The California College of the Arts is one of very few schools to offer an MFA in Comics. But if you’re just starting to make your own comics—or perhaps not quite ready to commit to a degree program—here’s a rad opportunity that anyone can take part in: a free online course that kicks off in February.


The Massive Online Open Course in comics, a first for CCA, will be entitled “Comics: Art in Relationships.” It offers five sessions with instructor Matt Silady (who is both the chair of the MFA Program in Comics, as well as an Associate Professor in the Writing and Literature Program) and is aimed at both beginner and experienced artists. Check out Silady talking about the program in the video above.

Here’s the course description and a syllabus:


Comics are one of the most popular and exciting ways to tell a story. This course offers a look at the fundamental building blocks of the comic book medium. Exploring panel to panel transitions, text to image relationships, and the intricacies of page layouts, students will examine new and innovative ways to bring their stories to life.

This course is designed for both beginning and advanced visual artists. Whether students have tried their hand at comics before or are simply interested in investigating how comics work, this course will provide insights to help storytellers make the most of every page.

Session 1: Defining Comics

Identify key relationships in sample texts & demonstrate the use various camera angles on a comics page

Session 2: Comics Relationships

Create Text-Image and Image-Image Panels

Session 3: Time And Space

One Second, One Hour, One Day Comics Challenge

Session 4: Layout And Grid Design

Apply multiple panel grids to provided script

Session 5: Thumbnails

Create thumbnail sketches of a multipage scene

The free (FREE!) class is being offered by CCA through online platform Kadenze. Learn how to sign up here and more about how Kadenze works here.