Marketing"

Listen to Episode #11, "Artist Portfolio"

Listen to Episode #10, "Inspiration"

Listen to Episode #9, "Online Networking"

Listen to Episode #8, "Building A Page"

Listen to Episode #7, "Professionialism"

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

Listen to Episode #5, "Convention Networking"

Listen to Episode #4, "Good Feedback"

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

Listen to Episode #2, "Finding Collaborators"

Listen to Episode #1, "Start Writing"


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

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

GUEST BLOG: Robert Atkins on the Figure Drawing and Construction course

In this guest blog, Robert Atkins, artist on Snake Eyes, GI JOE, Heroes for Hire, The Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Fantastic Four and Instructor of the Comics Experience Introduction to Figure Drawing & Figure Construction, shares his thoughts on the course. Classes will be held live, online, beginning Thursday November 1, 2012.

In nearly every form of entertainment available to the public, there is an artist contributing to its production. Starting with concept designs, storyboards, character designs or comic page layouts, an artist will bring a visual life to an idea.

In many industries and projects those ideas center on stories involving the human figure.

For artists to become successful in any of these industries, they MUST have a foundational understanding of how that figure is constructed and how it moves, then put that understanding into practice.

While I have used this foundational knowledge for figure construction in the comics field, this class is necessary to anyone looking to draw a figure for any entertainment industry.

Just to name a few: character design for video games or toys; fashion design for theater, costuming or the clothing industry; illustrations involving the figure for magazines, package art or websites; concept art for film and animation, and, of course, it is essential for telling stories in comics.

No matter what the finished style looks like, all great work involving the figure in art is based on a solid foundation of figure construction.

In animation, that figure is abstracted and stretched or contorted to show motion. To most effectively abstract from reality, you must first understand that reality. The best animators know how to draw a proportional human figure. They CHOOSE to manipulate those shapes when defining their characters.

It also guarantees for artists in any of the mentioned art fields that a figure they draw will look consistent, from frame to frame, design to design, or panel to panel.

How often have you been in an art portfolio review and heard the phrase, "It looks great, you just need to work on your anatomy", or some variation of that?

It's a universal critique because drawing the figure is a very hard thing to master. Weak figure drawing is also the first thing that will stand out in an amateur portfolio.

This is because everyone knows what a properly proportioned figure looks like. We look at it everyday.

Even though we all come in different shapes and sizes, it is typically within a range of proportion. If you can understand those proportions, and apply them to your art, your figures will start to look more consistent and that figure becomes believable.

So, how do you solve this problem?

Comics Experience is proudly expanding its art curriculum to include a new course in Figure Drawing and Construction starting November 1, 2012.

The course will run 6 weeks, with a 2-hour live, online class each of those weeks. Throughout the week you will be posting your assignments and sketches that I will critique on the dedicated course forum.

I will be using the instruction style I learned while receiving my M.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art and Design as the basis for this class. Building on that instruction, I will also incorporate what I have learned applying these figure drawing concepts over the last 8 years working for Marvel, DC, IDW, Dark Horse and other comic publishers.

For you to tell an effective story, the reader must be convinced of the character's reality. This will start with feeling that the figures look believable in the environments you place them in. If a character is going to look believable, it has to be constructed with a sure knowledge of figure anatomy.

Robert Atkins
Comics Experience Art Instructor

The first session of the live, online Introduction to Figure Drawing & Figure Construction course begins November 1, 2012. Enrollment is still open, but seats are limited, so sign up now!

Monday, October 22, 2012

ComiXology Co-Founder John Roberts Joins Creators Workshop 10/30/12

Next week, on Tuesday October 30, 2012, our special guest on the live, online Creators Workshop will be John Roberts, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Comixology.

We look forward to a discussion with John on Comixology, digital comics, and the future of the industry!

Over the last five years, Comixology has created the industry leading platform for digital comics. Comixology's patent-pending Guided View technology allows readers to read through comics in full screen or from panel-to-panel, mimicking the natural movement of the eye as though readers were experiencing reading a print comic book.

Comixology started with John's idea to create a widget for the Apple Dashboard that would allow him to view what comics were coming out each week.

