Kids Comics Intensive

Jumpstart Your Comics
Work in 2023!

Get the tools and knowledge you need for success as a kids or YA graphic novel creator in these live, hands-on online courses!
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“The world of publishing can feel like a dark room full of closed doors for creators. After decades in publishing, I can tell you – it doesn’t have to be that way!”

“Sometimes all we need are the right tools and somebody to help us understand how to use them in a way that reflects our most authentic voice.”

 

The Intensive is for you if You Want:

To Level Up

You’re ready to be part of a community of peers and mentors who’ll help you fast track your storytelling skills

To Strategize

Gain insight into the industry, develop a solid plan to maximize your exposure, and reach your dream audience

 Critical Feedback

Weekly discussions with your critique group, instructors, and a few surprise special guests!

Quick Course Overview

Kids Comics Intensive are two courses focused on the Craft and Business of making and selling children’s and YA graphic novels. You can sign up for the first session, the second session, or both. Course sessions are LIVE (dates & times TBA). Replays will be available within 24 hrs afterward.

  • Course 1: Craft with Rivkah
    You will skyrocket from the basics of writing and drawing a graphic novel to advanced approaches in plotting, scripting, and visual storytelling techniques.
  • Course 2: Business with Janna
    Learn everything you need to know about marketing your graphic novel, making money, and understanding the publishing landscape. You will make tangible progress on your career through hands-on assignments.
  • Both sessions include:
    • Targeted, practical weekly lessons
    • Live weekly critiques and Q&A follow up sessions
    • Weekly challenges to help you practice skills right away
    • A dedicated online peer community
    • A craft & career building Final Project with a special guest star
    • Access to KC Studio Lunch & Learn and Book Club Events

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Testimonials

“Taking Janna's Intensive class was a huge lift creatively and psychologically and helped me figure out a positive trajectory for my work.” 

—Alexis E. Fajardo, Kid Beowulf

“I had a complete new story that did not exist before the Intensive, and the confidence to get it finished and ready to pitch. I'm happy to say this book has been sold. Thank you, Kids Comics Intensive!” 

—Jannie Ho

"The Intensive laid a foundation for my creative career, from getting the right mindset to nitty-gritty tactics with feedback from industry professionals and fellow peers.... Community really is key - without the friends I’ve made because of KCU (not least because of my critique group!) I wouldn’t have gone from being unsure of the direction of my budding career, to being agented and having written my first book."

—Katie Risor

"Even after decades in publishing and a finished graphic novel it wasn’t until I took kids comic unite Masterclass that I was able to identify next steps. The first being to Join the Kids Comics Intensive which provided me with the up-to-the-moment industry knowledge, an effective action plan and the necessary resources make that plan succeed. The result: a self-published graphic novel, fully funded on Kickstarter overnight."

—Patrick Lugo
Patrick Lugo

For Comic Creators!

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Who is the Intensive for?

This program is perfect for you if:

  • You’re getting started in your career as a creator.
  • You’re a writer, illustrator or writer-illustrator looking to take your work to the next level.
  • You’re familiar with traditional children’s books but want to learn more about making children’s graphic novels.
  • You’re familiar with comics publishing but want to learn more about graphic novels in the children’s book space.
  • You’ve been published but still aren’t making as much money or having as much of an impact as you want.
  • You’re self-publishing and want a solid plan to maximize your success.
  • You need hands-on accountability to improve your craft & business in children’s comics.

Meet your instructors!

Janna Morishima

Meet Janna

Janna Morishima is a literary agent specializing in graphic novels and visual storytelling. She started her career at Scholastic, where she co-founded the Graphix imprint. She is also the founder of Kids Comics Unite, an online community for kids and YA graphic novel professionals.

Rivkah Lafille

Meet Rivkah

Rivkah LaFille (pronounced "lah-fee") is a children's writer, illustrator, and graphic novelist who specializes in slice-of-life type stories with HEART. Her graphic novel series, STEADY BEAT, was nominated to the American Library Association's Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. Currently, she is working on a graphic novel about creative writing with First Second and a YA literary GN with Candlewick. She teaches the art of writing and illustrating children's comics at Kids Comics Unite and is an active member of the SCBWI.

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Why Your Work Matters

You might sometimes feel exhausted, trying to build your career little by little. Or you have so many ideas and feel pulled in so many different directions that you get paralyzed by indecision. Or you’ve gotten enough rejections that you want to hide under your blankets and never come out.

In fact, there might be some really low moments when you feel like giving up.

Here’s why you should absolutely, positively never give up:

  • You have stories inside you. Those stories are meaningful to you… and you want them to make an impact on real-life kids. Kids who might be similar to you when you were young.
  • When you get those stories out, share them and polish them and do the hard work to make them the best they could possibly be… then get them published and put them into kids’ hands… you’ll have accomplished something truly remarkable.
  • You’ll feel fulfilled, both personally and professionally.

Although the world is different now, there are some things that will never change. You have to do the work. You have to connect with your people. You have to entertain and inspire your readers, not just in your books, but as a writer or artist — as a human being.

If you do these things well, you’ll build a rock-solid career.

So if you’re ready to dive headfirst into creating your best work and connecting with readers who love you… please join us.  Let’s make it happen.

Keep going!

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Let’s do this

Ready to step up and make it happen in 2023? Make your action plan a reality.

Stay up to date on the 2023 Intensive!

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Frequently Asked Questions

This will all be announced at the beginning of 2023!

Yes, they'll be done via Zoom. Replays for both lessons and coaching calls will be posted within 24 hours of each session.

We will archive the course once it's finished and you'll still have access to the videos, course materials, and activity feed. Yay! 

This program is designed for both “pre-published” and “already published” creators. First of all, we’ll be covering a lot of fundamentals that will help beginning creators get started. But second, we’ll also be able to go so much deeper on those fundamentals to discuss how more advanced participants can move to the next level. This is true for both the Craft and Business sections of the course.

All the fundamental principles we’ll be teaching in Kids Comics Intensive apply to almost any type of book creator. At its heart, what we’ll be working on is: how to constantly improve your work; how to be clear and confident about who you are as a writer/artist; and how to connect with your readers. These principles apply whether you’re making kids’ graphic novels, or something related but different (for example, hybrid illustrated chapter books, or picture books with comics elements).

Many of the specific examples we use in this program will be from the children’s graphic novel world (from very young children to YA), and the majority of the participants will probably be working in that area. But this will be a very inclusive and welcoming community and we are happy to have you join us if you are a picture book creator, a graphic novelist working on content for new adults, or something else. We can all learn from each other.

Absolutely! The Craft half of the course is tailored for both writers and artists, and all of the Visual Narrative lessons are lessons writers should know when writing a graphic novel because you have to think visually. There may be a few areas we touch on that are exclusively for artists (especially when we talk about the tools of the trade), but the majority of the course should be applicable to writers and artists both.

As for the Business session of the Intensive, I have to be honest that it is harder to break into traditional children’s book publishing as a writer-only focusing on graphic novels. It’s easier if you’re an established author with a successful track record. One route I recommend for writers-only is to focus at first on hybrid books: ie, picture book manuscripts with comics elements incorporated, or illustrated chapter books with short comics sequences. 

Another possibility is self-publishing. One of the top-selling kids graphic novels on Amazon right now, Legend of the Star Runner, is self-published by an author who found his own illustrator.

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