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Course review: Comics – Art in Relationship

Improve your arts skill with a beginners’ course in comics. Receive feedback on your projects from peers and have a great time learning with a personable and knowledgeable instructor.

Have you ever wished you could have more creative freedom while you learn? This is how I felt before I decided to enroll in a course called Comics: Art in Relationship by California College of the Arts. Not only did this course give me the freedom I needed to be extremely creative, but it also provided me with enough instruction to balance out my creativity. In this article, I’d like to share my personal views of what I think is an exceptional course.

Why I Decided to Enroll

I decided to take this course because I’ve been wanting to improve my art skills for a long time. Ever since I was a little kid, I was endlessly fascinated by comics such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, The Simpsons, Garfield, Peanuts, Batman, and numerous others. In fact, I admired the art and dialogue in these comics so much that this admiration inspired me to enroll in Comics: Art in Relationship. Besides this, I enrolled because I wanted to enhance my artistic skills, continue to pursue my dreams of becoming an artist, and learn to express myself creatively in a similar fashion to the famous comic book creators I’ve always loved.

About the Instructor

Matt Silady, course instructor.

There seems to be a great deal to like about Matt Silady, the instructor. While I’ve never met the Chicagoland native, I watched all of his instructional videos and read his profile page. To start with, I was impressed at how friendly and personable he seemed. As well as this, I could tell he had a real interest in comics and in teaching in general. After all, he spent six years of his life teaching eighth-grade students in Champaign, Illinois. After this, he attended the University of California at Davis and studied creative writing. He’s also the Chair of the MFA in Comics program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. In addition, he’s an Eisner-nominated cartoonist and he published a graphic novel called The Homeless Channel. Since he has plenty of professional experience, I felt like I could definitely trust his ability to teach people how to create comics.

I Started Out with a Few Useful Skills

When first starting out in this class, I had never taken any classes that related to it that I can recall. But I do draw, paint, and do other artistic activities in my free time on a regular basis. Plus, I still read the same comics I’ve always enjoyed. I feel like this was beneficial in this course because it helped me have at least a general understanding of how comics are supposed to be made. Moreover, I have several cartooning instruction books that I learn from every now and then. Another activity I do in my free time which I found to be helpful throughout the class is watching cartoons. The expressive nature of the characters featured on shows such as Spongebob Squarepants and The Smurfs helped me understand how to create interesting characters in a humorous way.

How to Be Successful in This Course

If you want to be successful in Comics: Art in Relationship, I’d suggest at least having an interest in drawing, comics, and using your imagination. Although you don’t need to have read the same comics as me growing up, I think it helps a lot to have an admiration for comic book characters, scenes, and stories. The course doesn’t require any prerequisites to be successful but it’s definitely important, as with any class, to have a genuine interest in the topic of comics. Otherwise, you might not have enough motivation to finish the course.

Information About the Course

Firstly, you can earn a certificate at the end of the course as long as you pay the $20/month membership fee. I thought this price was more than fair for everything I learned and the experience. Plus, the fee includes other immersive courses too if you want to enroll in one or more of them. Other than this, students do peer assessments of each other’s comic projects. I thought this was a tiny bit challenging but I had a great time reading and analyzing the work of my peers. One thing I wanted though was to be able to know what the other students thought of my work when they were doing the peer assessments. But after thinking about it for a while, I figured I might rather not know their personal thoughts because my work was beyond perfect.

Additionally, there was a discussion forum where we were encouraged to comment on each other’s work. What I would have preferred to be different about the course is I wish we were required to interact more often with the other students. I thought this would have helped me gain more out of the experience, especially since I feel like I could use the extra motivation to socialize. Other than this, I had a lot of fun coming up with ideas for comics, drawing them out, and reading the other students’ comics.

I Thought the Time Commitment was Fair

Initially, I thought the course would probably take a longer time for me to complete than it did. Indeed, I spent less time, probably about six hours per week (I completed it in about one month), finishing it sooner than the syllabus suggested. In my opinion, the course should have been longer because this is how much fun I was having. I felt this way because I wanted to gain additional knowledge of comic creation and participate in creating more comics.

Conclusion and What’s Next

Overall, the Comics: Art in Relationship course is for beginners and I enjoyed every minute of it. Whether you’d like to learn something new or just want to boost your creativity, this course could be right for you.

Other similar courses I think would be a good fit to take are How to Draw Dynamic Comic Book Superheroes-Start to Finish, Drawing Comics-Anatomy and Figure Drawing, The Art of Drawing Cartoon Comic Strips, and A Pro’s Guide to Digital Comic Book Coloring, among others.

Natasha Vigil Profile Image

Natasha Vigil

I'm currently a freelance writer but I'd rather be an artist. In my free time, I write poetry, draw anything I can imagine, and play musical instruments.

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