The Sequential Artists Workshop

Apr 15

All about the Single-Year Program at SAW

Single-Year Program

The 2012-2103 Single-Year Program is now finished and our students are walking away having had a great education. Our program stands among the best in the country. See the round-up blog post here.

SAW is looking for serious students of comic book and sequential art. Whether your interest is personal stories, graphic novels, or genre comics or whether your concern is for entertainment, literary depth, or personal expression, then our program is for you.

We have taught comics to illustration students, writers and english teachers, fine arts If you have passion and a dedication to learning sequential art, then the SAW single-year intensive is for you.

Apply for the 2014-2015 Program: Click here to download our application. Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

We will do our best to announce receipt of your application within days, and do our best to inform you within 4-6 weeks of your acceptance. Right now, we still have slots available. Deadline will be announced as we creep near capacity.

Please email to confirm your application.

The cost is $3550 for the full-year program., or roughly $444 / month for 8 months (September-April)

Apply for the 2014-2015 Program: Click here to download our application

Please check out our three videos about our school, below.

Student Life

(More pics on our Flickr page )

Student LifeStudent Life

What’s that? Want another testimonial video?

SAW has monthly art shows, and shares courtyard space with a three other community organizations that hold frequent music shows, movies, open mics, parties and other performances.

SAW students are active participants in the Gainesville community, many participating in its monthly oral storytelling event, and some in the roller derby, the local radio station and other community projects.

Sally at The Conch

SAW is surrounded by creative organizations, entities and artists. Gainesville’s monthly art event extends for 14 blocks and features contemporary painting, sculpture, printmaking, assemblage, drawing and film.

Tom Hart and Justine Andersen create much of their professional and personal work at SAW, for clients ranging from MAD Magazine to The Department of Defense, as well as each of their ongoing memoir comics.

Apply for the 2014-2015 Program

Click here to download our application

Ronan's Strip Archives

How the Fog Came by Anna Mack

Persephone by Sally Cantirino

Our single-year program is designed to challenge students both technically and intellectually.

First year students learn the basics of cartooning and narrative art. As they gain skills and craft from our faculty, we challenge and guide them into new ideas and solutions that will turn them into artists.

A second, optional year is more project-oriented, and students will be required to complete and publish a graphic novella, collection of stories or tabloid newspaper of their work.

Studio classes run roughly from 11:00-1:50 pm M-F at The Sequential Artists Workshop. Non-studio classes will run roughly 11:00-1:00. Our current schedule:

First Year Classes
Mondays, Full-year: Basic and Advanced Narrative Exercises Studio
Tom Hart
Exploration of sequential art through concentrated practice including constraint-driven exercises as well as literary exercises of voice, point-of-view, shifting viewpoints, disruptive page layouts, etc. Students will self-publish at least once by the end of this class.
Tuesdays, Full-year: History and Comix Overview
John Ronan
History of the medium from Töpffer to Hogarth to Opper to Kelly to Crane to Searle to EC to manga to Moebius and more.
Wednesdays, Full-Year: Drawing for Comics Studio
Justine Mara Andersen
Intensive, year-long study of drawing the human figure for storytelling, including clothed and nude models, moving and stationary poses, and basic anatomy for the artist. Justine Mara Andersen will tackles inking and painting techniques, perspective, creative drawing with the panel.
Thursdays, Semester One: Narrative Exploration
Heather Peterson
In-depth look at prose storytelling in various cultures. From myths to oral tales to Milton to Cervantes to Flaubert to modern realists like Raymond Carver, Flannery O’Connor, to modernists like Joyce, Faulkner, Borges, Calvino, etc. A look at adaptations in comics form and other media.
Thursdays, Semester Two: Illustration
Leela Corman
Single-image illustration. Editorial, cover, the use of metaphor, narrative etc.
Fridays, Full-year: Reading the Graphic Novel and Media Techniques
Travis Fristoe, Sheila Bishop, Various

This class will be taught by a variety of artists for a few weeks at a time. Visiting artists will also lecture at this time. In alternating sessions, we will be reading and discussing top-tier graphic novels, in a class being led by UF instructor Travis Fristoe. Occasional figure-drawing sessions led by Leela Corman. Occasional drop-ins by visiting artists and cartoonists, printers and publishers. The general public is invited to drop into friday classes for $25 per class.

