Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Star Wars Episode VII previewed by Comics Experience Alums!

Every month at the Comics Experience Creators Workshop, we post up a monthly challenge for our writer and artist members. And in November, that challenge -- just for fun -- involved envisioning the future of the Star Wars franchise, in the wake of the big Disney/Lucasfilm announcement.

And two Creators Workshop staffers -- Book Club Manager Paul Allor and Workshop Art Moderator Gannon Beck -- teamed up to take their one-page story, shown below, to completion.

The story was even featured on iFanboy right here.

If you're interested in learning more about the Creators Workshop, you can hear Paul discuss it, as well as all his comics projects, on the Image Addiction podcast feed -- The Process: Sensation Spectacular – Episode 17.

Below, enjoy your preview of Star Wars: Episode VII by Paul and Gannon!


Paul is the writer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series #8 featuring Fugitoid from IDW, and the recently released Orc Girl published by Challenger Comics, as well as the Clockwork anthology.

Gannon is also actively involved in making comics with his creator-owned title, Space Corps, launched at this year's Baltimore Comic-Con, and other projects in the works (including the awesome Shark Puncher, written by Paul!

We're excited to see more work coming from Paul and Gannon!



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 #39 on "Production"

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

In Episode #39, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and iFanboy host Josh Flanagan discuss "Production."

As they said over on iFanboy, "what about after you’ve got the pages done? How do you get it printed? What do you need to print a comic book? How about files? There are a lot of questions, and we try to set you straight, or at least in the right direction."

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 #39, "Production"

Listen to Episode #38, "Endings"

Listen to Episode #37, "Writing Dialogue"

Listen to Episode #36, "Character Design"

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

Listen to Episode #34, "Mailbag"

Listen to Episode #33, "Collaboration"

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

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

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

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

Listen to Episode #28, "Find Your Voice"

Listen to Episode #27, "Self Review"

Listen to Episode #26, "Act Structure"

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

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

Listen to Episode #23, "Make Digital Comics"

Listen to Episode #22, "Be the Letterer"

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

Listen to Episode #20, "Page Turns"

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

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

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

Listen to Episode #16, "Conventions and Critique"

Listen to Episode #15, "Pitching"

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

Listen to Episode #13, "Story"

Listen to Episode #12, "Marketing"

Listen to Episode #11, "Artist Portfolio"

Listen to Episode #10, "Inspiration"

Listen to Episode #9, "Online Networking"

Listen to Episode #8, "Building A Page"

Listen to Episode #7, "Professionialism"

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

Listen to Episode #5, "Convention Networking"

Listen to Episode #4, "Good Feedback"

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

Listen to Episode #2, "Finding Collaborators"

Listen to Episode #1, "Start Writing"


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

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CE Workshop Member Joey Groah Launches "Dry Seasons" Kickstarter

Creators Workshop member Joey Groah has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his comic project Dry Seasons.

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

Dry Seasons is Romeo & Juliet meets Mad Max. Years after the apocalypse, Ann and Paul are two star-crossed lovers. They uncover a plot that could destroy their families, and other survivors.

Dry Seasons is an action-adventure story, lo-fi sci-fi. The four 22-page print and digital issues of Dry Seasons will be a complete "done-in-one" that has possibilities for future volumes.

The Kickstarter has already garnered more than 50 backers toward its overall $7,000 goal.

In addition to the book itself in print and digital form, those pledging can receive other incentives including limited edition versions of the books, t-shirts, original art by artist Ryan Cody, or even name a character!

You can even receive a script critique from writer/editor and CE Book Club Manager Paul Allor! (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series, Clockwork, Orc Girl)

And there's a sketch available from CE Art Moderator Gannon Beck, who is also Joey's collaborator on an upcoming mini series, as well as the co-writer and artist on Space Corps. Gannon is doing a sketch of any character of your choice on 9"x11" paper.

With more than two weeks left, there's still plenty of time to jump on this Kickstarter for Dry Seasons!

Or check out the video right here:


Best of luck to Joey 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, November 26, 2012

Chris Roberson and Dirk Manning - Upcoming Guests on the Creators Workshop!

