Take a Free Online Course on Making Comic Books, Compliments of the California College of the Arts

Gath­er round, chil­dren and lis­ten to Grand­ma rem­i­niscin’ ‘bout the days when study­ing comics meant chang­ing out of your paja­mas and show­ing up at the bursar’s office, check in hand.

Actu­al­ly, Grandma’s full of it. Graph­ic nov­els are enjoy­ing unprece­dent­ed pop­u­lar­i­ty and edu­ca­tors are turn­ing to comics to reach reluc­tant read­ers, but as of this writ­ing, there still aren’t that many pro­grams for those inter­est­ed in mak­ing a career of this art form.

The Cal­i­for­nia Col­lege of the Arts is a notable excep­tion. You can get your MFA in Comics there.

Even bet­ter, you need not enroll to sam­ple the 5 week course, Comics: Art in Rela­tion­ship, led by Comics MFA chair and Eis­ner Award-nom­i­nat­ed author of The Home­less Chan­nel, Matt Sila­dy.

You might write the next Scott Pil­grim.

Or ink the next Fun Home.

At the very least, you’ll learn a thing or two about lay­out, the rela­tion­ship of art to text, and using com­pres­sion to denote the pas­sage of time.

It’s the sort of nit­ty grit­ty train­ing that would ben­e­fit both vet­er­ans and new­bies alike.

Ready to sign up? The free course, which starts in Feb­ru­ary, will require approx­i­mate­ly 10 hours per week. The syl­labus is below.

Ses­sion 1: Defin­ing Comics

Iden­ti­fy key rela­tion­ships in sam­ple texts & demon­strate the use of var­i­ous cam­era angles on a comics page

Ses­sion 2: Comics Rela­tion­ships

Cre­ate Text-Image and Image-Image Pan­els

Ses­sion 3: Time And Space

One Sec­ond, One Hour, One Day Comics Chal­lenge

Ses­sion 4: Lay­out And Grid Design

Apply mul­ti­ple pan­el grids to pro­vid­ed script

Ses­sion 5: Thumb­nails

Cre­ate thumb­nail sketch­es of a mul­ti­page scene

Enroll here.

via io9

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Kapow! Stan Lee Is Co-Teach­ing a Free Com­ic Book MOOC, and You Can Enroll for Free

Lyn­da Barry’s Illus­trat­ed Syl­labus & Home­work Assign­ments from Her New UW-Madi­son Course, “Mak­ing Comics”

In Ani­mat­ed Car­toon, Ali­son Bechdel Sees Her Life Go From Puli­tiz­er Prize Win­ning Com­ic to Broad­way Musi­cal

Down­load 15,000+ Free Gold­en Age Comics from the Dig­i­tal Com­ic Muse­um

1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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Comments (10)
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  • David Olford says:

    In the 1980’s I bought the Mar­vel how to draw comics book, and quite like cin­e­ma films, but recent­ly I was diag­nosed with autism, I can draw very detailed pic­tures nd I have ideas on sto­ries, but with the diag­no­sis I think I have lost con­fi­dence that what I cre­at would be of gen­er­al inter­est and actu­al­ly be indi­vid­ual

  • Phil Mazur says:

    I feel Art isn’t about the mass­es. It’s about indi­vid­ual expres­sion. I would­n’t wor­ry so much about los­ing a gen­er­al audi­ence but rather what unique mes­sage might be had from your work on an indi­vid­ual basis.

    We’re all in dif­fer­ent places in life… and we’re all telling sto­ries, some­times lit­er­al­ly and some­times through our actions, but those sto­ries will only ever res­onate with those ready to lis­ten.

    Cre­ate for your­self and the lis­ten­ers will find you.

  • joseph m corbett says:

    David, odd­ly enough, it does not require a thing like autism, to give one a lack of skill. I can­not draw, but i can write. I have writ­ten books that are pub­lished, I write video games. I can­not draw. I sculpt, but 2d is out of the ques­tion. some peo­ple are just good at some things, and some peo­ple aren’t. I can promise that you are a bet­ter draw­er then I am, and i can assure you, that there are peo­ple out there, who are the ying to-your yang. NEVER let some­thing like per­son­al pride, or per­son­al opin­ion, stop you from cre­at­ing works of inge­nious, or even mad­ness. noth­ing stands in the way, except your­self. There are things you can do, to get ideas flow­ing. there are ques­tions you can ask your­self, that require answers. those answers, can be fac­tu­al, or in-fac­tu­al. you are the only per­son who can deter­mine if its right for your sto­ry. for exam­ple, Where is your char­ac­ter? why are they impor­tant? why is the set­ting impor­tant? how did my char­ac­ter become a part of this set­ting? does my char­ac­ter have an adver­sary? who? where did they come from? why do they care about the set­ting? what do they have to gain? what do they have to lose? these are the first things that you should ask your­self when writ­ing a sto­ry.

  • David Thomas says:

    I love the idea of cre­at­ing & pub­lish­ing a com­ic. I know some of what is involved but not enough. Plus, I have severe­ly lim­it­ed means, and am not as dig­i­tal saavy as I should be. If you have a USPS mail­ing list & a free print cat­a­log, let me know. For your online cours­es, do you offer any cre­den­tial to the grads? Thanks! .……Dave

  • Henry ezeh from Africa, Nigeria says:

    am a car­ton­ist, and real­ly good in it.got lot of com­ic book i made

  • Siva Muthiah says:

    Short cours­es in graph­ic nov­el illus­tra­tion n wrtit­ing

  • Hailey van der linde says:

    I am 12 years old I love every­thing FNAF I draw all day mak­ing my own car­toon story..next year I will start being home schooled and I want to make car­toon­ing a,part of my future.I think your course will assist me in my plan.Please explain to me what you want me to do..

  • Heather Thompson says:

    I want to be a pro­fes­sion­al writer ! Can doing a com­ic book help me reach my career choice?

  • Camila says:

    no ‑_-

  • Lulawit says:

    Hi am 22 years old I like to draw.I want my career choice is to make com­ic book

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