October 19, 2012

Launching Low-Residency MFA in Comics in Summer 2013

California College of the Arts (CCA)
CCA Comics students and faculty at San Francisco’s Alternative Press Expo.

From serialized comic books to literary graphic novels and cutting-edge interactive web comics, we are living in the new golden age of comics. Never before has this wonderfully rich medium received equal parts critical acclaim and cultural popularity.

Beginning in summer 2013, California College of the Arts (CCA), an international leader in art and design education for more than a century, will launch a program dedicated to the study and creation of one of the world’s most popular art forms. The MFA in Comics program will help writers and artists realize success in this distinctive visual storytelling medium. Applications will be accepted beginning November 15, 2012, for the incoming summer 2013 class.

“We’re creating a program where students will have critically acclaimed graphic novelists as their personal mentors,” says Matt Silady, MFA in Comics associate chair. In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the medium, the program brings together faculty from CCA’s writing, illustration, fine arts, and design departments as well as accomplished artists from the industry.

About the MFA in Comics Program
CCA’s MFA in Comics program will prepare students to bring their dream comics projects to life. The innovative curriculum has been crafted to take full advantage of each student’s strengths as a writer and artist. The 48-unit, low-residency nature of the program is also designed to appeal to students looking to pursue their graduate degree while maintaining their place in the workforce. By combining intensive summer sessions in San Francisco with long distance, one-on-one mentoring with CCA’s award-winning faculty, students will get hands-on instruction as well as plentiful personal guidance.

Program Leadership
Matt Silady, an Eisner-nominated graphic novelist and assistant professor in CCA’s undergraduate and graduate writing departments, is associate chair of the new program. Silady notes, “CCA has always embraced this medium, and with this program, it places its students at the forefront of the modern literary comics movement.”

Professional Connections and the Future of Comics in the Classroom
Studying at the heart of San Francisco’s lively scenes in comics, fine arts, and writing, students have the opportunity to interact with top professionals in the industry. The program also focuses on preparing graduate students to teach comics at the college level and share their skills with the next generation of artists and writers. Ultimately, CCA’s new MFA in Comics provides students with an opportunity to sharpen their skills, expand their artistic horizons, and challenge their assumptions of what this humble yet limitless—and increasingly popular—medium can do.

About California College of the Arts
Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is noted for the interdisciplinarity and breadth of its programs. It offers studies in 21 undergraduate and 10 graduate majors in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design, and writing. The college offers bachelor of architecture, bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, master of architecture, master of arts, master of fine arts, and master of business administration degrees. With campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, CCA currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students. Noted alumni include the painters Nathan Oliveira and Raymond Saunders; the ceramicists Robert Arneson, Viola Frey, and Peter Voulkos; the filmmaker Wayne Wang; the conceptual artists David Ireland and Dennis Oppenheim; and the designers Lucille Tenazas and Michael Vanderbyl. For more information about CCA, visit


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