Comic Art

Carl Peterson – Visual Storytelling Course

Breaking into the comic book industry is tough. You have to be better than the next guys (and there are a lot of them) and you have to know the right people inside the industry. As part of my attempts to break in, I’ve taken several classes that helped build my art skills. But in addition to expert art instruction, the Comics Experience pencilling class gave me insight on how to get my art in front of the right eyes.

Over six weeks, professional penciller Robert Atkins taught my fellow students and me how to pencil a clear, entertaining story on a deadline. He covered all the essential processes, from interpreting a script to thumb-nailing to finishing a page. And Robert was great at tailoring the class to the interests and abilities of his students. He regularly critiqued each student’s art, offering suggestions on how to improve his/her personal storytelling and technique.

And even though the bulk of the class was focused on art (rightly so), the most useful part for me was the discussion on how to network. Meeting editors, presenting original concepts to publishers and making the most of conventions were a few of the topics Robert discussed during the class. Even after learning all this, it’s clear that getting a pencilling gig requires skill, persistence and lots of thick skin, but thanks to this class, at least I can see the path.

I would encourage anyone who is serious about pencilling comics professionally to take the Comics Experience pencilling class. Between the art instruction and the industry insight, I know you’ll learn something useful.

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