Teesside University

Information from Teesside University on the BA and MA Comics and Graphic Novels Programme that they have been running since 2015.

Teesside University BA (Hons) and MA Comics and Graphic Novels

'Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.' Dr Seuss

Creating comics is more than a job - it's a vocation. We live in a golden age for the comic book, in which Far Eastern manga is now part of the popular culture of the West. We have seen a graphic novel awarded the Pulitzer Prize, 10 cent funny books of the 1940s turned into iconic, billion dollar franchises and the internet change the way we make and read comics forever. The combination of words and pictures can produce something more powerful, more exciting and more personal than either alone.

The mastery of communication through words and pictures is at the heart of this course. We aim to produce a new breed of storytellers, each with their own individual, formidable voice. You emerge as experts at communicating through cartooning, understanding how the medium works from the technical aspects of perspective, composition and figure drawing to the founding theories of modern literature.

Comics are also entering into more mainstream areas of advertising, marketing and public relations - anywhere where a message needs to be communicated in as unforgettable and universal a manner as possible.

Teesside is ranked joint 17th out of 73 institutions for Design & Crafts in the Guardian University Guide 2021 (121 institutions participated).

Julian Lawrence Biography

Julian Lawrence (Senior Lecturer Comics & Graphic Novels) is an award-winning cartoonist and educator specializing in comic books. Born in England and raised bilingual English/French in Québec, Canada, his work has been published and displayed internationally by Fantagraphics Books, Les Editions des Plaines, Conundrum Press, National Film Board of Canada, Penguin Books, Cartoon Network, University Press of Mississippi, Viz Comic, and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

As course leader for the MA Comics and Graphic Novels Programme at Teesside, Julian works with the team to deliver practical and academic modules that focus on employability, research, and creativity to replicate aspects of industry. The course focusses on making comics to a professional standard, whereby the multifaceted aspects of the comics medium (storytelling, scriptwriting, storyboarding, concept art, character design, environments, illustration, graphic design, fine art, and more) open opportunities in many fields within the creative industries.

Julian’s research concentrates on ethnographic investigations into the ways comics transmit narratives. His research explores freehand narrative drawing and its impact on representations of artist identity. Investigations of these topics led him to combine theories of authorship with semiotic analysis of comics and create lessons that support students in developing a voice, applying narrative drawing, and negotiating conceptions of identity. His most recent published works include three graphic novels, two book chapters, several journal articles, and he is currently writing a PhD thesis on the impacts of comics-based research in education. www.julianlawrence.net

Teesside University Online

Web: Teesside University BA (Hons) and MA Comics and Graphic Novels
Web: www.julianlawrence.net
Twitter: @comics_teesside
Facebook: @ComicsTeesside