Saturday, August 11, 2007

AN MFA IN COMICS?

For those of us who write stories with both words and pictures, here's an option off the beaten path: the Center for Cartoon Studies, a two-year program in White River Junction, Vermont, now offers an MFA degree. With excellent faculty, great facilities, and a lot of incoming talent, it's a workshop environment in which an unbelievable amount of work actually gets done. Want proof? Check out I Know Joe Kimpel: a site devoted to distributing the mini-comics work of CCS students and alumni.

My only beef with the school is that it doesn't have much funding -- but that should change in the next few years as it matures and finds some more sponsors...

For those of you who are interested, the filmmaker Tara Wray is currently making a documentary about the school. Here's the trailer for Cartoon College:

49 comments:

L. said...

That's so neat. I can't even tell you how great that is. And note that he says "THE DRAWING SKILLS DON'T MATTER." So it's encouraging for someone like me, who draws kinda passably but really not very well. Or at least it would be great if I felt like I could really give this a try, which I would if I were like ten, fifteen years younger. Or, who knows?

But it's just good to know it's out there. I love me some graphic novels.

Rambler said...

This is so fresh and inspiring.

M. Ramirez Talusan said...

hmmmm... another mfa for me? :)

Austin Kleon said...

“Drawing is easier to teach than critical thinking. Don’t get me wrong, rendering well is a tremendous asset for a cartoonist. Still, I think it is often over emphasized. In fact, many of the great cartoonists sublimate their drawing skills and instead favor a style that relies more heavily on graphic design. They distill images until they function more as language or picture-writing.”

- James Sturm, journal for Slate.com about running the Center for Cartoon Studies

Vince said...

This is good to know as someone who dabbles in photography and graphic design. Comics never go out of vogue because a new generation of readers comes along every few years. I do not draw; however, I have a collection of comic books at home.

Lizzy said...

Austin,

My absolute favorite artist whose style is so unique that it is always instantly recognizable to me is Jaime Hernandez. I'm a big-time Love and Rockets fan, but specifically goo-goo for Jaime's work.

That is so intriguing, I think, what you said about images functioning as picture-writing. Writing has its roots in drawing, right? So cool. So strange to contemplate.

Thanks for the link.

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summer said...

I am a writer but not an illustrator, and I would like to find an illustrator/cartoonist who might want to work with me on a comic graphic novel. Is there any way the Center can help me? I am willing to pay a student, and work via email/computer. I live in the Greater Boston area, and I am a certified teacher.

My graphic novel is about my fabulous 2nd grade teaching career. Could you email me with suggestions? Do you have a student newspaper where I can place an ad to find an illustrator? Thanks.
2susan@pobox.com

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