He showed the tool to David Steinberger who, at the time, was getting his MBA at NYU Stern Business School.

Shortly thereafter, they entered the idea in an NYU business competition and won! The founders of ComiXology took the winnings from that competition and started the business along with other investors.

From creating pull lists for retailers in 2007, ComiXology eventually expanded into a digital comics store in 2009, working today with all major publishers including Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, IDW and many more. The comics are available on the same day as they appear in print form at comic shops.

With the development of the ComiXology digital comics platform — available across iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and the Web — ComiXology provides an easy way worldwide for people to enjoy comics. And most recently, with the release of the Retina Display iPad, ComiXology released a high-definition comic format dubbed CMX-HD.

ComiXology regularly ranks as the top grossing iPad app in the entire iTunes App Store, and the Comics by ComiXology app was recently selected as a preloaded app on Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

We look forward to a great discussion with John about digital comics. There's still time to sign up before the session!



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

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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

CE alum Paul Allor's "Orc Girl" premieres this weekend!

Writer Paul Allor's Orc Girl premieres this weekend, October 20, 2012 at Kokomo Con in Kokomo, Indiana.

Paul is a Comics Experience alum, Creators Workshop member, and on staff at Comics Experience as the CE Book Club Manager.

Orc Girl is Paul's new one-shot with artist Thomas Boatwright, and it's already receiving praise.

Comics writer Gail Simone recently called Orc Girl "one of the best comics I’ve read in ages" and "Funny, charming, bittersweet and moving...Absolutely lovely in story and art."

Orc Girl is a 48-page book, with a 22-page main story and four backup stories (two of which also appeared in Paul's Clockwork, Volume One).

The comic book is being published by Challenger Comics, the imprint of writer, designer, and publisher Ryan Ferrier.

Paul was recently interviewed on iFanboy and talked all about the project.

Paul has partnered with Kokomo Con’s organizers to offer an exclusive Kokomo Con variant edition of Orc Girl, with a signed and numbered print-run limited to only 100 copies.

In addition, artist Thomas Boatwright has contributed a 9x12 watercolor of Orc Girl, to be auctioned off at the convention, with all proceeds of the auction going to the Kokomo Humane Society.

After the con, Orc Girl will be available to order online in both print and digital form.

Paul also recently wrote Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series #8 featuring Fugitoid, which introduces the popular character into IDW's turtles continuity. He discussed that project on an iFanboy Don't Miss podcast recently.

He is also the author of the Clockwork anthology, which contained 12 original stories on cross-genre characters such as space-faring gorilla pirates, heart-broken robots, a beautiful gunfighter, and even a man on death row.

Clockwork contained artwork by Comics Experience art alums and workshop members Ken Frederick and Carl Peterson, alongside well-known artists including JM Ken Niimura (I Kill Giants), Brett Weldele (Surrogates) and Nikki Cook (Memoir).

Both Orc Girl and Clockwork were recently discussed at length on the Pop Culture Hound podcast, Episode #11 with Chris Thompson & Taylor Lily, featured on Bleeding Cool.

The Hound guys called Paul "a guy who's really inspirational in the way he approaches the craft."

And they praised Clockwork, specifically, saying "What [Paul] achieves in some of these five-page stories is an object lesson in how much you can do with such a small space."

Clockwork, Volume 1 is available online on Paul's Govt Comics website.

Paul also works as a comics editor on upcoming or released projects such as Girls' Night Out, Gutter Magic, Deluge, and Rex, Zombie Killer

Congratulations to Paul and Thomas on the release of Orc Girl!



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, October 17, 2012

NYCC 2012 - Comics Experience Report

Another New York Comic Con is complete!

Reports are that more than 115,000 people attended, and the convention is expected to have MORE space next year!

We wanted to send a big THANK YOU to our panelists and to everyone who attended our panels on Pitching for Professionals (with Andy Schmidt, Nick Lowe, Bob Schreck, and Paul Allor) and Surviving Collaboration (with Andy Schmidt, Robert Atkins, Chris Sotomayor, and Paul Allor). We hope you enjoyed them.

We had a bunch of members and instructors exhibiting, and reports were that sales were extremely strong and the networking opportunities were fantastic!

