This past Sunday at Escapist Comics on Claremont Ave. in Berkeley, the 3rd Annual California College of the Arts (CCA) Student Comics Fair showcased comics from the college’s Master’s of Fine Arts in Comics program, as well as from Introduction to Graphic Novels, an undergraduate class that teaches students about comic books and the process of making their own. Justin Hall and Matt Silady, both Adjunct Professors in the MFA program, put together the show and introduced each student creator and their work.
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by Laura Braun
Posted on Monday, January 6, 2014 by Laura Braun
All my attention right now is channeled into preparations for our second MFA in Comics summer session at CCA. To get an idea what we are up to, here’s a comic about last year’s session by graduate cartoonist, Shane McDermott!
Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 by Allison Byers
Maximilian Uriarte (Animation 2013) literally draws from experience to create the virally popular comic strip Terminal Lance. Started in late 2009 and based on Uriarte’s experiences as a Marine in Iraq, Terminal Lance is now published weekly in the Marine Corps Times newspaper and online.
In the Marines for “Art’s Sake”
There are many reasons men and women join the military, but Uriarte’s reasoning at age 19 was quite unique. “As an artist, I felt an intense need to experience the world in order to give a kind of legitimacy to my art. It might sound strange, but ultimately I joined for the sake of my art. I wanted to find the most difficult thing I could imagine.”
Uriarte joined in 2006, with the war in Iraq in full swing. With high scores on his ASVB entrance exam, Uriarte chose to go into the infantry. “My actual MOS ended up being 0351, Infantry Assaultman. I was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines in Hawaii, where I deployed to Iraq twice between 2007 and 2009.”
Art at War
During Uriarte’s second tour, his battalion commander saw his penchant for art and photography and offered him the opportunity to serve as combat artist and photographer. Through this, Uriarte was able to travel all over Iraq, taking photos and sketching the Marines’ daily lives.
“Most of the work I did was official, classified, documentary photojournalism. On a rare occasion, I would embed with a unit and effectively be allowed to capture anything I wanted, photographically or otherwise. This was the most fun, as I was given artistic freedom to sketch and take pictures of basically anything.
Part of my billet was also photographing for use our battalion “Cruise Book” (a yearbook for the deployment), which I designed cover to cover.
“This would ultimately prove to be an important step in my career, as it not only gave me experience I could draw from, but also laid the groundwork for Terminal Lance.”
Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 by Allison Byers
As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that there is a place for comic books in higher education. For example, schools like the California College of the Arts provide students with an opportunity to prepare for a career in the comics industry. Those who enroll at this college can earn a Master of Fine Arts in Comics, according to the institution's website.
Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 by Allison Byers
So when the California College of the Arts launched its new MFA program in comics, Hall was a natural pick to be among the first professors to teach the art, craft, and history of graphic storytelling on a graduate level. The two-year (with summer sessions) 60-student, low-residency program features classes, workshops, talks, and mentorship opportunities designed to immerse students in comics and begin to build an academic base for their study. It looks really cool.
Posted on Thursday, August 1, 2013 by Allison Byers
Terminal Lance: The White Donkey is a webcomic that is written and illustrated by Maximilian Uriarte, a prior-enlisted Marine with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Animation from the California College of the Arts. Max tells us that he has been writing this story for the past three years. “It is a fictional story of a Marine, Abe, and his existential journey through the Marine Corps, Iraq, and his return home. Within the story, Abe enlists in the United States Marine Corps in the hopes of finding that missing something in his life that he can’t explain,” Max related.
Posted on Thursday, August 1, 2013 by Allison Byers
Matt Silady wasn't into comics as a kid in Chicago until high school, when he gave in to a comic-book geek who'd been pushing Marvel's mutant superheroes on him. When he got to the last panel of his first X-Men, he immediately devoured the book again.
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 by Jim Norrena
A new guest lecture series presented by MFA in Comics!
In celebration of the arrival of the inaugural MFA in Comics class, California College of the Arts will host "Comics in the City," a summer guest speaker series featuring four of the most talented creators in comics today.
Each Friday in July, the speaker series will highlight various aspects of the comics medium -- from independent publishing to the craft of writing the most iconic superheroes.
Posted on Monday, May 6, 2013 by Allison Byers
It may be Saturday, but for today’s Shelf Porn class is in session. Matt Silady, chair of the California College of the Arts’ MFA in Comics Program, shares his robust collection of graphic novels and trade paperbacks, which also serves as a lending library for his students. Matt’s a comic creator himself, whose The Homeless Channel was nominated for an Eisner a few years back.
Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 by Jim Norrena
The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are heralded as the "Oscars of the comics industry." This month CCA's MFA in Comics and Writing and Literature faculty member Justin Hall received an Eisner Award nomination for No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics (Fantagraphics Books, 2013), which he edited.
The publication is nominated in the Best Anthology category. (The publisher, Fantagraphics Books, is the leading publisher with 24 Eisner Award nominations.)
"I'm thrilled to have received an Eisner Award nomination for No Straight Lines," exclaimed Hall. "The Eisners are the most important awards in the American comics industry, and this is a dream come true for me!"