Comic Book School is proud to present Creator Connections: Panel 1, a comics and flash fiction anthology. The anthology, which is the culmination of the 8-Page Challenge issued at the beginning of the year by Comic Book School, is now available to download for free at www.comicbookschool.com/titles/creator-connection-panel-1-anthology/.
Download the free comic and check out the complete list of creators and stories.
We are nominated for awards in two categories. If you get a chance, please vote:
Rookie of the Year: Vote for our editor Erin Donnalley
About the Anthology
Creators in the Comic Book School Community were challenged to create an 8-page comics story—from start-to-finish—over the course of the last year. They were mentored throughout the challenge by Buddy Scalera, the anthology’s publisher and Comic Book School’s dean of students, who wrote a series of blog posts that covered the creative and publishing process of a story that he wrote for Marvel Comics. Additionally, Comic Book School’s network of pros, including Darren Sanchez, Scalera’s editor at Marvel, Ron Lim, the artist who collaborated with Scalera on the Avengers Assemble story he used as the example in his blogs, and Cathy Kirsch (My Writing Hero), a Columbia University creative writing professor, provided support through live-streamed seminars, personal meetings, and forum posts.
“This anthology turned out better than I’d expected,” Scalera said. “It’s proof that no matter how bad things are (and 2020 was very, very bad) you can still—to quote Neil Gaiman ‘make great art.’”
The idea of the anthology was conceived during a conversation at New York Comic Con between Scalera and anthology editor Erin Donnalley at the annual Comic Book School Creator Connection panel.
“Buddy challenged me to write an 8-page comic for New York Comic Con 2020,” Donnalley said. “I wrote myself a schedule and sent it to Buddy for accountability. He thought it was great, and asked me to share it with others from the networking events. Thus, the 8-Page Challenge was born.”
“Every year, aspiring creators leave our educational panels with so much enthusiasm,” Scalera added. “We wanted to create something that not only allows them to sustain that enthusiasm, but also to build on it and sustain their momentum throughout the year. The 8-Page Challenge helped our community members do this and to achieve their goals to create and publish comics.”
The anthology also features a section of illuminated flash fiction pieces, which feature a one-page fiction story accompanied by a single, full page illustration. The Flash Fiction Challenge ran concurrently with the 8-Page Challenge and was also open to all members of the Comic Book School community.
All together, the anthology contains 16 creator-owned stories, 13 comics and 3 illuminated prose.
These challenges were the first initiatives of the create.comicbookschool.com forums. The forums, which are housed on the Comic Book School website, are the new home of the Comic Book School community. They are designed to foster community and collaboration, and to allow members to build connections, interact with and support one another, access educational resources, and share news and accomplishments. Throughout the challenge, the members of the community posted their progress, provided feedback on each other’s work, and held each other accountable throughout the process. Many of the creative teams in the anthology met on the forums, which were crucial, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person meetings and comic cons were not an option.
“In some ways 2020 was the best possible year for making comics,” Scalera said. “The lockdown from the pandemic forced many of us to stay in the house. It gave us back a precious resource: time. It also gave us time to reconsider our priorities. We had to set priorities that we’ve never had to consider before. In 2020, we had to consider the very real possibility of food shortages, household supply shortages, medication shortages, and even death.”
“The global events of 2020 can’t be overstated,” Donnalley said. “We all had a lot to deal with as our worlds turned upside down. But even with everything that happened, we succeeded and created this anthology. We built a community of creators and support for those creators. We hope to continue this 8-page challenge every year, bringing more creators into the world of published comics.”
Release date: 12/29/2020
An anthology based on the #8PgChallenge of 2020
- Publisher: Buddy Scalera
- Editor: Erin Donnalley
- Prose Editor: A.A. Rubin
- Designer: Grant Shorter
- Design Assistant: Arielle Lupkin
- Legal: Kristian Stout
- Publishing Consultant: Rob Andersin
For more information, register for the Comic Book School Newsletter.
Learn more about the 8-Page Challenge announcement page.
Message boards for the 8-Page Challenge