The Christian Science Monitor reports on employment opportunities for art comics grads:

Graphic novels and comics are one of the fastest-growing sectors of publishing. [snip] But it’s a tough business to break into. Drawn and Quarterly, a highly sought after publisher of literary comics and graphic novels, puts out only about 20 new titles a year.

And now for the hard part

Like anxious suitors, the soon-to-be graduates circled among the visiting editors.

“I’ve got illustrations, my thesis, all the comics I did this year – what are you interested in?” Colleen Frakes asked as she took a seat across from Mark Siegel, editorial director of First Second books.


  1. I am somehow reminded of similar articles I’ve read recently about how enrollment in culinary schools is increasing because of the popularity of the Food Network and shows like “Top Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen,” but that the employment prospects for these new culinary grads aren’t incredibly hopeful. I guess the influence of graphic novels’ popularity on aspiring comic creators is no less than the influence of these cooking shows on aspiring chefs…

    If anything, this article makes it sound like a graduate from one of these cartooning programs might even be *more* likely to become gainfully employed in something close to his/her field of choice than, say, a culinary school graduate. Which is an interesting thought…

  2. The popularity of graphic novels has little to do with it. We make comics because we can’t NOT make comics.

    CCS isn’t a trade school (like culinary schools). Students don’t attend because an education will find them gainful employment. It’s more of a liberal arts education- and I was told as an undergrad that my liberal arts education would help me to become a thoughtful, well-informed citizen. We’re trying to become thoughtful and well-informed artists.

  3. This makes it sound like CCS students never would have gone to art school if, within the last five years or so, graphic novels hadn’t achieved a greater degree mainstream popularity. That’s untrue and unfair.

    Besides, like any good art school or conservatory CCS makes sure its students are savvy about the marketplace and leave equipped with the tools to actually work in their field. Even if many CCS alumni don’t end up making their fortunes or even working full-time as cartoonists they’re certainly not going to end up useless “art school bums.” They’ll draw, they’ll do freelance work, they’ll draw, they’ll teach, they’ll draw, they’ll publish, and they’ll draw.