Longer, intensive media classes will ideally follow as SAW develops.

Our Single-Year Program is modeled on programs in the finest institutions for cartooning in the country.

Our second year is currently tentative and will involve an intensive single-project workshop, in-depth graphic novel reading/interpretations, intensive media class and more. Stay tuned.

Frequently Asked Questions about enrolling:

How Much Does it Cost?
Why Are You So Cheap?
Why Are You So Expensive?
Can I Take Just a Few Classes?
Can I Take Just a Few Classes?
Who is this School For?
What Kind of Work Comes Out of Your School?
How Big are the Classes?
Where Will I Stay?
Where is the Enrollment Form?
What Payment Options are There?
Do I Need a Portfolio?
When do Classes Start and End?

How Much Does it Cost?

The price is $3550 per year or $1800 per single semester.

Why Are You So Cheap?

You are getting a first-rate arts education for a third of the price of CCS, and one eighth to one tenth of the price of SCAD or SVA. Why? Our program at present is unaccredited. We have low overhead (almost all of tuition goes to rent and teacher salaries.) We currently have one computer. We share a tight little space and many resources, and it works.

Find Hungry Samurai

Why Are You So Expensive?

We’re not! See above.

Can I Take Just a Few Classes?

No, our program is designed as a complete course, but we have had some success with students taking the Comics History course. Please contact us for more specifics. We are also working to develop online versions of some of our classes.

Are There Payment Options?

We have previously entertained options including work-study as well as installment plans and sliding scale. We would rather have you here than not. So long as we are still informal, everything is on a case by case basis. Write to us to discuss these options.

Who is this School For?

You could be: 1) College-age and wanting to focus on art before springboarding into a full-fledged BFA. 2) An artistic adult who has dabbled in comics and wants to study and practice the form more. 3) Frustrated with your current schooling and want to study comics in a more intensive, inspiring and free environment. 4) Post-college adult looking to continue their education or pick up study they missed. 5) An established creator stuck and needing to push their work to the next level. 6) Any combination or variation on the above. SAW is a school for differing personalities and artists temperaments. We strive to find the stories and art inside you that are trying to come out. We have taught comics to art students, english teachers, truck drivers, museum guards, fine arts students, scriptwriters, graphic designers (lots of those), etc. In short, if you have passion and dedication to learning sequential art, then the SAW single-year intensive is for you.

What Kind of Work Comes out of your School?

The work we try to enable you to create is the work that you were most meant to make, and the stories you were most meant to tell. We seek to help you find your voice as a cartoonist by challenging you to push your own boundaries and discover more of your stories and your abilities while helping you see and control what you are already strong at. You can see some student work at our Flickr page, here

How Big are the Classes?

We aim for a class size between 8-13 people. Our first two years have been roughly 6 people.

Where Will I Stay?

Gainesville is a major university town and as such, very friendly to students. You should have no trouble finding suitable housing in Gainesville. Almost any house or apartment you find will be within biking distance of SAW which is a few blocks from the main intersection of University and Main. Try this Craigslist link: or other services to find roommates or an apartment.

Note: The UF schedule means that houses and apartments rent from August to July. Look before then. Prospective students will have access to the school Wiki page where students can discuss and collaborate on finding housing.

Where is the Enrollment Form?


What Payment Options are There?

At the moment we’re agile and flexible. Contact us.

Do I Need a Portfolio?

Yes, a portfolio review is required to enter the school. It is recommended this be online or in digital form. In addition, an essay and a new comic strip are required. See specifics on the application form.

When Do Classes Start and End?

Semesters are 14 weeks long. We time our calendar to the University of Florida calendar to facilitate housing for everyone. The first day of the fall semester is Monday August 26, 2013, ending on Friday December 20. We take a week off in October and time off for Thanksgiving. View more on our calendar, here:

Our spring 2014 semester will begin in January 6 end in April 25. We take two weeks off in a row in Feb/March.

