Up until now classes were held in New York City. Due to demand, Comics Experience has recently started to offer some of their courses on line andI recently finished the inaugural edition of the Introduction to Comics Writing online course.
My personal Comics Experience and review after the jump.
Earlier this year, an on-line version of the writing class was offered and I immediately signed up. I must admit, I had some concerns about how well the class would translate into an on-line format. From what I had heard, one of the main advantages of the classroom setting was the sense of community that developed among the students through in-class activities and critiques. My fear was that these relationships would be lost in the cold impersonal world of computing. Moreover, I was afraid that the some of instructional nuances and personality would be lost without face to face interaction.
These concerns were alleviated by the end of the first class. The Webex system utilized provides face to face interaction with the instructor, Andy Schmidt, who utilized a web cam. Most students had microphones so that we could ask questions or make comments (some had web cams as well). As an added feature, there was also a chat function that allowed for questions and comments that did not interrupt the flow of the lesson plan. After each class, students would communicate through email and an online Google community to give each other comments and criticisms on their work-in-progress. Through this communication, I really got to know my fellow classmates. Some were established writers and artists who have worked for big name companies. Some, like me, were just starting out in the industry, while others had never written a word before taking the class. Because we all had different genres and writing styles, I found it incredibly helpful to see how each of their stories developed from one sentence ideas into publishable comic scripts. Now that the class has ended, I am still friends with many of them and we are planning a group project for the upcoming comic convention season.
What have I gained now that the class has ended? Can I expect DC, Marvel or Image to scoop me up now that this is on my resume? I doubt it. Has my writing improved? Absolutely. I think the class has helped me become a better storyteller. And, at the end of the day, that's all that any writer can ask for.
I highly recommend this class.
Check it out at their site.