Nov 252015


Greetings, Soon-To-Be-Turkeyfied Meltdown Maniacs,

It’s time for a bunch of Meltdown University classes to start, so check out the descriptions below and see if there’s one that’s right for you.  I suspect that some of you have heard about the classes, thought about taking one, but haven’t taken the leap.  Well now’s the time to get down to making some comics!  Why wait?

The next Creating Comics class starts on Saturday, December 5 and goes from 2pm to 5pm. This is a 14-week series that is set up like a college class and is a kind of crash course in doing comics. Writers take the class and learn script format, script writing skills, and more. They finish the series with a 15-page script for a complete comics short story. Artists in the class learn about sequential art, composition, and more. They finish with an eight to ten page minicomic. Both learn the elements of visual storytelling that are specific to the comics medium and about marketing and selling their comics. It’s a fun environment but a place where a lot of work gets done.

The next Art of Inking class starts on Saturday, December 5 and goes from 11:30am to 2:00pm.  Here, students learn the various techniques involved in taking penciled art to the next step — fully finished, inked work.  The focus is on real-world (non-digital) techniques of inking on paper.  Students learn how to use various tools like the crowquill, other types of dip pens, various brushes, and all kinds of disposable marker-type pens.  The class runs for six weeks.

The next Writing Longform Comics starts on Tuesday, December 8 and goes from 7:00 to 10:00pm. In this seven-week comics writing class, students will learn to map out a long-form story – either for a planned series (print or web) or graphic novel.  They’ll learn how to work within the structure of the two formats 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.

Pre-requisite: To sign up, you must have taken the Creating Comics class.

All three classes are $30 for each session payable at the beginning of each one.  The ones above are taught by me, Meltdown University Program Director Jim Higgins.  I’m a former DC Comics editor and have been teaching writing and drawing comics for over 15 years at art schools like The School of Visual Arts in NYC, Otis College of Art and Design, CalArts, The Society of Illustrators, and UCLA Extension.

Look for announcements for start dates for our next Photoshop For Comics, Kids Make Zines, Watercolor Painting, and Marketing and Promoting Your Project classes soon.

For more info and to sign up for classes, go here!

Oct 172015


Alert!  The next Meltdown U Creating Comics class is starting on Saturday, October 31 at 2pm.  That’s a DATE CHANGE from the previously announced starting date.  Learn to write and draw comics in a fun environment (you’re in a comics store, just for starters) with an experienced instructor (me), Jim Higgins.  I’ve been teaching college as an adjunct since 1987 and teaching comics at art schools since 1998, including CalArts, The School of Visual Arts, and UCLA Extension.  I’m a former DC Comics editor (in the Paradox Press imprint), a comics writer, film consultant, and someone who is passionate about the comics medium.

You can learn about writing, you can learn about drawing, but learning about those two disciplines as they relate to comics?  That’s something hard to find.  But it’s here for you in the Creating Comics class!  Writers take the course and finish a 15-page script, and also get lots of info on how to find artists and how to best work with them.  Artists take the class and write and draw their own 8 to 10-page minicomic.  Everyone learns the essentials of visual storytelling as it relates to comics.

ALSO — the Drawing Basics class is starting on Saturday, October 24 at 11:30am.  The class is six sessions and is pretty much described by its title — it’s about the fundamentals of drawing.  You’ll learn figure drawing, perspective, how to use light and shadow, basic anatomy, and more.  You’ll get a solid foundation in drawing in a short period of time.

For more information and to sign up, go here:


Mar 242015


The Art of Inking is a class where you’ll learn to ink black and white line art like the comics pros and great illustrators.  We’ll go over all different methods of inking on paper using brushes, dip pens, disposable ink pens, brush pens, and even getting special effects using things like sponges (!)  Different styles of inking by master artists will be analyzed and taught.  There will be some homework, but a lot of the work will be done in the sessions where the students can learn from and help each other.

The class will be taught by me, Jim Higgins.  I’ve been working in the comics business for a million over 20 years.  I’ve been an editor at DC Comics, have a small indie comics publishing company (called New Suit), and have taught comics for 16 years at places like The School of Visual Arts in NYC, CalArts, Otis College of Art and Design, UCLA Extension, and here at Melt U.

The start date is Saturday, April 21 from 11:30am to 2:00pm. The series runs for six weeks at Meltdown Comics.  For more information click the link and scroll down to “The Art of Inking.”


Sep 212012

By Mia Dominguez-Letelier
“I am 8 year old in 3rd Grade.
I love to write and read comic books. Little LuLu, Nancy, Snoopy, Adventure Time and many more. I believe my dad has special powers and he can do ANYTHING. This book is based on my favorite daddy he meets all the animals. I created this book so he can read a book with me. I wish everyone to read books to kids. My dream to publish this book and many many children to enjoy the book with their sisters, brothers, grand parents and all their families.
If this project wins, I am publishing 500 books of Chubby Daddey. I would like to donate 100 books to the reading charity people so I can help more children enjoy books I hope to have my dream come true.”

Mia’s Kickstarter

Continue reading »

Apr 022012

Samy’s Camera Photo Camp Comes to Meltdown!  Ages 9-17

In this 8-week class, students receive a digital point & shoot camera, a t-shirt, hat, and memory card, all to keep!  Each class focuses on a different field of photography (e.g. Fashion, Food, Sports, Photojournalism) with a classroom component and a picture-taking portion.  Students master a variety of concepts and techniques, like composition, perspective, framing, self-timer, macro, and much more.  All equipment is provided (e.g. toys and tripods on Macro day, dress-up clothes and reflectors on Fashion day, jump ropes and basketballs to learn timing & panning on Sports day).  The last class is a graduation event for students and families.  Students show off what they’ve learned before receiving their diploma, camera, personalized photo book, and DVD.  Next, students take a guided tour of the four-story flagship Samy’s store – visiting each department (rentals, video/film, cameras, pro lighting, medium format, and more) to get hands-on time with the equipment they’ve learned about in class.

Samy’s Camera Photo Camp teaches kids that photography can and does change the world. Photography enriches individual lives, while holding the power to transform world perception and history.  Photographers alone record a sliver of time, while simultaneously molding the meaning and emotion his/her photo conveys.  Samy’s Camera is delighted to share their singular love and knowledge of the art of photography with the next generation of photographers.

Samy’s Camera Photo Camp began in 2009 as a way to bring photography education to Los Angeles schools where arts programs have fallen prey to budget cuts. Two and half years later, Photo Camp has taught over three hundred students at nine different elementary schools across the Los Angeles area, from Eagle Rock to Marina del Rey.

Photo Camp is run by Samy’s Camera’s Deborah Cloyed and Mike Wood.  Deborah has a decade+ experience as a commercial photographer, in addition to many years in sales and teaching at Samy’s Camera. Mike Wood runs the Apple Department at Samy’s Hollywood, and also considers Photo Camp his pride and joy.

The class meets on Wednesdays from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.  The eight-week class starts April 25th, with graduation held on June 13th.

A $220 flat fee is all-inclusive (camera, too!).  Register in person at Meltdown on Wednesdays April 11th and 18th from 5-6pm or contact Samy’s Camera at:   For ages 9-17.
SPACE IS LIMITED. To secure a place in the class, you MUST pay in full, with 1) a signed registration form and 2) signed release form BEFORE April 18th.