USA Today has an interesting story on the rise of comic art classes in colleges and universities around the country. The article mentions a few specific schools and the increase in students: the Center for Cartoon Studies applications for enrollment are up 50%, the School of Visual Arts in New York has doubled the number of students majoring in cartooning since 2002, and The Savannah College of Art and Design has 300 undergraduate and 50 graduate students in comic art studies. Other programs mentioned: Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY starts their program this spring; the University of Alaska Fairbanks began courses in 2005.
“Schools are now recognizing the creative and commercial value of comics,” Tyler said as she watched students outline their pencil drawings in ink, filling in sections with black or gray tones. “An interest in comics and cartooning doesn’t have to be a secret any more.”
Some students hope to learn skills useful for advertising, film, video game or illustration careers. Some just enjoy comics, and others want to produce comics or graphic novels.