Mentoring

$399.00

It doesn’t get any more personal or personalized than this. Not everyone needs to learn the same things or at the same pace. Our one-on-one mentoring sessions are designed to be completely customizable to exactly what you need and want to learn. Our mentors will likely have suggestions for things to cover and can shed light on multiple aspects of the comics industry and craft.

With our Mentoring program, you are in the driver’s seat, but we’re riding shotgun right along with you!

  • Mentorships vary from individual to individual, so you’ll meet with the same mentor every time unless you choose to switch for a different perspective.
  • Look on the Mentors tab to see which mentor is right for you.
  • Each call with your mentor lasts for one hour.
  • There is a minimum purchase of three, one-hour calls at a time.
  • The calls do NOT expire and are scheduled, as you need them, at your pace.
  • The time of your mentor is valuable, and he or she will work with you to help plan how to maximize the use of the mentor’s time–and your budget. We make our best effort to keep your budget as low as possible.
  • See the FAQ about pre-reads and notes on documents and artwork.
  • Please note that prices vary from mentor to mentor.
  • Mentorship programs are extremely limited and schedules fill up quickly. They are subject to availability.

Andy Schmidt

Andy founded Comics Experience based on the guiding principle of developing the kind of useful tools he himself wished existed when he was trying to break into the comics industry. This vision led to the creation of the mentorship program. Andy has helped develop the careers of several working professionals as well as worked with long established pros who seek advice and problem-solving outside of the typical channels. Andy is an ideal mentor for anyone looking to achieve his or her comic book career dreams. Writers, artists, and editors welcome!


Stephen Pakula

A 15-year veteran of the comics and entertainment publishing industries, Stephen has had major roles in just about all aspects of the business; from editorial and design, to sales and marketing, all the way through to production and distribution, his years of experience make him the perfect mentor for anyone that wants to be a writer, editor or artist in the comics industry (and for manga creators too!). As a mentor, Stephen will diligently work one-on-one with you, offering personalized guidance to help you achieve your creative goals.


Chris Sotomayor

Chris Sotomayor has a reputation of being the fastest color artist in the business, and has been a mainstay at Marvel Comics since 1996. He’s proven himself time and again having worked on their top properties, including Spider-Man, X-Men, The Avengers, Daredevil, Captain America, Hulk, and many others, as well as working on titles for DC Comics, Image Comics and Humanoids. Past breakout works include Supreme Power/Squadron Supreme and Captain Marvel.

In addition to his own coloring work, Soto (as we lovingly call him) also owns and operates SotoColor, a coloring and comics studio in which he finds work for and develops the talents of literally dozens of working, top-ranked colorists in the industry. And he’s ready to apply those skills to helping YOU!


Phillip Sevy

Phillip Sevy began his comics career with Heartless Dark, a weekly webcomic he wrote, penciled, inked, and colored. At its conclusion, Phillip attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where he got his MFA in Sequential Art. He was named a runner-up in the 2014 Top Cow Talent Hunt competition.

Phillip has drawn The Freeze, Magdalena, Athena IX, Poseidon IX, The Tithe vol 2 as well as contributing to Witchblade 185 (the final issue of the landmark series).He is most known for his work on Dark Horse’s Tomb Raider series, which he’s drawn 16 issues of.

He is currently working on a variety of Marvel Unlimited, vertical scrolling Infinity comics – including X-Men Unlimited and Edge of Venomverse.

Phillip’s worked with a variety of corporate clients doing commercial illustration over the last few years, including AMC Entertainment, Discovery Channel and the Sundance Channel. He spent nearly five years teaching Comics and Sequential Art at Broadview Entertainment Arts University where he won awards for Outstanding Faculty and Excellence in Applied Learning.

He’s been teaching online courses with Comics Experience since 2017.


Fred Van Lente

Fred Van Lente is a six-time New York Times bestselling comics writer, novelist and playwright whose work spans mystery/thrillers to historical fiction to superheroes to comedy.

Van Lente burst onto the scene with his first collaboration with cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey, Action Philosophers, which became a YALSA Best Book for Teens and the NYT called “intensely goofy but intellectually rigorous”.

From there he went on to a long career at Marvel, where he worked on titles like The Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America and Marvel Zombies. He’s also written for DC, Archie Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Comics, and Valiant, where his run on Archer & Armstrong was nominated for a Harvey Award for Best Continuing Series.

Van Lente has continued writing non-fiction graphic novels, often with his artistic collaborator Ryan Dunlavey, including the bestselling Comic Book History of Comics and the middle grade series Action Presidents. Two entries in the series were nominated for the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards. In 2021, the third volume won the Theodore Roosevelt Association’s Theodore Roosevelt Children’s Book Prize.

After years of short story writing (including “Neversleeps,” which shortlisted for Best American Science Fiction), Van Lente graduated to prose novels with the acclaimed mysteries Ten Dead Comedians and The Con Artist.

His Platinum Studios graphic novel Cowboys & Aliens was adapted into a film in 2011 starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, directed by Jon Favreau. The following year, Helen Cho, a character created with co-writer Greg Pak in their acclaimed Incredible Hercules series, made her MCU debut in the blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron. His MODOK’s 11and Scorpion became Hulu’s Marvel’s MODOK, which named the elementary school in the show after him (in S1 E2).