Help spread the word about our year-long program!

Things are developing as we begin to add faculty and additional resources. The SAW program rivals any program of similar length in the country. This is our first year and as such is offered at an extremely affordable price.

Many of you are already familiar with SAW, have already taken classes here, etc. You know that the space is good, the teaching excellent and the Gainesville artistic community vibrant. We are actively seeking talented applicants. Please let people know that they can contact us formally or informally about attending.

Student Life

–Audio interview with Tom Hart about SAW:


Twitter: @comicsworkshop



Apr 14

SAW Student Comics, a set on Flickr.Some recent additions to the SAW student comics library. Funders/ donors will be receiving end of year packages when we finish up. Thanks!

Sally Cantirino Art ShowSpring 2013 Mini  Comics

SAW Student Comics, a set on Flickr.

Some recent additions to the SAW student comics library. Funders/ donors will be receiving end of year packages when we finish up. Thanks!

Apr 13

View my 13 latest photos on Flickr:

Student work and students workingStudent work and students workingStudent work and students workingStudent work and students working

View my 13 latest photos on Flickr:

Apr 12

Teen Summer Comics Class June 16-27

SAW is running a two-week intensive class from June 16-June 27 that will run Monday-Friday from 10 am – 4 pm each weekday. Students can sign up for one week or both. Learn more about it here:

Week 1, June 16-20 will focus on exercises and skill building and short-term projects. Will work on all the skills of comic book creation, including character design, figure drawing, story writing and tool technique.
Week 2 June 23-27 will focus on one long story per student that we will then gather into a collected book at the end of the week. They will finish a 5-8 page story that will be collected into a group book to be published at the end of the workshop. Friday night June 27 will be Gainesville ArtWalk. We’ll show the students’ artwork on the walls and hold a gallery opening and book release party for all the participants!
Instructors: Tom Hart and Sally Cantirino
Two weeks: June 16-June 27
Students can sign up for one week or both
Monday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm
Learn more:

John Porcellino Post-CAKE Week-Long Workshop in Chicago, June 2-6, 2014

More info:

We’re honored to team up with The Chicago Publishing Resource Center to host John Porcellino for his terrific week-long workshop, “Making Comics Out of Life.”

Chicago Publishing Resource Center

This workshop will be Monday June 2- Friday June 6, 2014 at the ChiPRC, 858 N. Ashland Avenue.

Directions and info about the space in Chicago:

John has run his workshop twice at SAW in Florida and is now bringing his warm, intelligent workshop to Chicago, immediately after CAKE.

Classes will run roughly 6 hours a day for each day. The first three days will focus on individual exercises, where the final two will be spent tying the exercises together and publishing an end-of-workshop zine.

Don’t miss this chance to learn from one of the greatest cartoonists in the country.

Price: $250 via paypal. Sign up or more info:

Apr 10

Risograph, a set on Flickr.The risograph work is coming off the press, ready to go out to funders and other SAW supporters.

Risograph, a set on Flickr.

The risograph work is coming off the press, ready to go out to funders and other SAW supporters.

Apr 09


Apr 04

Busy weekend at SAW

We’re into our final month at SAW, and everyone is working on projects, finishing books, planning future anthologies. In recent days, we’ve had a Skype zip-a-tone session with Steve Weissman, (that’s us in the bottom right, thanks Steve!)

Steve Weissman Skype

and we’re anxiously awaiting Carol Tyler’s talk at the annual UF Comics Conference.  You would have to be a knucklehead, to miss Carol’s keynote address, Saturday night, 7 pm at UF Ulster Hall. More info here.

Ms. Tyler is also giving a workshop, Sunday morning.

Traumics, UF Comics Conference

Apr 03


Apr 01

“Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips for Writing Short Stories
1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things – reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them – in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.” — How to Write a Short Story: Advice from Kurt Vonnegut | Aerogramme Writers’ StudioHow to Write a Short Story: Advice from Kurt Vonnegut