Also, we had another successful Comics Experience Meet-Up at Mulligans on Thursday night this year -- the biggest Meet-Up ever to date, with 30-40 attendees over the course of the night.

Comics Experience alums, Workshop members, and instructors who attended included: Alejandro Arbona, Andy Schmidt, Bill Yurkas, DaFu Yu, Dan Rivera, Dan Rivera, Dave Kawalec, Eric Drumm, Gamal Hennesey, Gannon Beck, George O'Connor, Jenay Gordon, Joe Sergi, Joey Groah, Kevin Byrne, Matt O'Keefe, Nick Dedual, Nicole Boose, Paul Allor, Paul Littell, Rich Douek, Robert Atkins, Scott Dubin, Sean Flahaven, and Seth Teter. It was great seeing everyone there!

We look forward to next year -- and if you have aspirations to create comics or improve your craft, join us, and maybe we'll see YOU there next year!

Monday, October 15, 2012

GUEST BLOG: CE Alum Alex Wilson on "The Time of Reflection" and Comics Experience!

CE alum and Creators Workshop member Alex Wilson has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his and artist Silvio dB's comic project "The Time of Reflection", which ends in about a week. Below is a Guest Blog by Alex, discussing the project and Comics Experience.

I was a trial member of the online forum and workshop here at Comics Experience when someone shared the info about "The Huntsman's Challenge," this special Eagle Award competition co-sponsored by the Universal Pictures film Snow White and the Huntsman, requiring an original five page, full color dark fantasy comic.

With a deadline only about a month away, I was inspired and impressed with a number of veteran workshop members both for committing so quickly to the challenge and for their amazing encouragement of each other.

Inspired and impressed, yes. I wasn't surprised, though. Members of this forum have treated me as part of the group literally from day one... when I joined and immediately jumped into a monthly writing challenge with a deadline that evening. Critiquing five scripts and writing my own piece for the challenge left me without enough brainpower left to do a proper introduction post.

I'm fairly certain I wouldn't have heard about the competition in time to do anything about it if it wasn't for my friends here at Comics Experience. I also might not have been inspired enough to join in the fun without their examples.

If I hadn't met CE Staff member Paul Allor here, I might not have purchased his Clockwork anthology and seen his collaboration with Silvio dB, which led me to check out Silvio's other work (including a story he created with fellow CE member Amy Chu) and his website to see what his coloring style might be like.

And of course the script wouldn't have been in the shape it was in without the feedback and encouragement of so many active forum members.

And when the judges selected "The Time of Reflection" as one of the two finalists (Paul and Amy's stories were among those shortlisted, by the way!), with the winner to be selected during an open voting period, Comics Experience members and staff (thanks Rob, Andy, everyone!) were among my most vocal get-out-the-vote champions. I wouldn't be surprised if a healthy percentage of retweets and Facebook Likes and other social awareness that led to votes and support for our comic could be ultimately traced back to this community right here.

Finally: when we won the Eagle Award, I found out about it from a CE friend before I heard anything official.

A few weeks ago, we launched a Kickstarter to fund a printed version of "The Time of Reflection." The enthusiasm and encouragement here continues to be amazing and overwhelming, as members of the CE community were among the first to back the project.

But when I think about Comics Experience and why I became a full member after my trial expired, I don't consider it as a collection of these generosities or the many quantifiable ways I've benefited from being a part of this community these last eight months.

I think of the amazing people who I look forward to seeing at the next comics event or convention, whether I'm going as a guest or as a fan. And I realize that, for less than the cost of a flight + hotel + attendance fees for the average weekend convention trip, I get a full year of having that communal experience anytime I want, where I can discuss comics with new friends who are as serious about funnybooks as I am.

Thanks, Comics Experience. Looking forward to the next eight months!

-- Alex Wilson

Check out more information (and support the project) on "The Time of Reflection" on Kickstarter!




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, October 10, 2012

Panels for Comic Creators at NYCC 2012 -- & CE Folks Exhibiting!

Don't forget! TOMORROW, October 11, 2012, Comics Experience will be putting on TWO panels at New York Comic Con 2012!

