Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Comics Degree launches in Dundee

Comics fans and creators will no doubt be very happy to hear about the new Comics degree course launching in Dundee ( mentioned on BBC today ) . This is just the sort of thing the comics industry is crying out for. Ever year at Hi-Ex we meet talented young writers and artists full of brilliant ideas and enthusiasm, every year we are limited as to what we can recommend to further their careers as creative people. Dundee has already blazed a trail with their games courses, character and concept design courses. This new degree course will definately fill a gap that people are crying out for. The traditional industries are all changing at breakneck speed, paper published graphic Novel and comic sales are slumping, but the interest in the characters, the stories, the franchises are booming, digital comic readers are exploding in use, exciting multi platform cross overs are starting to happen. The comics industry need no longer be seen as something nostaligic and limited to paper floppies, but as part of our literary, arts and creative UK cultural wealth.

When the news broke about this Degree course, unfortunately a Scottish Labour MP Tom Harris displayed the complete ignorance of Comics which is so prevalent still in our society. The storm which has been raging today across social media has been well covered in the downthetubes blog here.

It is so frustrating when education is getting cut left right and centre, children are increasingly having literacy problems, that people like this are still seeing comics as something to sneer at. Comics can get children reading, drawing, thinking creatively. Comics can help with dying and minority languages, comics can help learn other languages, Comics can also be highly sophisticated art and literary works dealing with complex social and political issues. I don't hear MP's complaining about college courses in Television and film studies, and yet I would argue that the passive and increasingly trashy medium of television is the biggest dumbing down threat to our childrens minds at the moment. 

Get out there read books and comics and study them too! 
( cartoon from this weekends 2D comic festival in Derry, by Hi-Ex 2010 guest Jim Medway )

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