Academic Calendar 2023-24 
    Jul 15, 2024  
Academic Calendar 2023-24 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Comics & Graphic Novels (Certificate)

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Total Credits: 30
Credential: Certificate in Comics & Graphic Novels
Program Code: COGR.CERT
CIP: 50.0401


Comics and graphic novels employ visual storytelling, a compound language of words and pictures. Visual storytellers create narratives of every imaginable genre including fiction, non-fiction, and creative non-fiction, and their broad skill-set is applicable to comic books, graphic novels, comic strips, web comics, edutainment comics, and to the related fields of illustration, animation, and gaming. The culture, both here and abroad, increasingly embraces this communication form as both art and literature, drawing audiences young and old into libraries and bookstores, as well as online.

This two-semester program is designed to appeal to four types of students:

  1. Young learners, all of whom have stories to tell
  2. Post-secondary students, some with an existing degree
  3. Mid-career learners, seeking new skills/career options
  4. Post-career creators, turning passion into a retirement pursuit

While most colleges and universities have recognized the growing impact of visual storytelling, the focus of their courses is generally on the medium’s content. This program is unique in the Canadian post-secondary public school system, and addresses the specific needs of creators to understand, learn, and demonstrate their skills as visual storytellers. The skill-set with which our students graduate includes the ability to conceptualize, illustrate, format, publish, and promote their work, in both analogue and digital formats. Before graduating, students acquire experiential skills-based training, which results in publication of a multi-page full-colour comic that students present and display to the public at a Comic Arts Festival.

Career/Academic Advancement Opportunities

The market for these skills offers numerous career options, and graduates of this certificate program may choose to become freelance creators for mainstream publishers, to self-publish both in print and online, or to work in-house or on contract in the film, television, and gaming industries. Graduates may choose to continue their studies in other post-secondary credentials in other forms of visual art, including animation or film.


One of:

And all of:

  • Electronic submission of the following (these must be submitted together):
    • An applicant statement of approximately 500 words, describing themselves, what kind of stories they want to tell, what authors and illustrators have influenced them, what attracted them to this program, and anything else relevant to their interest in visual storytelling as an art form and career path.
    • Five to 10 pieces of work (stories, scripts, sketchbook drawings, examples of graphic art, blogs, web pages, photographs, etc.) that support what the applicant has told us about their interest in visual storytelling. 

Note: review of submissions is non-competitive

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the program students will be able to:

  • Apply their visual storytelling skills, both analog and digital, to the creation of comic books, graphic novels, comic strips, web comics, edutainment comics, and storyboards.
  • Produce compelling visual narratives in fiction, non-fiction, and creative non-fiction genres.
  • Evaluate the importance of visual storytelling in diverse cultures, indigenous and global, and apply that knowledge to their own approach.
  • Create and develop realistic human and imaginative anthropomorphic characters from life, memory and imagination, both drawn and sculpted.
  • Employ a variety of perspectives in background, structures, objects and figures in  their visual narratives, thereby creating the sense of a third dimension on a two-dimensional surface.
  • Produce, format, and publish finished work in a wide variety of media in black & white and full-colour, for both analog and digital applications.
  • Demonstrate editorial skills as applied to both artwork and script.
  • Apply the concepts of publishing and promotion in the comics industry by participation in an event.


Additional Information

  • Students must purchase a Supply Kit, including essential art supplies and a portable drawing board.

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