In December, we'll have two great live, online sessions at the Creators Workshop: a Book Club discussion of Memorial with writer Chris Roberson...

AND a Workshop session with Dirk Manning on his writing, including Nightmare World from Image/Shadowline, and his new book on making comics, Write or Wrong!

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On December 11, 2012 at 10pm Eastern Time, we'll be discussing Memorial with writer Chris Roberson.

Chris Roberson's writings include numerous short stories and novels, such as Here, There & Everywhere, as well as the comic book series Memorial, Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love and I, Zombie.

Along with his business partner and spouse Allison Baker, he is the publisher of MonkeyBrain Books, an independent publishing house specializing in genre fiction and nonfiction genre studies.

In 2012, Monkeybrain launched a new creator-owned digital comics line, Monkeybrain Comics, which is distributed by comiXology. MonkeyBrain features the work of many top creators including Kurt Busiek, Colleen Coover, Steve Leiber, Brandon Seifert, and Paul Tobin to name only a few.

Chris has been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award four times, twice a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and four times for the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History, winning twice.

Memorial, published by IDW, is the story of Em, a young woman who arrives at a hospital with no memory of her past. A year later, she has rebuilt her life, only to find her existence is thrown into turmoil after she inherits a magical shop and is drawn into a supernatural conflict.

ComicBook.com has described the book as "ambitious, brilliant storytelling" and Broken Frontier said "Chris Roberson has built a magical world that can compete with some of the industry's best."

We look forward to our discussion with Chris!

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Then, on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, we'll be joined by writer Dirk Manning!

Dirk is the writer/creator of Nightmare World published by Image Comics, Tales of Mr. Rhee, and Love Stories About Death.

Dirk is also the writer of a popular Newsarama column for comic creators. The column, Write or Wrong was recently collected into book form.

For over five years Dirk Manning’s column has provided aspiring writers with candid advice, anecdotes and inspiration about how to successfully meet artists, create comics, and get them published. Dirk has collected key columns from the series with each installment personally revisited in preparation for the book’s release.

Write or Wrong: A Writer’s Guide to Creating Comics is an invaluable tool for anyone seeking to create comics, improve their knowledge of the industry and the craft, and/or be simultaneously entertained and informed.

Dirk's Nightmare World began life as a popular horror web comic, which was later collected into three trade paperbacks by Image/Shadowline. The short stories -- done with a variety of talented artists -- delve into a world of ghostly lovers, demonic abductors, vengeful victims, and sexy Cthulhu priestesses. The loosely connected stories weave an epic tale of a world not unlike our own, where nothing is as it seems.

Dirk has also written comic work for Zenescope Comics, Tara Normal, Shakespeare Shaken, and more. In 2011 he was approached by Blackbox TV to write a short film for the franchise, resulting in The Hunger, which is currently available for viewing on YouTube.

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We're looking forward to great discussions with Chris and Dirk!

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


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

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


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Give (or GET) the Gift of Making Comics for the Holidays!

So, maybe you've had a goal of making comics for a while? Or maybe you're making comics right now, but want to raise your game? Or know someone who's trying to do the above?

If you want to make 2013 YOUR year for making comics, consider asking for (or giving) a 3-month membership in the Comics Experience Creators Workshop for the holidays.

You or your gift recipient will receive access to our monthly live, online meetings with creators like our past guests Scott Snyder, Bill Willingham, Jason Aaron, and many more.

Plus, they'll receive access to our members-only forums where they can post their work, receive feedback from pros and colleagues, and read more than 20,000 posts on making comics!

Whether you're buying for yourself or someone else just follow this link:
http://comicsexperience.com/index.html#gift

There's no subscription and nothing for the gift giver to cancel! Just sign up using the special PayPal button at the link above. We'll work with you on when you'd like the gift recipient to receive their email notification as well.

Please note this special offer expires on January 4, 2012.

Don't hesitate to contact me, Rob Anderson, at rob@ComicsExperience.com if you have any questions about our courses, Workshop, or giving/receiving a "making comics" gift this year!



