Mar 272013



Intro by Marco Beltran

Meltdown Comics, to put it bluntly, is fucking awesome. I’m sorry for using the f-word in the description to this place, because it doesn’t lend itself much to the imagination but I felt that any set of words that my 25-year-old brain came up with did not do the place justice. I tried. Honestly, I did. I had this whole thing about how walking into the store was like walking into a dreamscape, and that it was like how the child version of me imagined my room would look like when I grew up, but how would this help someone who’d never been there or never heard of this place? The store also changes a lot. I could tell you about the big “Big Boy” statues or the area dedicated Star Wars stuff, but then I’d sound like a liar and jerk if you, dear reader, read this and decided to make a trip and these things were not there!

The truth about Meltdown Comics, as you’ll hear straight from the owner/co-founder Gaston Dominguez-Letelier, is that it’s the closest thing a building can come to being alive. It has a soul. It’s changing, adapting to the tastes of the staff and clientele, and serving as the epicenter for the LA comedic and creative scene. Several podcasts are recorded here: HarmontownMutant SeasonIndoor KidsYou Made it Weird, to name a few. You can take comic book writing, illustrating, formatting, classes taught by industry professionals. It’s a hub for nerdom, nerd culture, and nerd-centric programming. It should be the first place you visit when you make trip out to Hollywood.

Hopefully by the end of this feature you’re as inspired as we were, or at least feel validated in your pursuit of doing what makes you happy. That’s why we’re all here, right? To find happiness?

Jun 152012

It’s a crazy world, and crazy times, and YOU need to express how you feel!  That’s why you should be learning how to do your own comics.  In the Creating Comics class, former DC Comics editor and long-time comics teacher Jim Higgins gives you all the key information you need to make comics a career or to become an independent self-publisher whose comics get out into the world.  Jim taught at The School of Visual Arts Cartooning program in NYC, and presently teaches in CalArts’ prestigious Character Animation program and at the rigorous Otis College of Art and Design.

The class is open to writers, who learn story structure and how to write a comic book script, and to writer/artists, who learn about story and how to tell it visually in comics form.  The writers benefit from seeing the artists create a comic step by step in front of them and the artists benefit from having very story-focused feedback from the writers.

The writers will complete a script for a short comics story and artists will write and draw their own 10-page minicomic.  And then they will go forth and make comics at will!

WHAT TO KNOW: The class is $25 a session and will be meeting for 14 Wednesdays, like a semester of college but much cheaper and way more fun.  It starts on June 27th at 7pm.

WHAT TO DO:  For more information and to sign up, go to the link below.  And that’s it!  What are you waiting for?


Feb 142012

Anyone signed up or interested, please come on down.  Instructor Chris Northrop will be there ready to go!

Satine’s @DrawMelt class is cancelled for tonight so she can enjoy Valentine’s Day but returns next week. 

Feb 022012

On Saturday, February 11, from 12 to 5pm, the students from Meltdown University director Jim Higgins’s college classes will be presenting and selling their minicomics to YOU! These students from Otis College of Art and Design and CalArts will be showing off the great comics they’ve made during this past Fall semester in the college-versions of the Creating Comics Jim teaches at Meltdown. There’s some great work in these minicomics by these fabulous art students, some of whom may be the future stars of their own comics series. And you can discover them now!

(Want to take Jim’s next Creating Comics class, which starts on Wednesday, February 15? Want to find out about the other Meltdown U classes like the Webcomics and Inking and Coloring classes which are starting new series in the next week or two? Or learn about the ongoing Kids Comics class? Then go here for more info and to sign up:

And what else are you doing on with your Saturday afternoon anyway — watching reality television?  Spending important hours of your life on Facebook? Hanging around in some stupid park where you’ll just wind up with grass stains on your jeans? Your really good jeans? Instead, bring yourself down to Meltdown and see these rising stars and get some great comics. We have spoken!

Two pages from the minicomic by Otis student Carolyn Tom.


Jan 282012

Comic Book Writing And Drawing Classes Are What’s Hot!

Meltdown University announces the start of its next series of classes on writing and drawing comics, Creating Comics, plus a brand new series, Inking and Coloring Comics. What started three years ago as just one class, has now expanded to seven classes on five different subjects and is still growing. It’s a graphic novel school in the making!

“I was doing private classes in New York City while I was also teaching in the Cartooning and Illustration Department at The School of Visual Art,” said Meltdown U Program Director and former DC Comics editor Jim Higgins. “When I moved to LA, I approached Meltdown Comics about hosting similar classes. They were very receptive and supportive, and already doing things like gallery shows and book signings. Owner Gaston Dominguez-Letelier turned out to be probably the most innovative and aggressive event host in the comic book business.  I started the classes and ran them just like a semester of my college comics courses, but for a lot less money.”

The program has now grown to include two sections of Creating Comics, where the students either write and draw their own minicomic (a short-run, locally printed, photocopied comic) or write a short comic book script. In the past six months, the program has added an ongoing Kid’s Comics class for ages 7 to 12 taught by LA artist Donna Letterese, a Web Comics class about doing comics on the Internet by comedy writer and editor of the humor magazine The Devastator Geoffrey Golden, two DrawMelt: Life Drawing classes moderated by artist and celebutante Satine Phoenix, and will soon add more.

Meltdown U’s newest offering, Inking and Coloring Comics, is starting on Tuesday, February 14 at 7pm. The class is taught by professional comics artist and colorist Chris Northrop, who has worked for Marvel, DC, and other major comics companies.  “Inking and coloring are skills very specific to comics and we’re one of the only places in California where you can learn them in one place,” Higgins said.  Northrup has been teaching comic art for years.

So who takes these classes? Screenwriters, graphic artists, computer programmers, teachers, social workers – anyone who has a story to tell and wants to do it with comics! Higgins also teaches comic book classes at Otis College of Art and Design and CalArts, but says, “Meltdown U is for everyone.”

The next Creating Comics class begins Wednesday, February 15 from 7 to 9:30pm.

The next Web Comics class starts Saturday, February 11 from 12 to 3pm.

The Kid’s Comics class meet on Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30pm and is ongoing.

To sign up for these classes, go to:

The DrawMelt: Life Drawing classes meet on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7pm and are ongoing.

To sign up for these classes, e-mail Satine at