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I'm thinking about taking on some students for a two week "boot camp" course in comics--based off the classic master/apprentice style of education. But before I move forward with the idea (and begin Kickstarting), I wanted to get your feedback and see if anyone is interested in enrolling this winter. Please pass this along (Twitter/facebook) to anyone you think might be interested.



I bought a house in Portland, Maine this past weekend. It's a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom Victorian house that's been newly renovated. The top floor is finished and will become the drawing studio for 5 students. The idea is to furnish the building with tables, chairs, couches, beds, a TV, a library, a photo studio (for taking reference images) and all the other amenities that would create the school.



After selecting the 5 students (I'll take submissions that will be juried later on), we'll all meet in Portland this winter for the two week apprenticeship. The students will live in the house with my wife and me, have their own rooms, their own desk, and will work on the project for 14 days.



I'm going to write an anthology that the students and I will publish after the apprenticeship is over. For the two weeks, I'll be walking the students through the entire comic book process: character designs, storytelling, layouts, perspective, how to draw tech, penciling, inking, etc. We'll be helping each other with critique sessions, group brainstorming, and taking photo references. Not only will we be drawing together, we'll also have discussion about the business side of comics: contracts, negotiating, branding, and other tricks on how to successfully manage a career.

Not only will the published anthology be used to fulfill Kickstarter incentives, the students will also be able to sell the anthology themselves at future conventions to help recoup some of the cost of the course!

I'll be contributing 10 pages of finished art, while each student will be expected to create 5 by the end of the course. Each student will have his/her own story for the 5 pages, as well as a short bio that will help them stand out to publishers.



I don't know exactly what the cost would be, but I'm thinking about charging $2000 per student, with perhaps offering a one time discount for the first session. Travel costs to Maine would NOT be covered, nor would food costs. However, I could see us as all chipping in a few bucks and cooking meals together as well. The students would be responsible for bringing their own materials.


While I'm not yet accredited to give college credit, this is something we are currently researching to see if there's a way to get the program approved with certain schools. While I can't at this time guarantee college credit, what I can guarantee is a two week crash session that will not only be informative, but also a hell of a lot of fun. As we all know, who you know is just as important as what you know. Not only will the lessons be filled with information, but the relationships you will build with our guest speakers, other interns and myself will be invaluable.

While 2k is a lot of money, you will be getting a lot for it. We will provide you a room in beautiful downtown Portland (it's an amazing city), lessons about every aspect of being a professional in this industry, constructive critiques, at least one guest speaker (likely two) and at the end you'll be published in an anthology with me (that you can sell). Also, I'll give each student character equity in whatever they create (this means you'll own a piece of what you've created, in case a movie should ever come out of it).

People are bugging me ALL THE TIME for a sketchbook and I've never done one. If I put out an anthology with sketches, it'll sell. And anyone buying it to see my art will be seeing your art as well. Editors and publishers included.


It'll be a lot of work, but a lot of fun. The house is a ten minute walk to Historical Portland--a cool fishing town with great seafood and pubs. I have a car and will be happy to take the students to the beach, the arcade or the grocery store if they need. Also, I'll be hooking up my old NES and Atari so we can all talk shop after hours and hang out at night.



I'm guessing I'll get mostly college students: either ones on break or ones that have recently graduated. But this course might also be helpful for the artist who's been published once or twice and is having a hard time getting to the next step. I'm happy to take international people as well--keep in mind that travel costs are on you. And I'm looking for people at least 21 years old.


So that's the plan! Let me know what you think, but also let me know if it's something you'd be interested in attending. If I get enough buzz with this, I'll begin taking submissions!

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AndyMEZ Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sean, im from México my English is good, and I draw everyday. When will u be doing this again ? I would love to try and be apart of this. Thanks and hello from Mexico. 
JeebsDesigns Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2015
sorry meant 2015!
JeebsDesigns Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2015
Sean is there any plans on doing this again?Say for 2105?,your work and the way you give back to the kids trying to live thier dream is inspiring to say the least.

