Cartoon and comics major programs
October 12, 2008 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Are there any US colleges or universities that offer majors in comics and cartooning (the traditional 2D variety, not 3D animation)?
posted by zainsubani to Education (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: SCAD's got a major in sequential art. A guy I know from high school is s.a. major and is a senior there now. I can put you in touch with him if you'd like.
posted by phunniemee at 4:31 PM on October 12, 2008

Best answer: RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) might be helpful. I knew someone in high school who majored in illustration there, and it seems to be a fairly flexible program. Hope this helps!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 4:41 PM on October 12, 2008

Best answer: The Center for Cartoon Studies. I know that the Minnesota College of Art and Design (MCAD) has something because I attended a seminar there a while back, but their website seems to be down at the moment. If you're looking at specific institutions I'd check out what they've got going in illustration programs; frankly if your goal is to make it as a cartoonist developing some commercial illustration skills might not be a bad hedge.
posted by nanojath at 4:50 PM on October 12, 2008

(That's the, uh, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, sayeth the embarassed Minneapolitan, but nevertheless, the website is still down).

Another place to explore - cartoonist and biggish wheel in the world of yakking about what comics are all about Scott McCloud is a prolific public speaker - checking out his public speaking page will probably turn up a bunch of programs, and his page and general and 3 didactic books on comics (Understanding, Reinventing and Making Comics) are worth checking out - Understanding Comics in particular has been considered a classic in the field for quite a while and among other things has a serious bibliography of scholarly works on comics.
posted by nanojath at 4:56 PM on October 12, 2008

Cal Arts?
posted by troy at 5:29 PM on October 12, 2008

Yep. SCAD, it has a really good one as far as I know. I'm a SCAD student, but not in the sequential art program.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 5:30 PM on October 12, 2008

Looks like MCAD is back up. Here's their Comic Art BA program page.
posted by nanojath at 5:49 PM on October 12, 2008

Best answer: Maryland Institute College of Art has an illustration program where some comic book people tend to teach (like Brian Ralph) but it's not specifically a comics/cartoon major. California College of the Arts has animation and illustration programs -- same sort of deal.

I personally don't think it matters for this sort of thing, but Center for Cartoon Studies is not accredited and only offers a certificate for undergrads (you can take a second year for no credit). But there are a lot of cool people coming out of there and it seems like a great program if that's what you want to do.
posted by darksong at 5:57 PM on October 12, 2008

At Hampshire College, you design your own major and could definitely major in cartoon/comics within the art department.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:58 PM on October 12, 2008

Response by poster: These answers are very helpful, folks, and I am most grateful. Keep 'em coming.
posted by zainsubani at 6:05 PM on October 12, 2008

Evergreen State College has turned out a few cartoonists, including Matt Groening. They've got a pretty flexible curriculum, as I understand it, so I think it should be possible to major in comics/cartooning/graphics novels if one so desired.

My friend's wife is a comic artist, she's gained some acclaim, including being one of a handful asked to contribute a serial comic to the New York Times magazine. She went to Evergreen. My friend has noted how many of his wife's friends from Evergreen have done an admirable job creating a life that allows them to pursue their passion.
posted by Good Brain at 8:01 PM on October 12, 2008

Up north here there is Université du Québec en Outaouais in Gatineau, QC, Canada, just across the river from Ottawa. Instruction is in French, (Bande Dessinée) which may not work for you.

I don't know the field, but it occurs to me that you may want to also consider traditional illustration programs, and work on cartooning as a focus while going through the program. Inasmuch as it may be easier to find work as a cartoonist/illustrator as opposed to pure cartoonist?
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:08 PM on October 12, 2008

Best answer: The School of Visual Arts in New York does.
posted by Zahara at 11:51 PM on October 12, 2008

Try Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle...the link seems to be down right now..but I know someone who is working in graphic arts using the 2-d cartooning skills she honed there...not sure if there's a major.
posted by mumstheword at 12:32 AM on October 13, 2008

My friend and her husband went to the Paier College of Art in Connecticut. The husband works for Family Guy now.
posted by saffry at 4:43 AM on October 13, 2008

I've taken a couple of extension classes at MCAD, and their comics program is monster awesome. Ryan Kelly is one of my favorite teachers in any discipline.
posted by COBRA! at 7:44 AM on October 13, 2008

Is this with the aim of an eventual career in comics? I can’t say I’ve encountered anyone working in the field who’s actually studied it – they’ve all pretty much learned on the job, though some of them have studied art or graphic design (you can really tell the guys with the good solid design background).
posted by Artw at 9:09 AM on October 13, 2008

Response by poster: Actually, Artw, this question is more in the way of a survey, trying to find out what kinds of programs of this sort already exist.
posted by zainsubani at 10:13 AM on October 13, 2008

OK, feel free to ignore :)
posted by Artw at 10:23 AM on October 13, 2008

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