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Sequential Art listed schools and maybe ranking?

CalGal17CalGal17 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
Oldest son is going into Animation. It was very easy to find "top 50 schools for Animation" online.

Second child is interested in Sequential Art. Is there a place that lists top school or even just schools that offer SA as a major? I must be missing it somewhere.

Thanks

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Replies to: Sequential Art listed schools and maybe ranking?

  • ArtAngstArtAngst Registered User Posts: 166 Junior Member
    edited November 2017
    Sequential Art is usually a concentration within the Illustration major. School of Visual Arts has their own track called "Cartooning" - they historically have ties to Marvel (still in NYC) and DC (recently moved to CA) http://www.sva.edu/undergraduate/cartooning

    SCAD does too https://www.scad.edu/academics/programs/sequential-art

    There's a few others but not coming to mind right now.
  • CalGal17CalGal17 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Thank you.

    We are looking at SCAD, (actually taking him down for ScadDay on the 11th).

    I just wondered where else may have it. It makes sense that it is called different things different places though.

    Is there a ranking system anywhere?
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,948 Senior Member
    Don't forget about MCAD - they are one of the only art schools in the country offering a Comic Art major.

    I haven't seen a ranking but if you stick to the good animation and illustration schools you'll probably do just fine.
  • CalGal17CalGal17 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Thanks. I will take a look.

    Although I will be honest, I am starting to question spending lots of $$ on a degree in Comic Art. The job prospects and pay don't seem to line up with the cost of attending (unless he gets a huge scholarship.)

  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,948 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    My D15 received enough merit aid so that her net COA was around $25,000 per year (she didn't qualify for need-based). Received a free MacBook Pro as well. MCAD is actually less expensive than other nationally-ranked art/design schools. The current president is the former provost at RISD. MCAD has always been state-of-the-art w/r/t contemporary media (including digital) and their students put out some pretty good work (in my view). Many don't know about this school because it's small and personalized but my daughter really thought their GD program was top-notch. Not sure if a major in comic art will pigeonhole anyone or whether one can branch out but that's something that can be asked during exploration. Anyway, FWIW.

    PS - forgot to add: her friend from HS got need-based aid as well and her NCOA was something like $3,000 so practically a full ride. They seemed pretty generous with the aid. This was three years ago.
  • ArtAngstArtAngst Registered User Posts: 166 Junior Member
    edited November 2017
    Yep, my oldest was initially interested in this as a career and was published in a comic anthology as a high schooler, got to do the con circuit with it (NY Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con etc) and received some great mentoring/networking as a result. But she's not so sure she wants to rely so much on freelancing and is looking more into illustration in the bigger picture (more along the lines of graphic design).

    There are full time jobs, but that's not necessarily the norm & those folks usually fall into various categories:
    - have made it to the 'top' so to speak and are employed full-time at the "Big 2" (Marvel and DC)
    - wear several hats as creators and editors at the secondary level (Image, IDW, Dark Horse, etc)
    - have gotten super lucky with publishing deals for their graphic novel series with places like Scholastic or 1st Second (ie Noelle Stevenson and Faith Erin Hicks are good exs)

    Many others freelance and juggle multiple jobs both in comics or out (graphic design, teaching etc). Comics writer, artist and college prof Jim Zub has a great website with all the ins and outs of the business. Good read, not to scare your kid, but to help understand the reality of the business. http://www.jimzub.com/how-do-i-break-in/

    Also have him follow alot of his fav artists on Twitter. They talk shop there amongst themselves ALOT.
  • ArtAngstArtAngst Registered User Posts: 166 Junior Member
    Here's a fairly recent article that looks at the earnings.... http://www.comicsbeat.com/being-a-cartoonist-by-the-numbers-and-the-numbers-are-ugly/

    (eeek the title sort of speaks for itself, and since my kids is female she's been VERY aware of alot of the issues that have plagued the industry...)
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,956 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    Comic books and graphic novels are an interesting breed. It takes a TON of self-promotion if you have any desire to put your own work out in the field. You need a business mind. No joke.
    It's not all going to be learned in school. It's learning economics of the trade, working with printers, going to conferences, dealing with the public just as any business does. A lot is just not classroom fodder.
    Did I say TON of self promotion?

    From what I've been introduced to by D (who is publishing a comic along with her friend) my initial thought would be to major in illustration and take a track that rounds out that interest. Especially if you want to work for someone else rather than producing your own story then the illustration aspect is really key. Creating the story is another ball of wax (story development, character etc). but that element can also be added along the way..

    .There are many facets to creating comics--one is actually film studies so you learn how to pick out key story elements and then frame them properly. From all angles--just like the movies. Close ups, perspective, wide-angle etc.
    What's the dramatic scene? What do we want to show to move the story?
    Writing is key of course (but that might not be you)--it's more akin to screen writing in many respects.
    Animation majors get this film education as part of their training hopefully.

    Why do I say illustration? I've hovered in a few great comic book shops lately with my D showing me around pointing out all her favorites, who's famous and why--story, illustration, who's who in the comic world....she knows them all.
    My opinion is that the art draws me in first. The top comics have great graphics in a style particular to them. It really is good art. I'm positive that if someone is hiring someone else to illustrate their comic they want a certain level and they need the ablility to copy a style..
    If you want to do your OWN comics then you have to learn it all and I can't imagine that school can get you there--a lot will be self-taught no matter what route you choose..




