Kadenze, Art School Offer Comics and Graphic Novel MOOC

comics

A college based in California is offering a free online course for artists on the creation of comic books and graphic novels.

The California College of the Arts in San Francisco already offers an MFA in comics, and has now made available a massive open online course (MOOC) entitled “Comics: Art In Relationships.” It will be offered in partnership with the online course provider Kadenze, which will host the course.

The course, which takes a hands-on approach over a purely analytical one, is aimed at beginner- and intermediate-level artists and writers who want to work on comic books, graphic novels, and webcomics. Over 7,000 students have already enrolled since the course opened in February.

Matt Silady will be teaching the course in five sessions which include topics like creating scripts, thumbnails, and multi-panel grids, as well as general storytelling insights. Students will learn to use comics to tell stories effectively as well as deconstruct them from an academic point of view.

According to Cheryl Eddy of i09, the first session defines comics, helps students identify relationships, and demonstrates the thinking behind various camera angles utilized in comics. Session two focuses on relationships between text and images in comics. Session three involves one second, one hour, and one day comics challenges. Session four discusses layout and grid design when multiple panels appear on one page. Session five deals with thumbnails and how to apply them to multipage scenes.

Each session lasts a week and takes about ten hours to complete.

Matt Silady, originally of Chicago, is the MFA chair and the Eisner Award-nominated author of The Homeless Channel, reports Ayun Halliday of Open Culture. The Homeless Channel is a novel about a TV executive who starts a 24-hour cable network for the homeless. Recently, he’s also guest edited the SF Weekly comics issue and launched the first San Francisco Comics Fest.

He modified the MOOC from an existing course from the college’s MFA in comics.

He said:

Our partnership with Kadenze offers CCA’s graduate comics program the opportunity to reach future cartoonists around the world. Since the first session went live, we have sign-ups from the US, Europe, South America, Asia, India… artists and writers from every walk of life.

The college’s low-residency MFA program involves instruction in graphic design, printmaking, and animation, virtual collaboration with other students, and four-week-long summer workshops, according to the college’s websites. MFA courses include Theory, Tools and Techniques, History and Cultural Impact, Narrative Arts, Underrepresented Voices, Digital Tools, Production and Publication Design, Pedagogy, and Professional Practice, in addition to workshops.

The college also offers comics-focused YouTube lessons and lectures for free, reports Joe Blevins of AV Club. A trailer for the course is also available for viewing.

All CCA alumni can access a free three-month premium membership with Kadenze that allows them to register for multiple courses.