King Kirby, his play with Crystal Skillman about the life of the legendary comics artist Jack Kirby, was a New York Times Critics’ Pick on its NYC debut in 2014. It debuted as a much-acclaimed free audio drama podcast in 2020 featuring the original cast on the Broadway Podcasting Network.

Starting as a 2020 pandemic lockdown hobby, Van Lente has a regular comics history column on the website 13th Dimension, where he tackles such burning topics of the day as Stan Lee’s legacy and which is better, Justice League or Fantastic Four?

Of course, none of this should be confused with Fred Van Lente Day, the annual celebration of his work on the Comic Book Resources web site that has been happening since 2005…the year Action Philosophers first came out.

Fred lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the playwright and his frequent co-collaborator Crystal Skillman, and some mostly ungrateful cats. He loves to hear from readers at fred.vanlente@gmail.com.

What’s the best part of the Comics Experience Mentoring program?

It’s the individualized attention. We’re qualified to mentor on all aspects of comics creation–story, characterization, storytelling in art, perspective, etc. We also offer career guidance and planning–strategizing how to maximize your creative impact so that you can achieve your goals as quickly as possible, as well as more nuts and bolts things like how to find collaborators and so on. If it’s in the comics realm–and you’re at the point where you need individualized attention–this is the place for you!

Do I have to use all three hours at once?

Of course not. You have three, one-hour sessions to be scheduled at your pace. They do not expire–ever. We work with you on an individualized plan and schedule.

How does payment work?

Send us an email at info@comicsexperience.com and we’ll discuss if this is right for you and whom you should/could mentor with. Once we’re all set and the mentor is confirmed as being able to take on a new client, we send you a PayPal money request for a three-hour block of mentoring. Simply pay that, and then we schedule your first appointment!

What if I can only afford three hours?

That’s okay. We maximize what you’ve got to work with. If you can only do three sessions, then we’ll hit the most important topics with you. Our goal is NOT to keep you coming back forever–it IS to get you up and running with confidence on your own so you won’t feel the need to keep renewing.

Will you review scripts or art outside of the call?

Of course we will, if that’s what’s most useful. The time taken to do that does come out of the three hours allotted. We will talk with you to make sure that reviewing material is the best use of the time at that point, and we can tailor the level of review to maximize what you need out of it. For example, if you just want to know the broad strokes about a script or about your art–that it communicates clearly, is compelling and the characters feel real and are engaging, then we won’t comment on the small stuff, and that will save more time for the calls. Or, if you really need someone to look over the whole thing to make sure it’s ready for publication, we can do a deep dive that takes longer, but should catch just about everything. It all depends on the needs of the individual client.

What does it mean if Comics Experience can’t accept me right now?

It means one of two things–we’re either simply too booked up to take on a new client at all, or it means that we don’t feel that we’re the right fit for what you need. We have turned people away on occasion because what they want or need isn’t something you get uniquely with us–in fact, we’ve often recommended a less expensive course of action if we know of one.

Sean McKeever

When working with a comics editor, I want to be challenged and guided by a competent mind, but I also want to feel encouraged to speak with my own voice. I was in good hands at Marvel with Marc Sumerak.


Fabian Nicieza

Writer, X-Men, X-Force; Deadpool co-creator

Marc was part of an excellent editorial team that was not only smart enough to hire me, they were good enough to make my work readable. Usually. He can definitely teech u how to be a gud editor!


Erik Ko

Marc is an editor that understands the balance between editorial and artistic input. He is always there to listen to the talents and seek solutions to make things happen! An absolute joy to work with!


Tom Brevoort

Comic Book Editor

When he was a member of my editorial team, I used to call Marc Sumerak ‘The Mechanic’ for the way he’d get his hands dirty in fine-tuning the engine of whatever story we were working on, and his detail-oriented approach to his work.


Chris Sotomayor

Comic Book Colorist

As a comic book professional, I’ve seen a lot of editors come and go in this industry. I have to say, Marc is the kind of editor you want to work with. He’s not a simple ‘traffic manager’ who plays sudoku between crises. Marc works with people. He works with creators. He knows how to get the best out of you, and push you to the next plateau and nurture your talent and the project in ways you wouldn’t have thought of. He’s always a seamless part of the team. And that’s what you want. A teammate. Not someone who rubber-stamps or passes the buck. You want someone looking out for you. That’s Marc. This motherf****** just knows comics.


C.D. Lacroix

I only wish I had stumbled upon your website much earlier in the time I’ve been pursuing comic book writing. The mentoring sessions I had provided exactly what I was looking for. My mentor was direct in what he liked about the proposal, but also offered some refreshing advice on a potential major weakness of the story. Now I have renewed confidence and insight to take that bold next step in my creative writing efforts.


Curtis Lawson

This was an incredible experience. Mike gave me some invaluable insight into my own work, the craft of comics and the workings of the industry. He was professional, friendly and insightful. I would like to set up another three hours…


Michelle Therese

These mentor sessions are fantastic! I am beginning to venture out of my comfort zone and into the challenging territory I have always avoided due to lack of confidence in my ability as an aspiring writer. It might sound like a cheesy advertisement clip but whatever: Comics Experience is absolutely making my dream come true! I might not end up published any time soon but I am moving forward! How else do you achieve your dreams unless you move forward, right?


Mark Behar

I learned a great deal while working with Andy. He and his team of qualified experts own the expertise required to mentor aspiring creators. I can’t overstate the importance of receiving direct guidance from those who have earned success in the industry. It ain’t easy, but the folks at Comics Experience can show you how it’s done.

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