Camosun Draws Upon Comics' Popularity
Apr 17, 2012
(News Release) VICTORIA — Building on the success of a popular visual storytelling course, Camosun College is pleased to introduce a new eight-month comics and graphic novels certificate program.
The only one of its kind in western Canada, this program is unique in its approach that blends drawing, creative writing, and publishing into visual storytelling.
Over the past five years, an average of 82 million copies of comic books and graphic novels were sold in North America, exceeding $420 million in annual sales. In 2010 alone, 45,000 web comics were published, ranging from traditional comic strips to graphic novels.
“There has never been a more exciting time to be working in visual storytelling,” says program leader Ken Steacy. “I'm absolutely thrilled to be working with students young and old in this exciting new program!"
The concept for this new certificate program was developed by husband-and-wife team Ken and Joan Steacy. Ken Steacy is well-known in the comic book industry and has worked in the comic and graphic novel industry for over 30 years as an author, artist, art director, editor, and publisher.
The recipient of an Eisner and an Inkpot award, Steacy was inducted into the Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, a lifetime achievement award honouring Canadian comic book creators for their contributions to the industry. Visual artist Joan Steacy is the author/illustrator of graphic novels So, that's that! and more recently, Aurora Borealice, which had its debut at the Toronto Comic Art Festival in 2011.
Students in the program will create and publish a 16-page comic or graphic novel, contributing to an impressive portfolio they can show publishers, clients, and prospective employers.
“If you haven't read a graphic novel in recent years,” says creative writing instructor Laurie Elmquist, “you may be surprised at the diversity in the market — everything from history to humour to autobiography.”
Graduates will be able to apply their new skills as freelance authors and illustrators for comic books, graphic novels, and web comics, or pursue careers in gaming, motion graphics, animation, and advertising, and as storyboard artists for BC’s strong film and television industries.
Applications are now being accepted for the September intake. Admission requirements include a minimum C+ in English 12 (or equivalent) and an electronic submission that includes an applicant statement, samples of work, and familiarity with computer applications and software. Full details are online.