Im a 35 year old dad of four girls and i have been drawing comics since i was five,i would love to do this just to know i could,and to have a couple beers and draw with you!

Keep us updated on this,ill be saving cash for a flight out there.
seangordonmurphy Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015
We're doing this again soon--the again limit is 35, so you should be alright. I'll post more when we have more details.
JeebsDesigns Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015
Sweet well looks like i will be throwing in an application then.I havent had any Art College experience,will that matter?
Im really interested in story telling and creating original characters.
dsgrave1 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014  Student General Artist
I know this an older post but I would love to do something like this if you are still considering it or might do it again in the future.

I am a huge fan, cheers,

MaiaGross Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Student General Artist
I have never wished I had 2000 dollars like I wish I did right now.
Carliihde Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
This is so exciting! Please keep us all updated. I would be so honored to do this
C-Abdulio Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Student Filmographer
Arrgghh...when was this when I decided to go to animation school instead. I would love to apprentice with an artist and get some real insight to the world of comics. But tell me, when is the deadline for the payment and will you be repeating this course next year? Maybe I should start saving up because this sounds too cool not to be part of once!
NIMorales Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
Damn I wish!
ShaneAden Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
Please tell me how to submit my portfolio. I've got the cash & am willing to travel.
OlgaUlanova Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013
Sean, this is an AMAZING idea, and I am absolutely stoked that you're gonna do this!!! Hack the system, dude! I've always thought the old system of apprenticeship should be revisited in a modern setting, and you're doing it. Fucking awesome! ^___^

Best of luck to you and your students! I can't wait to see how it goes!!! 
jtchan Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
WOW.  This is incredibly awesome that you're putting this together, Sean!  Best of luck to you and the students you select!
dthorNomadicArt Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is amazing. I don't see how anyone could turn down an offer like this from the top artist in comics.
oOlinstant0miso0soup Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That sounds like a great idea!! It makes me wish I was better at storytelling so that I could join.
I'll keep an eye out and try to support the kickstarter though! I really hope this goes over well!:)
marcoben Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
I think it would be awesome, thinking about that is really challenging.
If you're still taking submission i'd be concerned to it.
I'm also a foreigner, from Milan, so if there was a chance for me let me know:)
just for saving some money.


