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Jun 062016


Jim teaching at Melt U

Jim teaching a Meltdown U class.

Hail and Hello!

Coming up in June — three Meltdown University classes for you to take!  Spend your summer learning about comics and art.  Check out what’s on deck:

A new Creating Comics class starts on Saturday, June 18 from 2pm to 5pm!  Writers join the class and learn about story structure, visual storytelling, how to find and work with artists, and how to create a comic script — format, techniques, and what the differences are between writing for mediums like film, TV, and animation and for comics.  They finish the class by completing a 15-page comics script. Artists who take the class also learn story structure as well as the language of sequential art — the arrangement of panels, page design, etc.  They get tips on drawing and help with inking.  They finish the class by writing and drawing a 10-page minicomic.  Sign up at the link below.

Inking on paper is one of the classic ways to illustrate black and white art and has been and still is a mainstay of comics art.  Digital art is here to stay, but the art of drawing with ink in the real world is still common.  But for many it’s a mysterious and sometimes daunting process.  In The Art of Inking class, I demystify and make the the process less scary by showing the techniques, skills, and ways to use the tools to make great work in this medium.

The class is only six weeks — intensive but informative!  The next one starts on Saturday, June 18 and goes from 11:30am to 2pm.  Sign up at the link below.

This last one is for only for CREATING COMICS CLASS VETERANS!  If you’ve finished taking one of the Creating Comics classes at Melt U, then you are eligible for the fairly-exclusive, somewhat-advanced, upper level class Writing Longform Comics. In this seven-week comics writing class, students will learn to map out a long-form story – either for a planned comics series (print or web) or a graphic novel.  They’ll learn how to work within the structure of the format and how to plan either a long story arc or episodic chapters that make up one long tale.  There will also be discussions about how to get and work with an artist and how to approach potential publishers with a pitch or proposal.  Students will finish the class with a detailed story outline and written proposal that’s ready to show a publisher.

Once again, to take the class, the Creating Comics class is a PREREQUISITE.

The class starts on Tuesday, June 21 and goes from 7pm to 10pm.

For more information and to sign up for the classes, clink the link below.

Hope your June is going well and that you’re enjoying some good comics.  Take care and I hope to see you around the store soon.
Jim Higgins
Comics Writer, Editor, and Instructor

Program Director
Meltdown University

Meltdown University

Meltdown University



Apr 192016


It’s been a busy month or so at Meltdown University.  We’ve been to conventions, seen lots of progress on students’ comics in the classes, and just finished an Inking series.

On Sunday March 6, I had a table at the LA Zine Fest at The Majestic in Downtown LA.  It was a HUGE affair and was packed to the rafters with zinesters, comickers, and fans. The table was filled with Melt U student comics from the past few years and sales were the best yet at any con or fest.

LA Zine Fest seen from the Mezzanine level at The Majestic.

LA Zine Fest seen from the Mezzanine level at The Majestic.

Also there was Melt U grad and consistent-comics-maker Sarah Bitely.  Sarah’s been working on her comic Pimpkillah for years (the first issue was done in a Melt U Creating Comics class) and is in the planning stages of making it into a film.

Sarah Bitely with the latest issue of Pimpkillah at LA Zine Fest.

Sarah Bitely with the latest issue of Pimpkillah at LA Zine Fest.

From March 25 to 27, WonderCon was going on at The LA Convention Center, having moved up from Anaheim. This was an even bigger show than last year and attendance was high (Saturday tickets sold out before the con started).  I was there making connections for some comics projects I’m working on, buying back issues of Jack Kirby comics, and as usual, ran into some past and present Melt U students.  I also managed to find a group of very cheeky Spider-Men (Spider-Mans?).

BUT — there were Melt U grads there selling their comics, too!  Laraine Mestman shared a table with Bibi Davidson for the three days.  They made new comics friends, networked a little, and sold copies of their comics — Laraine’s Being Frank and Bibi’s Pyper.

Laraine and Bibi at WonderCon 2016.

Laraine and Bibi at WonderCon 2016.

Back at Meltdown in the Melt U classes, in the latest Creating Comics class, student Matt Buga is working on a pretty surreal story about a duck who takes a boy and his Legos on an adventure.  Here’s an example of his layouts, which are the type of things YOU’LL be doing if you take the class!

Matt Buga's layouts.

Matt Buga’s layouts.

The Drawing Basics class is starting again THIS SATURDAY, April 23, from 11:30am to 2:00pm.  It’s a six session class where you’ll learn drawing fundamentals, everything from figure drawing, to perspective, to light and shadow, to drawing the face.  Below is a page from Jack Hamm’s Drawing the Head and Figure, a book I use material from for the class.

How to draw the face.

How to draw the face.

Also coming up is the next Creating Comics class on Thursday, April 28 at 7pm.  The class is for both writers and artists looking to learn how to make comics. It’s 14 sessions just like a college class.  The writers learn scriptwriting skills, story structure, get info on how to work with artists, and will complete a short comics script by the end of the class.

The artists also learn story structure, as well as visual storytelling techniques, page layout, panel composition, and more. They finish the class having completed an 8 to 10-page minicomic. All while having fun and learning about comics!

For more information and to sign up for the classes, go here:

And who am I, you ask?  I’m Jim Higgins, Meltdown University’s program director and founder.  I was an editor at DC Comics for six years, am a small comics publisher, have written comics, and done some screenwriting.  I’ve taught comics classes for 18 years at places like Otis College of Art and Design, CalArts, UCLA Extension, The Society for Illustrators, The School of Visual Arts in NYC, and more. I’m presently a freelance writer and comics editor.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you around the store.

Yours in comics,

Jim Higgins


Dec 292015


Happy Holidays!

The new year brings new starts and New Year’s resolutions.  So now’s the time to sign up for a class to learn how to write and draw comics!  The Creating Comics class is Meltdown University’s flagship series.  In it, writers learn story structure, how to write a well-formatted comics script, and how to find and work with artists.  They finish the class with a 15-page script for a short comics story.  The artists also learn story structure and get instruction in the panel-to-panel language of sequential art (a.k.a. comics).  They finish the class with an eight to ten-page minicomic written and drawn by them.

The class requires work and persistence but it all happens in a fun, supportive environment.  Good, honest critiques are given as well as support for what’s being done well.  Classes are only $30 each payable at the beginning of each session.  The series starts on Wednesday, January 20 at 7pm.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S STILL MORE!  No, we’re not offering a free kitchen slicer or vegetable chopper (apologies to Shamwow Vince).  We’re offering, once again, our Drawing Basics class!  This is a short, six-session series which covers the fundamentals of drawing — perspective, figure drawing, composition, light and shadow, anatomy, and more.  It’s for beginners and people who may have taken some classes but want a refresher course.  The class is only $180 paid in one payment on or before the first class which is on Saturday, January 23 at 11:30am.

Sign up or please, post a link to this page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the social media platform of your choice!

Sign up here:

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