Our panels this year will be during the "pro hours" portion of the convention -- moderated by Andy Schmidt, Comics Experience founder, and former editor and writer at Marvel and IDW!
Pitching for Professionals
Thursday, October 11
2:30PM - 3:30PM
Location: 1A04

Speakers: Andy Schmidt, Bob Schreck, Nick Lowe, Paul Allor

When you finally have an editor willing to hear your ideas, will you be ready? From tips on how to succeed in a "bake-off" competition to how to present ideas cold, this panel will help you and your project get the green light it deserves! Listen in as former Marvel and IDW editor Andy Schmidt, Marvel Editor Nick Lowe, writer Paul Allor (TMNT Micro-Series, Clockwork), and Bob Schreck, Editor-in-Chief of Legendary Comics and former DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and IDW Publishing editor, discuss the ins-and-outs of pitching!


Surviving Collaboration
Thursday, October 11
Time: 7:45PM - 8:45PM
Location: 1A01

Speakers: Andy Schmidt, Chris Sotomayor, Paul Allor, Robert Atkins

Comics are a collaborative medium. Do you know how to bring out the best from your collaborators? Join former Marvel and IDW editor/writer Andy Schmidt, penciler Robert Atkins, colorist and former editor Chris Sotomayor, and writer Paul Allor (TMNT Micro-Series, Clockwork) as they discuss collaborative best practices, tips for writers and artists, and strategies for handling editor feedback. Become the kind of creator everyone wants to work with!
Plus, while you're at the convention, stop by the booths of these Comics Experience instructors, alums, and Creators Workshop members who will be exhibiting!
Paul Allor (signing at ComixTribe Booth 2380, Friday 12:30pm – 2:00pm)
Robert Atkins (Booth DD8)
Sean Chen (Booth C9)
Nick Dedual (Odd Truth Inc. - Booth 768)
Rich Douek (signing at ComixTribe Booth 2380, Friday 2:30pm – 4:00pm)
Shaun Noel (Standalone Productions - Booth 2147)
Brandon Seifert (Booth R5B)
Chris Sotomayor (Booth I9)
See the full details on the NYCC website, right here, and we hope to see you there!


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, October 9, 2012

Making Comics-On-A-Train Crowdsourcing Event 10/10/12!

On October 10, 2012, several comics creators will be crowdsourcing the making of a comic book while they're trapped on a train for seven hours, en route to NYCC 2012!

And you can participate via the Space Corps Facebook page and on Twitter following and tweeting at #spacecorps starting at 9:00AM Eastern Time!

Comics Experience Art Moderator and alum, Gannon Beck, along with writer and CE Alum Joey Groah, and writer Bryan Richmond will set a starting point, but then use reader input to shape the story.

The story will be set in the Space Corps universe, which follows the adventures of Space Marines on a planet-hopping campaign.

You can check out past stories via the free webcomic right here.

So, tomorrow, you don't have to be a stranger on a train: join Gannon Beck, Bryan Richmond and Joey Groah for some crowdsourced making comics fun!

Join the fun and read more details here

Click for larger view for more details!

Click for larger view for more details!



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, October 8, 2012

Pérez, Christy Discuss the Artistic Techniques Behind Tale of Sand

Artist Ramón K. Pérez and Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy joined the Comics Experience Creators Workshop recently, to discuss their work on the graphic novel Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, published by Archaia.

The book, based on a screenplay by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl, recently won both the Eisner Award for best new graphic album, and the Harvey Award for best original graphic album. Additionally, Pérez himself won the Eisner for best penciler/inker.

Tale of Sand has been praised for its highly distinctive art, which relies heavily on contrasting styles and intricate layouts, while still delivering clear storytelling to bring Henson’s surreal, existential tale to life.

During the workshop, Pérez and Christy discussed some of the artistic techniques used to create this modern masterpiece.

Shifting the mood by shifting the style

Pérez said that for the book’s shifting art styles, he thought back to his early days reading Manga, where “they would often break away from an art style in their stories for dramatic effect. They would change the art style to either embellish a moment or make a moment stand out.”

So, Pérez approached Tale of Sand the same way, using three basic modes: linear inks, linear inks with tones, and painting. For the atmospheric scenes, he said, he would use painting, and to make a moment stick out, he would add tones. The rest of the time he stuck to a more basic rendering of the characters.

