Comic Art Module launches soon at Jordanstone

A module which looks at historical and contemporary comic art practices and will include visits by top British comic creators is due to commence at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee this month.

The expansive module will be available to current level 3 undergraduate students studying under the Communication Design umbrella.

The module will be a mixture of theoretical and practical lectures, seminars and workshops delivered in the studio and in conjunction with the School of Humanities. The module is unique in the current programmes offered in Scottish art colleges and will run for the duration of Semester 1.

Top industry speakers and guests such as Cam Kennedy, Frank Quietly, Colin MacNeil and David Bishop will make visits to the College, delivering workshops and offering practical and career advice to students.

The comics market is part of an ever expanding multi-million pound industry, which feeds into the games, TV and film markets, and the emerging field of Comics Studies, in which the University of Dundee is leading the way, shows students the various ways in which popular culture engages with industry and commerce.

Freelance designer and animator Phillip Vaughan,
who authored the Comic Art Module
at Duncan of Jordanstone College.

“You only have to look at the recent slew of Hollywood comic book adaptations to see that the comics industry can be very lucrative for a top creator,” argues freelance designer and animator Phillip Vaughan, who authored the module and who lectures at Duncan of Jordanstone. “We hope to discover the next big comic book talent here in Duncan of Jordanstone!”

Phillip has over 15 years experience in graphic, print and interactive design, motion graphics and the 3D computer games industry and has worked on high profile licenses such as Braveheart, Star Trek, Tom and Jerry, Teletubbies, and Wallace & Gromit, subsequently working as a cut-scene producer for Farscape. He also realised a lifelong ambition and worked with the creators of Judge Dredd on a video game project for Digital Animations.

The students will be tasked to produce an anthology publication in print and in a digital format, utilising their own original concepts and characters. By the end of the module students will be in possession of a creative piece of work which could form part of a portfolio.

The opportunity is to open up an area of undergraduate study that is currently very much underrepresented in the UK, and to take advantage of the increasing demand for courses dealing with comics and graphic novels. The University of Dundee’s commitment to this is seen in the recent launch of the MLitt in Comic Studies by the School of Humanities, led by Dr Chris Murray.

Murray, who is course leader of the postgraduate MLitt in Comics Studies is backing the module at Duncan of Jordanstone, and will assist in delivering it, just as Phillip Vaughan will assist with the delivery of the MLitt course on comics.

“I’m very happy to see Duncan of Jordanstone taking on this course” he says. “It has been obvious for a while looking at the Degree Shows that students at DJCAD are very influenced by comics, so there is a clear demand for this course.

“I’ve supervised dissertations on comics and graphic novels by art students at the College for several years now but it is clear that what they have been looking for has been a creative outlet and a dedicated module in this area,” he continues, “so Phil’s course is a very positive development, and fits in very nicely indeed with what I’m doing at the School of Humanities.

“Collaboration between Humanities and the Art College has been a very important part of making the development of Comics Studies at Dundee possible, and we have plans to pursue this further, making Dundee a focal point for comics training, teaching and research”.

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1 reply

  1. Changed days from the 1970s. They wouldn’t let me do cartoons when I was there!