HoytSilva Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I would be really down for this. I'd have to come up with the money but i would be an idiot to not even try.
zjappar Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
tempting... I love your work, first time I saw them I was awe struck, and have been following you ever since :) I wonder, are you still taking submissions, because if so I'd seriously be up for it!
solarfalcon Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
suddenly... my bucket list grew.
EDGARSALAZAR Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Professional Artist
Years ago I would work my ass off to save the money for that course, Great idea Sean!
DanielWarrenJohnson Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ahhh ok, I thought we were writing our own stuff too.  That makes sense, then.  Thanks Sean.
DanielWarrenJohnson Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
This sounds like a cool idea, Sean!  However, when you say each student will get equity on a part of their newly created IP, that means It won't be totally ours?  I can understand profit sharing for the published book sales...but I'd want 100% ownership of whatever I created during any sort of class. Just a thought.  Love your work dude. Keep it up!
seangordonmurphy Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013
The drawings are based off my scripts, so the IP is mine. But some equity in the character will be given to you. Which is more than you often get at Marvel or Dc.
Dreamerwstcoast Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013   Traditional Artist
I think it's great plan. Not many professionals can pull off what your attempting. However, i'd say it's needed. Long gone are the days of being brought in and mentored by the likes of John Buscema an Jim Shooter. today you need to figure it out. Having a "GREAT", and "TALENTED" professional, such as yourself taking five interns by the hand, then handing them knowledge to give them a chance. to do what you do, is worth it. As for being accredited, that's up to you. I look at it this way, why would i need college credit if two grand will get me, a working knowledge of the industry and a leg up to carve out a living doing what i love?
Here's to hoping i can be one of the first five.
seangordonmurphy Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013
Thanks man! I love the old school approach as well. I'd be honored if I helped start some kind of "old school" movement--maybe even getting more people to take up the brush. I'll try and be responsible about it. :)
Dreamerwstcoast Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013   Traditional Artist
You already have. Simply by taking thought to action is the vehicle to change. You are an incredibly talented person that has a good head on his shoulders. Add to that you actually have something to say, that is worth listening too, as well as relevant. I'd say you are uniquely qualified to make this venture work.
seangordonmurphy Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
Thanks again for all the support my friend. :)
DEVMALYA Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
if only i wasnt in india, i would definitely enroll for this apprenticeship. this is an amazing idea sean! been a huge fan and learning under you would bea great experience. but it would be hard to do being all the way here in india :( if you ever come up with correspondence courses, i would love to take them :)
cduck Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yeah, Sean. It would be an honor to be a part of that experience. EVERYONE involved would get so much from it. I look forward to finding out when you are going to start looking for people. I'm definitely interested.
CLindhorst Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013
Woah, That's awesome
jt-ford Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I want to do this so badly I can practically taste it! Portland is a GORGEOUS city and it has a rather thriving comics' community. THIS IS GOING TO BE TREMENDOUS! 
howlett66 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013   Traditional Artist
Those are gonna be some lucky 5 people!Cool idea man!:)
Doofball3 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
I would totally be down. Hopefully I am not 'too' old, lol. Seriously though this would be a great opportunity, that I would jump at. Good idea, I hope you go through with it.
malara-art Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This sounds like an incredible opportunity! I've been a professional for 13 years and this sounds like a chance I'd relish. Learning about the business side as well as the creative side from a master such as yourself makes it twice as valuable. If this is a chance to help propel a creative career forward, I would most certainly be interested in it. I'm interested to see what kind of submission requirements and eligibilities you end up finalizing. What an extraordinary endevor!
PKDarthN8R Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I would definitely be onboard for this opportunity, just tell me where to sign haha
Emaretto Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Student General Artist
My heart just went pitter-patter. This is something I'd definitely be willing to save up for. You're a big name in the industry and have a lot to teach--I don't think you'll have to worry about people thinking it's not worth $2k!
gstrout Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013
That sounds EPIC!!! I'd take opportunity that in a heartbeat!!! Wish I had the $2000 available!
AndersonBlackAdam Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh Sean,man!This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a dream come true that I would love to jump on.
Im one of those ''published once or twice and having a hard time to the next step''.
This would be perfect for me.I totally hope this goes through!
If not for this year,maybe in the near future for me.
My wifes wiping the tears from my eyes right now...;)
Keep it up!
RodGallery Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ow man, this amazing, I hope I could have this art class with you. Good Luck with that.
XnTriC Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Student Filmographer
sounds rad!
DAMONSMITHART Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013
i would love to be apart of a program like this. please let me know of any progress you make and what is  needed to attend. 

keep up the good work man!
BrunoBull Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013   General Artist
I would very much be up to that, so I'm already beginning to do the math on how much it would cost me, travel costs and currency change included (I'm from Brazil).

If it's not too much trouble asking, are there any ideas on WHEN would this 14 days happen? So that I can start going after information on plane ticket costs and so on...
seangordonmurphy Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013
I'm not sure yet--maybe in January or February of 2014.
BrunoBull Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013   General Artist
Great! Thanks!
Luzerrante Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Professional Artist
If i live in Ee.UU i will go.. sure xD but is a little far away from my home actually
jdhook Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013

this sounds awesome... I would absolutely be interested in the apprenticeship.  What would you be looking for in the submissions to be considered? page quantity? sequential story? ect. 


AndrewKwan Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Brilliant. Just shy of 21, though. I'll jump on this if it happens again next year...
Dasael Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013

This is exactly something I need! I fall into the  "...the artist who's been published once or twice and is having a hard time getting to the next step." Looking forward to hearing more.


PhilipJeanPierre Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Sounds incredibly awesome...and worth it.
AnxiousA Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
First and foremost, this seems like a wonderful opportunity to provide.  I think that 2k sounds reasonable, especially since 3 college credits are priced even higher at most art colleges.  If this goes forward, I'd be very interested in applying. I'm not sure, stylistically  what you would be looking for, but hope I'd still be under consideration.

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Submitted on
August 8, 2013


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