  • CalGal17CalGal17 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Thank you, all things to consider.

    Although I am not sure MCAD is the least expensive. Tuition is #37K, which is about what SCAD is. Housing is less but I don't know enough to comment on what the housing is like. It doesn't look like they have a meal plan???
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,948 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    We have a kid at SCAD and we are pretty familiar with the housing at MCAD so I can comment on that as well. MCAD has apartment-style housing and no required meal plan. You can load up your MCAD card with bucks for the grill they have on campus and there are a ton of restaurants, delivery, and food shopping in the area. SCAD's housing is more expensive than my Pratt Kid's and GA isn't exactly NYC! Plus the meal plan is required and one rule that pretty much applies to all schools is if it's a "single swipe" system, they make money off of it so you definitely over-pay there. However, most of the dorms are nicer and the Hive is brand new.

    My D16's COA at SCAD is mid 50's before scholarship. We were able to get that down to about $37,000 after merit. Some kids undoubtedly get more merit aid than she did, but we were happy with her numbers. If you add the one bedroom/2-person apartment to the cost of MCAD tuition (a little under $5,000), plus another $2,000 or so for books that's about $44,000. Add about $2,000 for meals (that's how much my oldest spends in Brooklyn - go figure) and it's about $10,000 less per year than SCAD, assuming no scholarship. MCAD requires the Macbook pro laptop but - at least at the time - if you applied by their EA deadline, they waived the cost and handed you the laptop!

    I really like both schools. Both emphasize professional development, and both have quality instructors. They are distinctive from one another - SCAD being very large, very high energy, with a whole lot of majors, while MCAD is very small and a bit quieter but still produces some terrific work. Anyone considering both would need to visit to figure out if that's the best fit. But that's true for any art/design school.
  • CalGal17CalGal17 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Thank you.

    My oldest will be going to SCAD. It just works best for him. He starts in January, so I can't yet comment on my thoughts on it other than we are impressed with their internship opportunities. They seem quite committed to helping students get them (and future jobs.) More so than a few other schools we visited.

    But this thread is about child #2. He is artsy but not as much as son #1.

    In doing a little research last night, I wondered if something like digital media would be a better major for him. Several of our state schools actually offer it and he is more academic than son #1. Something well rounded like Digital Media would give him a more broad overview and if he tried out a few things, he could figure out exactly what it is he really wants to do and save a bomb of money.

    I don't know, I am just trying to help him think through this.

    All we know right now is that we are not paying $200K (or even $100K) for a degree that potentially nets $30K per year!

    If we can't figure it out soon he will just start at the local CC. No harm starting there.
  • CalGal17CalGal17 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    @JBStillFlying, so there are dining options at MCAD?

    I am asking because my child will not have a car there and I didn't see it on their website.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,948 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    We live in the Twin Cities metro so I can answer to many aspects of MCAD. Don't hesitate to contact me via pm for anything. To answer your question about need for car: Not Needed! Most there won't have a car and the transportation via city bus and light rail is excellent! Uber is plentiful as well. MCAD is located near Calhoun Square/Uptown and right next to "Eat Street". It's a great location for a young person - lots of artsy types and young professionals/students in the area. MCAD shares the campus with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Children's Theatre Company and most of the classrooms and studios are in one huge building with an indoor walkway to the remaining section (the original buildings of the school as well as the library). I think there is even a secret indoor way into the MIA. Students live on and around campus - PLENTY of apartments including one called BAUHAUS (not sure if that's designated as campus housing or not but sounds interesting).

    MCAD runs the bistro and my D15, D16 and I have all dined there. Food is great, but you aren't required to buy into a plan. This is real important. Your son will save money by not having a meal plan. He can use the grill for Bfast/Lunch/Dinner whenever he wants - as a first year he'll probably be there a lot - but he's also free to order out (believe me, he'll know what to order within about a week there!), or head to a convenience or grocery for various food including pre-made. There will be trips off campus for shopping etc. and he'll soon learn where to go. So one scenario might be b-fast and lunch at the bistro, order take out for dinner. Or just bistro for all three. When my oldest was looking into it I definitely wanted her not to have to stress about getting food and was very comfortable with the options at MCAD.

    The beauty of Minneapolis is that it's a great place for young people. The U of MN is right in the heart of the city, there are numerous cultural and entertainment options, he can get to the airport quickly, etc. The area is fine for safety and - very important for parents - there is a very large choice of medical centers in the area including HCMC and Abbott, not to mention U of MN. We use CVS Minute Clinic for the quick things like strep test etc. but Minneapolis is also filled with urgent care clinics and there is going to be one nearby.
  • CalGal17CalGal17 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Thank you.
  • cag60093cag60093 Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    @JBStillFlying Thanks so much for sharing the financial info specifically for SCAD. Is the difference between COA and $37k merit aid? If so, is there a GPA requirement to renew the merit aid each year? Also was the merit given based on academics and standardized test scores since portfolio is not required at SCAD?

    I want to preface that our experience with college is with our eldest son who is a freshmen studying electrical engineering. His full tuition merit scholarship is renewable with 3.0 GPA. In art schools, how are art work graded? Can it be somewhat subjective at time? We are complete novices to the art world so my questions may be a bit simple.
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