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, November 19, 2012

Justin Jordan joins Creators Workshop Tomorrow Night! (11/20/12)

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, Justin Jordan will be our live, online guest at the Creators Workshop!

Justin is the co-creator and writer of the hit Image comic book The Strange Talent of Luther Strode.

Luther Strode was a six-issue mini-series following the tale of an average teenager who orders The Hercules Method, a bodybuilding course advertised in a comic book, that promised to make a man of him. But it didn’t just make him a man, it made him a super man!

Comics Bulletin called Luther Strode "...a magnum opus of guts, gore and ultra-violence hanging within the frame of morality."

And CBR said it was an "...awesome, nasty, gripping, crazy, fun comic...by the kind of new voices that comics needs, an energetic infusion of raw talent."

A sequel, The Legend of Luther Strode, hits comic shops in December from Image Comics.

Justin lives in the wilds of Pennsylvania, and has worked as everything from a lumberjack to a librarian.

He says he's settled on writing because "...it doesn't require an axe, which was a flaw in both lumberjackery and librarianhood."

In addition to Luther Strode, his comics work has appeared in more than a dozen anthologies.

The success of the Luther Strode series has led Justin to writing gigs with both DC Comics (Team 7 and Deathstroke) and Valiant Entertainment (Shadowman).

His work on Team 7 garnered a story and special preview on USA Today, which can be viewed right here.

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We're looking forward to a great discussion with Justin!

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


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

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


Thursday, November 15, 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.

If you've been dreaming of making comics, make 2013 the year you take action!

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.

PLEASE NOTE: The Intro classes are required prerequisites for our once-a-year Advanced Classes in writing, art, and coloring. This will be your last chance to take the Intro courses before the Advanced Classes are offered next Summer!

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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 February 7, 2013!

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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 February 4, 2013!

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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 February 13, 2013!
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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.

In this seven-week course, Dave will take you through the programs, the thought-process, and the decision-making skills to create comics with slick, professional lettering. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also learn the production work associated with publishing comics! Setting up covers with logos, cover elements, integrating the digital lettering files with the digital color files properly, and page set-up along with a healthy dose of trouble-shooting the most common problems.

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!
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Our courses are 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

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Andy Schmidt to speak at Massachusetts College of Art and Design on 11/16!

Former Marvel and IDW Editor and Comics Experience Founder, Andy Schmidt, will be speaking at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design on Friday, November 16, 2012 from 8:30am to 10:00am on the topic of "Turning on Creativity."

As described on the event website: "Creative development is a term tossed around a lot in businesses--as if a clock and price tag can easily be assigned to such a thing--but we all know the reality is different. Creativity is not a switch to be triggered. It's some aloof combination of inspiration, raw talent, and professional dedication. A comics editor and creator, Andy Schmidt takes you through a process he developed himself and now teaches at Comics Experience, an online Comics Education institution he founded. It's a methodology that has served him, his collaborators and his students very well for years, and he'll discuss how to approach the creative endeavor--even when 'you're not feeling it.'"


The presentation is co-sponsored by CreativeMornings Boston and the offices of Career Services and Alumni Relations at MassArt. Tickets to the event are free and can be obtained right here.

CreativeMornings is a monthly morning gathering for creative types. Each event includes a 20 minute lecture, followed by a 20 minute group discussion. The gathering begins at 8:30am with the topic presentation starting at 9:00am and everyone taking off for work at 10am.

If you're in the area, we hope you'll join the discussion with Andy!


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, November 12, 2012

Karl Kerschl Joins Creators Workshop Tomorrow Night (11/13)!

On November 13, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, we'll be discussing The Abominable Charles Christopher with Karl Kerschl.

Karl Kerschl has been drawing comics professionally for 15 years. He has worked on Superman, The Flash and the Teen Titans, among other heroic things, and has also published collections of his weekly webcomic, The Abominable Charles Christopher, the second volume of which is now available. He lives in Montréal with his wife and his cat, Jacques Cousteau.

