Tom created a teaching environment that fostered open discussion, unbiased attitudes and a love for understanding how comics work and the kind of work we wanted to make.
You make comic stories, story telling so exciting and fun. I know I came to you with a crazy idea of writing a story. I don't think I'd have embarked on such an ambitious journey without your enthusiasm, boundless optimism, and most importantly, a belief in the story.
The way Tom teaches just electrifies my passion for making comics to an extent that I don't often experience.
Tom’s approach to education and guidance offers sensitivity and candor in equal measure. He offers technical insight across genre boundaries, adapting his criteria to each student’s goals and aesthetic preferences.
- Dan Strauss
Tom picked me up from my rut, showed me what potential I had as an illustrator, and kicked my self-doubt’s ass six ways till sunday.
- Carlos Abdu
If you’re having a problem with your art or story, rather than spouting out answers at you, he’ll try to talk you through it and eventually draw a solution from you. This teaching style helped boost my artistic confidence and problem solving.
- Jon Mosley
Tom is a magical teacher and all-around great guy. He did not just help my brain understand how to create a good comic, but also opened my eyes to tons of great cartoonists, provided advice outside of class time, helped me find a thesis advisor, lent me fantastic books, etc. (the list goes on).
Gainesville, Florida is 80 miles south of the Georgia/Florida border and right in the dead mid-way point between the east and west coasts; an hour to and hour and a half to beaches on either side. It's more The South than it is Florida (i.e., Miami, Tampa, Orlando, etc.), with dripping Spanish moss, anoles left and right, families selling boiled "p-nuts" off their porches, ceiling fans, Caribbean food, cuban coffee and crazy barefoot naturalists shopping at the farmer's market.
From our FAQ about Gainesville: We like sun. And sunshowers. And waterfowl and Spanish moss and sinkholes and skateboarders and artists and swimming and coffee and pizza and lizards. In addition, students can find movies, bookstores, theaters, rock shows, cheap food and housing, sunny days, bike paths, egrets, lizards, free yoga at the library, free lunches on the University of Florida campus, midnight soccer, organizations and ad hoc sub communities within communities. It's a welcomin,g DIY place that rewards initiative and engagement. The University (UF) has a long-standing academic comics convention/symposium which has flown in such luminaries as Eddie Campbell, Dan Clowes and Kim Deitch. There are also a large number of academic scholars at the University dedicated to study of sequential art and these people, who have done historical research, and investigated the mechanisms of comics in unique ways are a great asset. The town is small but there is a lot of culture, including an art museum, a museum of natural history, an arthouse movie theater, good bookstores, a renegade video store, an alternative avant garde film festival and more.
Tom Hart is the creator of the Hutch Owen series of graphic novels and books, and has been a core instructor at New York City's School of Visual Arts for 10 years, teaching cartooning to undergraduates,working adults and teens alike. Among his students were Dash Shaw, Sarah GliddenBox Brown and other published cartoonists like Leslie Stein, Jessica Fink, Nicole Virella, Tintin Pantoja, Yali Lin, Josh Bayer, Brendan Leach and many others. His own work has been nominated for all the major industry awards; his The Collected Hutch Owen was nominated for best graphic novel in 2000. He was an early recipient of a Xeric Grant for self-publishing cartoonists, and has been on many best-of lists in the Comics Journal and other comix publications. He has been called "One of the great underrated cartoonists of our time" by Eddie Campbell and "One of my favorite cartoonists of the decade" by Scott McCloud. His daily Hutch Owen comic strip ran for 2 years in newspapers in New York and Boston, and his "Ali's House", co-created with Margo Dabaie was picked up by King Features Syndicate. He has taught comix and sequential art at schools and institutions all around New York City for 10 years, and has conducted week-long workshops from Maine to Hawaii. In addition to constant comix practice and work, he has studied drama, acting and improvisation in New York and sees creating the Sequential Artists Workshop as the next step of his teaching and learning career. His next book will be Daddy Lightning, in March 2012 from Retrofit, and Let's Get Furious, a 380-page new Hutch Owen collection, also in March 2012, from Top Shelf.
Justine Mara Andersen was mentored by and learned from top names in the industry, including such luminaries as P. Craig Russell (Elric, Sandman), Val Mayerik (Punisher, Conan), Frank Thorne (Red Sonja), John Workman, Jim Steranko and Jeffrey Catherine Jones, but struck out on her own to create her long-running series Mara, Celtic Shamaness for Fantagraphics as well as working as an inker and illustrator for DC Comics, Image Comics, Wizards of the Coast (D&D, etc.), Lucasfilms and other clients.
Leela Corman studied painting, printmaking and illustration at Massachuesettes College of Art and is the author of three graphic novels. Her newest book t Unterzakhn, published by Schocken/Pantheon, has garnerd rave reviews in The New York Times, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly and other places. Her first, Queen's Day earned her a Xeric Award in 1999 and was called "Music to my eyes" by Scott McCloud. In her successful illustration career, she has illustrated books for major publishers on crafts, fashion, gardening, dating and other topics. She is also an accomplished bellydancer and bellydance instructor. Her website is
Writing teacher Carrie Guss currently teaches undergraduate creative writing at the University of Florida, and is finishing up her MFA in Fiction. She has a degree in Politics and Media Studies from Pomona College, where she studied creative nonfiction under David Foster Wallace. She is working on a collection of short stories.
She also has an IMDB page for her role as "Zombie Queen" in 2009's The Hell Patrol.
Daniel Stepp received his M.F.A. in painting from the New York Academy of Art.
He has exhibited in Florida, New York, Canada, and around the U.S. His paintings have been described as American genre. Subjects that his paintings explore are: tools and technology, gender roles in labor, corporate branding, and the transference of myth and archetype onto genre activities.
His comic-book series, Humungous Man, humorously playing with myth and archetype, was published by Alternative Comics from 1995-1997.