Within these three broad areas, Pérez would make other adjustments, depending on the mood he wanted to convey. For example, in one section of the book, Mac, the main character, is being chased through the desert by a football team and a group of Arabs.

“The moment was so ridiculous that it felt like something out of an old Looney Tunes cartoon or a Tin Tin graphic novel,” Pérez said. “I wanted to treat it a little more slapstick in terms of how we rendered the character, how we created a big cloud with knives and swords poking out of it, that kind of thing.”

Using color to create a symphony

Similarly, Pérez and colorist Ian Herring used the book’s coloring style and palate as another way of influencing mood. Most of the book kept a simple color scheme, but the palate was increased for important moments, and changed to “evoke day or night, color or calm,” Pérez said.

“We were really using the color as music and also mood throughout the book,” he said. “It was an interesting experiment. At one point we had all the pages up using Adobe Bridge, and we would actually follow through almost like a musical concerto, following the colors, the riffs,” Pérez said. “We tried to make sure it flowed, with highs and lows, sort of like a symphony.”

And there are only two scenes in the book – in a sheriff’s office and a bar – where a full palate is used.

“For me, the reason behind that was those were the only two real places,” Pérez said. “They were the places Mac felt the safest. So they were approached in a real color, real world kind of a way. They weren’t an abstract of the world.”

Providing clear storytelling and simple angles

Pérez said that he often uses extreme angles in his work, and enjoys doing so. But most of Tale of Sand is portrayed at eye-level, with only a 30 to 45 degree angle of difference.

The reason, Pérez said, is that he wanted to make the book easy for non-comics readers to pick up and enjoy.

“Jim Henson is a world-famous name,” Pérez said. “I knew there would be a lot of comic-book readers picking up this graphic novel, but also that there would potentially be a lot of non-graphic-novel readers picking up this book.

“I remembered my dad, when I was a kid, picking up a comic book and going ‘how the Hell do I read this thing?’ twisting and turning it around.”

Because the book uses some intricate panel layouts, Pérez said, it became even more important to keep the camera angles “calm and simple,” to avoid confusing or losing readers.

“The other cool thing is, that’s probably the angles (Henson) would have shot the movie at,” Christy noted.

Pérez agreed, noting that in most of Henson’s work, “he doesn’t really go to extreme angles.”

Making every character real

Tale of Sand has a large cast, and one distinctive feature of it is that each character had a distinct personality. From a small-town sheriff to a snooty maître-de to a man carrying an ice cube across the desert before it melted, Pérez took the time to flesh out every character throughout the book.

Pérez said that most of the characters had one or two lines of description in Henson’s original script. While developing the character, he tried to think about who Henson would have cast, if the screenplay had been produced when it was written in the 1960’s. For example, he imagined Mac as a young, Magnificent-Seven-era Charles Bronson. But this technique was just a means to the end of giving each character his or her own unique personality.

Pérez advised other artists to do the same: “Whether it’s just some c-list character in the background, try to give them the best part you can to really sell the scene.”

Christy said Pérez’s work in this area was a major part of making the story feel grounded and real.

“I would go as far as to say that the genius of this guy (Pérez) is that if you go back and look at the book, every single character in the book, in the background, has some piece of business going on,” Christy said. “It’s like when you’re directing extras on a set, the good extras that know what they’re doing, they will have pieces of business that they’re doing, they will know what conversations they’re having.

“So much of Ramón’s genius is that these all feel like real characters. They all have their own inner thought process. There are so few artists that do that. There are very, very few artists who actually take the time to think that through. And people notice when you do that. It’s something special.”

These were just a few of the topics discussed during the book club. Others included:
* How the book came about, and how it was pitched to the Jim Henson Company
* Working with the Jim Henson Company on the adaptation
* How Pérez handled the adaptation, and the challenge of telling such a surreal story
* Collaboration and communication
* The book’s unique lettering
* Sound effects and the philosophy behind them
* What lessons creators should take away from this book
* Advice on pitching a licensed book
* Advice on breaking in to the industry
* Upcoming projects for Pérez
Comics Experience 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

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Panels for Comic Creators at NYCC 2012 -- & CE Folks Exhibiting!