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


Neil Gaiman has said of the story:

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

The story has won the Shuster Award for Best Canadian Webcomic in 2010, and the Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic in 2011. It updates weekly at www.abominable.cc.

Volume 1 and Volume 2 print collections are also available.

We're looking forward to a great discussion with Karl!

There's still time to join us at the Creators Workshop before the live 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

Saturday, November 10, 2012

iFanboy's "Make Comics" Podcast, Episode #38 on "Endings"

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

In Episode #38, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and iFanboy host Josh Flanagan discuss "Endings."

As they said over on iFanboy, "Another question came in and this one is about endings, and the best way to do it. Is an ambiguous ending OK? What works best in comics?"

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 #38, "Endings"

Listen to Episode #37, "Writing Dialogue"

Listen to Episode #36, "Character Design"

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

Listen to Episode #34, "Mailbag"

Listen to Episode #33, "Collaboration"

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

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

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

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

Listen to Episode #28, "Find Your Voice"

Listen to Episode #27, "Self Review"

Listen to Episode #26, "Act Structure"

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

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

Listen to Episode #23, "Make Digital Comics"

Listen to Episode #22, "Be the Letterer"

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

Listen to Episode #20, "Page Turns"

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

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

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

Listen to Episode #16, "Conventions and Critique"

Listen to Episode #15, "Pitching"

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

Listen to Episode #13, "Story"

Listen to Episode #12, "Marketing"

Listen to Episode #11, "Artist Portfolio"

Listen to Episode #10, "Inspiration"

Listen to Episode #9, "Online Networking"

Listen to Episode #8, "Building A Page"

Listen to Episode #7, "Professionialism"

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

Listen to Episode #5, "Convention Networking"

Listen to Episode #4, "Good Feedback"

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

Listen to Episode #2, "Finding Collaborators"

Listen to Episode #1, "Start Writing"


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

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"HVZA" graphic novel features 3 Comics Experience alums!

A new graphic novel, HVZA: Hudson Valley Zombie Apocalypse, has been released by Spirited Comics, and it features work by Comics Experience alums and Creators Workshop members Janine Frederick, Ken Frederick, and Joe Sergi!

The stories in the trade paperback are based in the universe of the HVZA: Hudson Valley Zombie Apocalypse novel, written by Linda Zimmerman. In that novel, an infection spreads through New York's Hudson Valley. We follow the story from the first days of infection to the last days of civilization, as told by Dr. Rebecca Truesdale, aka "Becks."

The graphic novel explores eight separate stories of some of the other characters in the HVZA universe as they struggle to survive.

The book also contains a special illustrated short story, War Dog, as well as the first chapter of the novel.

CE alums contributed to:

  * Life of the Party written by Janine Frederick
  * Deflated with art & lettering by Ken Frederick
  * Survivor written by Joe Sergi
  * War Dog with illustrations by Ken Frederick

The scripts for both Life of the Party and Survivor were workshopped by Janine and Joe on the Creators Workshop.

The HVZA graphic novel is available for sale on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so check it out!

Congrats to Janine, Ken, and Joe on the new graphic novel!



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, November 6, 2012

Pro Workshop Member Brandon Seifert's "Spirit of the Law" Now Available

Pro comics writer Brandon Seifert has a LOT going on in the coming weeks, including his new digital-exclusive comic Spirit of the Law from MonkeyBrain Comics, more Witch Doctor from Image/Skybound, and Hellraiser from BOOM Studios!

Brandon is a Comics Experience Creators Workshop pro member, where he also offers an "Ask Brandon Seifert" thread, answering questions from members on the industry, his projects, and his creative process.

Brandon's Spirit of the Law #1 (of 2) is now out through MonkeyBrain Comics, exclusively for sale through comiXology. It's 12 pages of story for only $0.99 -- and if you buy it in the month of November, MonkeyBrain is donating their share of the proceeds to the Hero Initiative.

Here's the description of Spirit of the Law:

"It's the Great Depression, and Sammy Workman is lucky to have a job -- even as a mob hitman! But when a hit goes wrong, Workman and his men find themselves stalked -- by the paranormal vigilante they've accidentally created! You've seen plenty of superhero origins -- now, see one from the villains' point of view!"

