Okay, I’ll Teach You How to Make Comics

My good friend Joshua Hale Fialkov and I are leading two very special seminars this Saturday at the Long Beach Comic Expo.  If you’ve ever wanted to make the jump from fan to pro, or “I once published something” to “I have a career,” these are the classes for you. The show is running some specials when you buy tickets to our classes on the show itself, so head on over to their website for more info, and check out the official press release below.

Official Press Release

Long Beach Comic Con presents the Comic Expo on May 12th at the Long Beach Convention Center with special workshops by critically-acclaimed writer Joshua Hale Fialkov (I, Vampire, Last of the Greats, Doctor Who, Echoes) and veteran writer/editor Rob Levin (7 Days From Hell, Abbatoir).

Fialkov and Levin will be hosting two seminars on May 12th. The first one is titled ‘Intro to Careers in Comics’ and will last for 2 intense hours. This session will feature the art of breaking in, the process of writing, finding collaborators and getting your book made. The second 2 hour workshop will be titled ‘Advanced Careers in Comics’ and will provide an in-depth look at the business side of writing and producing comic books. Advance registration is required and there is an additional fee. Seating is extremely limited to only thirty people and tickets are available on the website now (www.longbeachcomiccon.com).
“Rob and I have twenty years combined experience in the comics business, and we’re thrilled for the chance to share our years with another great crop of Long Beach Comic Expo attendees.” said Joshua Hale Fialkov (Eisner, Harvey, and Emmy nominated writer of the graphic novels ECHOES, TUMOR, ELK’S RUN, and the LAST OF THE GREATS).

“When we decided to add programming to the one day Expo, we were thrilled with the response from both the creative community and the attendees. Having the chance to collaborate with industry veterans like Josh and Rob on programming is one of the biggest perks of my job.” said Phil Lawrence, Director of the Long Beach Comic Con.

For a complete list of events, guests, activities, ticket prices and times, visit www.longbeachcomiccon.com. Tickets for Comic Expo Long Beach Comic & Horror Con are on sale now through the website and will also be available at many Southern California comic book and hobby shops, including WSS Shoe Stores and their Geeky Mamma stores.

About MAD Event Management
MAD Event Management is an all-purpose event planning facilitator whose principal owner has over 13 years of experience producing annual large-scale consumer conventions around the country, including Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Dallas. MAD’s capabilities include: Site Selection, Exhibit Staffing, Marketing Plans, Vendor Selection, Floor Plan Development, On-Site Execution, Sponsor Exhibitor Sales, Travel Management, Contract Development, Setup & Disassembly and Contract Coordination. Visit www.madeventmanagement.com for additional information.

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C.B. Cebulski Talks Doing Covers Right

C.B. Cebulski is much smarter and more lovable than me. Let’s just get that out of the way. He’s also an amazing source of knowledge and insight when it comes to the finer points of making comics. Today he offered a mini lesson about covers and I felt the information merited being preserved here rather than lost in the twitter stream.
C.B. says:
After looking over certain June solicits, I feel like going on a cover rant again, but will instead offer advice on creating cover art.

A cover is the most important piece of art you’ll create for your comic. It’s what will sell the book. Especially in today’s direct market.

This is even more true for indy/self/small press comics as you don’t have recognizable characters to grab a reader’s attention on the shelf.

You need a simple, bold, striking piece that should immediately standout & distinguish your book from the rest of the comics surrounding it.

Don’t get overly-complicated or designy. Don’t overthink your cover. Don’t get too cerebral. Simply give readers a taste of what’s inside.

These are simple, basic cover “rules,” I know, but I’m always surprised how often they’re forgotten. Especially by the bigger publishers.
Gold.

#MakeComics Wednesdays

Since I hadn’t posted anything about it here, I wanted to make it known that for the time being, every Wednesday (aka New Comic Day), I’ll be doing a twitter-based Q&A as well as posting any random advice I can squeeze into 140 characters.
There are a lot of folks that want to break into this industry, and quite frankly many of them are going about it the wrong way. While there are some excellent comic pros on twitter giving advice, it’s sporadic at best and there’s no guarantee your question is going to get answered. And as someone who has worked on both sides of the desk, I know a thing or two. I’m like the less-prolific and more xenophobic C.B. Cebulski…
Every Wednesday I’ll announce when I’ll be doing the Q&A, which will run about an hour, and I’ll take questions of all kinds from pitching to script format to whatever comes into your head.
Here’s a transcript of the first Q&A from two weeks back.
You can follow me on twitter @roblevin or search for the #makecomics hash tag for advice from some of the best and most helpful pros around. Keep in mind, no bit of advice is 100%, and this is the Internet so keep your thinking caps on before you charge blindly into battle.