In exactly one week, New York Comic Con 2012 (October 11-14) begins!

And if you're interested in making comics or breaking into the industry, then don't miss our panels on Thursday, during the "pro hours" portion of the convention -- both moderated by Andy Schmidt, Comics Experience founder, and former editor and writer at Marvel and IDW!
Pitching for Professionals
Thursday, October 11
2:30PM - 3:30PM
Location: 1A04

Speakers: Andy Schmidt, Bob Schreck, Nick Lowe, Paul Allor

When you finally have an editor willing to hear your ideas, will you be ready? From tips on how to succeed in a "bake-off" competition to how to present ideas cold, this panel will help you and your project get the green light it deserves! Listen in as former Marvel and IDW editor Andy Schmidt, Marvel Editor Nick Lowe, writer Paul Allor (TMNT Micro-Series, Clockwork), and Bob Schreck, Editor-in-Chief of Legendary Comics and former DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and IDW Publishing editor, discuss the ins-and-outs of pitching!


Surviving Collaboration
Thursday, October 11
Time: 7:45PM - 8:45PM
Location: 1A01

Speakers: Andy Schmidt, Chris Sotomayor, Paul Allor, Robert Atkins

Comics are a collaborative medium. Do you know how to bring out the best from your collaborators? Join former Marvel and IDW editor/writer Andy Schmidt, penciler Robert Atkins, colorist and former editor Chris Sotomayor, and writer Paul Allor (TMNT Micro-Series, Clockwork) as they discuss collaborative best practices, tips for writers and artists, and strategies for handling editor feedback. Become the kind of creator everyone wants to work with!
Plus, while you're at the convention, stop by the booths of these Comics Experience instructors, alums, and Creators Workshop members who will be exhibiting!
Paul Allor (signing at ComixTribe Booth 2380, Friday 12:30pm – 2:00pm)
Robert Atkins (Booth DD8)
Sean Chen (Booth C9)
Nick Dedual (Odd Truth Inc. - Booth 768)
Rich Douek (signing at ComixTribe Booth 2380, Friday 2:30pm – 4:00pm)
Shaun Noel (Standalone Productions - Booth 2147)
Brandon Seifert (Booth R5B)
Chris Sotomayor (Booth I9)
See the full details on the NYCC website, right here, and we hope to see you there!


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 "Make Comics" Podcast, Episode #35 on "Comic Book Art Training and Education"

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

In Episode #35, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and iFanboy host Josh Flanagan discuss "Comic Book Art Training and Education."

In Andy’s experience as an editor, he talks about what he’s seen and looks for in artistic training, and what the important things to learn are.

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 #35, "Comic Book Art Training and Education"

Listen to Episode #34, "Mailbag"

Listen to Episode #33, "Collaboration"

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

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

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

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

Listen to Episode #28, "Find Your Voice"

Listen to Episode #27, "Self Review"

Listen to Episode #26, "Act Structure"

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

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

Listen to Episode #23, "Make Digital Comics"

Listen to Episode #22, "Be the Letterer"

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

Listen to Episode #20, "Page Turns"

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

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

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

Listen to Episode #16, "Conventions and Critique"

Listen to Episode #15, "Pitching"

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

Listen to Episode #13, "Story"

Listen to Episode #12, "Marketing"

Listen to Episode #11, "Artist Portfolio"

Listen to Episode #10, "Inspiration"

Listen to Episode #9, "Online Networking"

Listen to Episode #8, "Building A Page"

Listen to Episode #7, "Professionialism"

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

Listen to Episode #5, "Convention Networking"

Listen to Episode #4, "Good Feedback"

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

Listen to Episode #2, "Finding Collaborators"

Listen to Episode #1, "Start Writing"


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

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

CE Alum Alex Wilson Launches "The Time of Reflection" Kickstarter

CE alum and Creators Workshop member Alex Wilson has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his and artist Silvio dB's comic project The Time of Reflection.

And not only was the original script workshopped on the Creators Workshop, but the story thereafter received an Eagle Award! Specifically, it won the 2012 MCM Expo Award For New Visionaries (aka "The Huntsman's Challenge" or the "Eagle Awards New Talent Competition".)