Grab Part One of this new two-part noir/pulp mashup from Brandon and Michael Montenat, artist of Hellraiser and Pilot Season: Anonymous.

But there's much more coming from Brandon in the coming weeks, including:
* Hellraiser: The Road Below #1 on November 7
* Spirit of the Law #2 on November 14
* Witch Doctor: Mal Practice #1 on November 28
Witch Doctor was Brandon's initial break-out hit, and was the first title published by Robert Kirkman's Skybound Entertainment, an imprint of Image Comics.

Witch Doctor is a medical horror comic written by Brandon and illustrated by Lukas Ketner, that has been called "House M.D. meets Fringe."

In the book, Vincent Morrow, excommunicated from the medical community, serves the world with both hands -- one in magic, one in medicine -- as earth's Sorcerer General.

Witch Doctor is both a sales and a critical success for Skybound, with positive coverage from IGN, Fangoria, io9, The AV Club, and many more. Writer Warren Ellis called the book "Mental."

We look forward to seeing all of Brandon's work in the coming weeks!


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, November 5, 2012

Karl Kerschl and Justin Jordan - Upcoming Guests on the Creators Workshop!

In November, we'll have two great live, online sessions at the Creators Workshop: a Book Club discussion of The Abominable Charles Christopher with creator Karl Kerschl...

AND a Workshop session with writer Justin Jordan on his writing, including The Strange Talent of Luther Strode from Image, Team 7 from DC Comics, and Shadowman from Valiant!

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

On November 13, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, we'll be discussing The Abominable Charles Christopher with Karl Kerschl.

Karl Kerschl has been drawing comics professionally for 15 years. He has worked on Superman, The Flash and the Teen Titans, among other heroic things, and has also published collections of his weekly webcomic, The Abominable Charles Christopher, the second volume of which is now available. He lives in Montréal with his wife and his cat, Jacques Cousteau.

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


Neil Gaiman has said of the story:

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

The story has won the Shuster Award for Best Canadian Webcomic in 2010, and the Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic in 2011. It updates weekly at www.abominable.cc.

Volume 1 and Volume 2 print collections are also available.

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

Then, on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9pm Eastern Time, we'll be joined by writer Justin Jordan!

Justin is the co-creator and writer of the hit Image comic book The Strange Talent of Luther Strode.

Luther Strode was a six-issue mini-series following the tale of an average teenager who orders The Hercules Method, a bodybuilding course advertised in a comic book, that promised to make a man of him. But it didn’t just make him a man, it made him a super man!

Comics Bulletin called Luther Strode "...a magnum opus of guts, gore and ultra-violence hanging within the frame of morality."

And CBR said it was an "...awesome, nasty, gripping, crazy, fun comic...by the kind of new voices that comics needs, an energetic infusion of raw talent."

A sequel, The Legend of Luther Strode, hits comic shops in December from Image Comics.

Justin lives in the wilds of Pennsylvania, and has worked as everything from a lumberjack to a librarian.

He says he's settled on writing because "...it doesn't require an axe, which was a flaw in both lumberjackery and librarianhood."

In addition to Luther Strode, his comics work has appeared in more than a dozen anthologies.

The success of the Luther Strode series has led Justin to writing gigs with both DC Comics (Team 7) and Valiant Entertainment (Shadowman).

His work on Team 7 garnered a story and special preview on USA Today, which can be viewed right here.

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We're looking forward to great discussions with Karl and Justin!

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


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

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


Friday, November 2, 2012

Pak and Arbona on Red Skull and making villains accessible

Writer Greg Pak and editor Alejandro Arbona joined the Comics Experience Creators Workshop recently, to discuss their work on the 2011 Marvel mini-series Red Skull Incarnate.

Red Skull Incarnate tells the secrets behind the origin of how Johann Schmidt -- orphan, thug, urchin -- became the Red Skull.

