Lately I feel like reading World’s Finest, or the Teen Titans has been like taking a master class in how to write fantastic comics. They’re fun and surprising. Fresh, but respectful of longtime readers. And that new Superman story, Last Days of Lex Luthor, in that oversized DC Black Label format, just blew me away. So much so, that I even passed along my copy to my dad. (I only pass along the really, really good stuff to him.)
Mark Waid, the writer for these series, has written a lot of stories over the years, and I’ve sure enjoyed his stories over the years. A few years ago, I assumed he hit his peak with his brilliant relaunch Marvel’s Daredevil. It was outstanding on so many levels. But like a star athlete, Mark Waid makes a habit of shattering his own personal best and creating better and better comics.
Likewise, Howard Chaykin has been at it a while. In some ways, he still seems like a “new guy” to me. Wasn’t it just yesterday when he and that Simonson guy were bursting onto the scene? But somehow we’ve all gotten older, and now Chaykin is an elder statesman. His latest brilliant series Hey Kids! Comics! is also a masterclass in comics history and storytelling.
So it makes all the sense in the world that these two gents would offer a real masterclass for aspiring comic book creators.
Mark Waid and Howard Chaykin will debut Comic Book U, an intensive, all-day seminar on the craft and process of creating comics at UCLA’s Ackerman Hall on Saturday, November 18. This in-person, seven-hour event will feature targeted segments on comic book creation, a catered lunch in the middle of the day, take-home supplies and lessons, and a dedicated networking event at the end. Tickets are on sale now for $150 at Eventbrite, and seating is limited to only 120 attendees.
Waid explained some of his motivation in creating this event. “Between the two of us,” he explains, “Howard and I have over 90 years of experience, and we’re eager to share it with students. We’re teaching the kind of class about writing and storytelling that I wish had existed when I was just starting out. “
The initial Comic Book U will take place at the Bruin Reception Room at Ackerman Hall on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. Future events will take place in other academic venues as well as at comic conventions, including the Albuquerque Comic Con and various Galaxycons.
Comic Book U begins on November 18, 2023. Tickets are available here. I’ve got to find a way to get there – it looks like spectacular!
The event is produced by 7 Lafayette Speakers Bureau, an agency representing writers and artists for academic, convention, and other professional needs. You can visit 7Lafayette.com for more announcements and dates for Comic Book U.