The story crosses the fairy tale of Snow White with the cross-cultural Trickster myth in a traditional high-fantasy setting.

It was selected as one of two finalists by judges Steve White, Tony Lee, and Mark Buckingham, and then was named the overall winner via a vote.

While the story was printed in the London Comic-Con program, it hasn't otherwise seen print.

Alex's Kickstarter is to produce two versions of the story: (1) a booklet (12 glossy pages) on thick paper stock with the complete 5 page comic, character sketches, and Silvio's gorgeous concept illustration on the back cover; and (2) a signed and numbered Limited Edition version which, at 28 pages, will include the story, the full script, the complete unlettered pages, the layouts, and some additional commentary on the making of the comic.

The Kickstarter reached its initial goal in less than eight hours, and, as of this writing, stands at over $2,700 with more than 100 backers. Alex has since set several stretch goals, the latest at the $3,000 mark.

In addition to the book itself, those pledging can receive other incentives including art prints, original sketches, jigsaw puzzles -- and even the opportunity to have Alex create an original song commission for you!

With more than twenty days left as of today, there's still plenty of time to jump on this Kickstarter!

Or check out the video right here:

Best of luck to Alex and Silvio with the Kickstarter!




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, October 1, 2012

New Course! Introduction to Figure Drawing & Figure Construction begins 11/1

In just one month -- on Thursday, November 1, 2012 -- the six-week online course Introduction to Figure Drawing & Figure Construction begins with instructor Robert Atkins!

This is our first public announcement about the course and it is already halfway full, so please sign up soon if you'd like to be a part of the class!

In this course, you'll gain a foundational understanding of how to draw the human figure without photo reference. You'll break down the basic formula of the "ideal" human form, and then go into the muscle groups throughout the body.

You'll also study range of motion, perspective and begin to explore figure dynamics.

An ability to draw the human figure is an essential skill in comic art, and this class will help bring more energy and dynamics to your work!

In addition to sketch assignments and feedback throughout the course, you will pencil, ink or color a final assignment for review by Robert!

As an added bonus, you'll receive access to the Human Anatomy for Artists resource website during the duration of the class -- a $75-$100 value, offering over 100,000 royalty-free anatomy photos!

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.

The course is limited to keep the class intimate and ensure that every student gets the attention he or she deserves. Please note that all students must be 18 years or older.

Our courses are offered LIVE, online, so 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 you'll join us!

Introduction to Figure Drawing & Figure Construction with Robert Atkins
Begins November 1, 2012!




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



ComiXology Co-Founder John Roberts Joins Creators Workshop 10/30/12

On Tuesday, October 30, 2012, our special guest on the live, online Creators Workshop will be John Roberts, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Comixology.

We look forward to a discussion with John on Comixology, digital comics, and the future of the industry!

Over the last five years, Comixology has created the industry leading platform for digital comics. Comixology's patent-pending Guided View technology allows readers to read through comics in full screen or from panel-to-panel, mimicking the natural movement of the eye as though readers were experiencing reading a print comic book.

Comixology started with John's idea to create a widget for the Apple Dashboard that would allow him to view what comics were coming out each week.

He showed the tool to David Steinberger who, at the time, was getting his MBA at NYU Stern Business School.

Shortly thereafter, they entered the idea in an NYU business competition and won! The founders of ComiXology took the winnings from that competition and started the business along with other investors.

From creating pull lists for retailers in 2007, ComiXology eventually expanded into a digital comics store in 2009, working today with all major publishers including Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, IDW and many more. The comics are available on the same day as they appear in print form at comic shops.

With the development of the ComiXology digital comics platform — available across iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and the Web — ComiXology provides an easy way worldwide for people to enjoy comics. And most recently, with the release of the Retina Display iPad, ComiXology released a high-definition comic format dubbed CMX-HD.

ComiXology regularly ranks as the top grossing iPad app in the entire iTunes App Store, and the Comics by ComiXology app was recently selected as a preloaded app on Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

We look forward to a great discussion with John about digital comics. There's still time to sign up before the session!



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

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