During the session, Pak and Arbona discussed the challenges of creating a story about a such an evil character. The two had previously worked together on Magneto Testament, which similarly traced the WWII origins of the X-Men mainstay. But in that book, Pak noted, Magneto was a hero during the time and place the story was set.

By contrast, Pak said, Johann Schmidt is a sociopath, and the most evil person in the Marvel Universe, serving as the Marvel equivalent of Adolf Hitler.

Arbona described the character as a monster, whose actions are inexcusable, and who lies largely beyond the realm of sympathy.

The challenge, Arbona said, was "how do we make this character accessible to readers at the very beginning, and then keep readers with him throughout the entire story, as he gets worse and worse?"

One of the keys, both men said, was to make the character accessible, even if he wasn’t sympathetic.

"Villains should be three-dimensional characters, to the extent that you can relate to them; that they have their own wishes and their own agenda," Arbona said. "You should not sympathize, but you should at least understand where he’s coming from, at least see him as a thinking, feeling human being, making choices."

As part of this, Pak said, he tried to avoid definitely stating that Schmidt was evil from birth, while also not denying the possibility.

"We wanted to understand where he came from, but not excuse him," Pak said. "There are plenty of people who grew up in the same circumstances who didn’t become what he became. At the same time, we wanted to show those circumstances.

"Under other circumstances, in a different world, he wouldn’t have necessarily become who he became. If nobody had ever beat him down, he might never have beat anyone else down."

Other topics discussed during the session included:
* How they came into comics, and how Red Skull Incarnate came about.
* Research for the book, and for writing projects in general
* Working with Marvel on such dark and complex material
* The process of creating such striking covers for the book (created by artist David Aja)
* The use of color in the book (from colorist Matt Wilson), and using color to advance the storytelling and re-enforce the emotional journey of the book
* The choice to never show the Red Skull as he appears in current continuity
* Pak’s efforts to market his work, including work-for-hire.
Greg Pak is a filmmaker and comic book writer best known for directing the award-winning feature film Robot Stories, writing the epic Planet Hulk and World War Hulk comic book storylines, and co-writing (with Fred Van Lente) the fan favorite Incredible Hercules series for Marvel Comics. He was named one of 25 Filmmakers to Watch by Filmmaker Magazine, described as "a talent with a future" by the New York Times, and named "Breakout Talent" of the year by Wizard Magazine.

Alejandro Arbona is a former editor for Marvel Comics, where he edited Invincible Iron Man, Osborn, Casanova, Legion of Monsters, and more. 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 well as the mini-series Sacrifice created by Sam Humphries and Dalton Rose.

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, November 1, 2012

iFanboy's "Make Comics" Podcast, Episode #37 on "Writing Dialogue"

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

In Episode #37, Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt and iFanboy host Josh Flanagan discuss "Writing Dialogue."

Like many different writers, both Andy and Josh approach it differently, as there is no one way to get it right, but they go over enough ways that you should be able to come away with something helpful.

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 #37, "Writing Dialogue"

Listen to Episode #36, "Character Design"

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

Listen to Episode #34, "Mailbag"

Listen to Episode #33, "Collaboration"

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

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

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

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

Listen to Episode #28, "Find Your Voice"

Listen to Episode #27, "Self Review"

Listen to Episode #26, "Act Structure"

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

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

Listen to Episode #23, "Make Digital Comics"

Listen to Episode #22, "Be the Letterer"

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

Listen to Episode #20, "Page Turns"

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

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

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

Listen to Episode #16, "Conventions and Critique"

Listen to Episode #15, "Pitching"

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

Listen to Episode #13, "Story"

Listen to Episode #12, "Marketing"

Listen to Episode #11, "Artist Portfolio"

Listen to Episode #10, "Inspiration"

Listen to Episode #9, "Online Networking"

Listen to Episode #8, "Building A Page"

Listen to Episode #7, "Professionialism"

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

Listen to Episode #5, "Convention Networking"

Listen to Episode #4, "Good Feedback"

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

Listen to Episode #2, "Finding Collaborators"

Listen to Episode #1, "Start Writing"


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

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

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