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

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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?

  • 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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