The comic book industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry earning its place in American literature. Watchmen, which is recognized as the most celebrated graphic novel of all time, has sold over 200 million copies since its publication in 1986. Comic books such as X-Men, Spiderman, Batman and Captain America have turned animation and graphic design into a growing field of study. Students interested in comic art can choose among several schools located in the U.S. and Canada.
The Kubert School
The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art (http://kubertschool.edu/index.html), or the Kubert School as it’s commonly called, is a graphic design institute located in Dover, New Jersey. This three-year technical school teaches students the craft of cartoon illustration. Founded in 1976, this school is the only graphic arts school in America that is devoted entirely to cartooning. The school is well-respected and has a reputation for being extremely challenging. Students are requires to take every class offered by the school and they are not allowed to drop a course. Failing even one class means failing for the entire semester. Notable alumni include Sherm Cohen, writer and director of SpongeBob SquarePants; Tom Raney, Marvel comic artist; and Matt Hollingsworth, colorist on Daredevel comics.
Center for Cartoon Studies
The Center for Cartoon Studies (http://www.cartoonstudies.org) is a two-year unaccredited institution located in Hartford, Vermont. The Center for Cartoon Studies offers a one-year certificate program, a two-year certificate program and a Master of Fine Arts degree. The school’s curriculum focuses on sequential art, production and cartooning. Graduation requirements include a senior-level thesis usually in the form of a completed graphic novel. Though still a new school, several alumni have already begun recognized careers in the comic book industry, such as Charles Forsman, winner the 2008 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Series with the creation of “Snake Oil."
School of Visual Arts
The School of Visual Arts (http://www.schoolofvisualarts.edu) is a large art school located in Manhattan, New York. The School of Visual Arts was ranked one of the “Top Fine Arts Schools” in 2008 by U.S. News & World report. The curriculum is based on a four-year, 120-credit course degree. Students are awarded an accredited Bachelor’s of Arts degree upon graduation. The school also offers a graduate program with concentrations in painting, drawing and sculpture. While enrolled in the undergraduate program, students can study cartooning, illustration, animation, graphic design, computer art and more. Notable alumni include Bill Plympton, a two-time Academy Award nominated animator; Pres Antonio Romanillos, supervising animator of Disney and Dreamworks animation; and Steve Ditko, a co-creator of Spider-Man.
Max the Mutt Animation School
When choosing a school to study cartooning and graphic arts, there is no reason to limit your options to schools in America. Max the Mutt Animation School (http://www.maxthemutt.com/default.asp) is a private Canadian college located in Toronto, Ontario. The school offers a three-year diploma in Illustration for Sequential Arts: Comic Books and Graphic Novels. Students study extensively in inkling, penciling, computer coloring, story development, script writing and more.
Baptist Johnson was first published in 2000 when a poem he wrote won first prize in a local writing contest. He also writes and edits for Etched Press Society, a micro-publishing company based in Wilmington, N.C. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from East Carolina University.