Our best courses to get you from good to great.

Ready to master the tools and find the motivation and power to make your graphic novel? Ready to go from Good to Great? The SAW Single- Year Intensive has been the premier program for affordable, personalized comics instruction for 9 years, and this year we are expanding your opportunities to learn.

What's Included?

Online Only

What's Included?

  • Nine 6 week professional level classes

  • 6 week small cohort professional mentoring

  • Access to the SAW online reading Folder

  • Access to streamed video interviews and talks with comics professionals

  • Grading: failing/passing/excelling

  • Online calls and community with Tom, Emma, Justine and other SAW personnel

  • Optional capsule classes 60-75% off public price

  • Comics Certificate for passing/excelling grades

Pricing options

The online program is offered sliding scale between $1550-$4000.

Our 2020-2021 year begins in...

Enrolling ONE time a year.

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Sign Me Up!

The In-Person and Low-Residency Comics Certificate Program

Interested in more?

In-person meetings canceled due to COVID but you can still learn about it here-->

More about the Low-Res and Full Immersion Programs

Head back to the main page.

2020-2021 Schedule!


Course Sessions are divided into a few sections

Session 1 - Sept 7 - Oct 16, 2020: Storytelling, Drawing for Comics and Western Comics Essentials
Final assignment for this session is due Oct 23, 2020

Session 2: Dec 22 - Dec 4, 2020: Comics Frontiers, Inking with Vision, Professional Practices
Final assignment for this session is due Dec 14, 2020

*Semester break*

Session 3: Jan 4 - Feb 12, 2020: Ideas and Vision, Background and Environments, Reading Comics
Final assignment for this session is due Feb 19, 2021

Session 4: Feb 22 - April 2, 2020: Cohort Mentoring, work on final project.

We are expecting and hoping to have an Art Show! on April 26, 2021 in Gainesville, FL. If you can make it, we would love to have you be there.

Work is sent to our certifying team on May 31 and certificates are mailed out on August 2, 2021

The Class Community, (which is currently being built out ) will remain open for you to engage with your fellow students that whole time.

Intro Video by Tom Hart

Interested in more?

What Have Others Said?

We've ushered hundreds of students into graphic greatness!


I learned so much in such a short amount of time from some of the most dedicated, compassionate people I've ever met, with 9 wonderful classmates.”

Full Immersion student. Cartoon Network, Scholastic Books

Miranda Harmon

“I never could have been published without SAW. You are the best friend and mentor a young artist could have!”

Full Immersion Student; Author/Artist, World War III Illustrated

Carly Shooster

“I think back on my time at SAW almost every day, the amount I got out of my year there is amazing… I’d probably have quit comics without Tom and Justine’s guidance. I think a lot about how much I’d get out of taking the full-year program again.”

Full Immersion Student; Best American Comics 2016

Bjorn Miner

More Testimonials

Click for more testimonials

Pricing options

The online program is offered sliding scale between $1550-$4000.

Our 2020-2021 year begins in...

Enrolling ONE time a year.

  • 00Days
  • 00Hours
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Sign Me Up!


  • You already have online classes, how is this different?

    The year-long certificate program isn’t simply ‘online classes’. This new low-residency program includes a structure of 4 six-week sessions designed to be taken in order, to bring you to a full synthesis of your learning after 9 months (the last 3 months are for your own peer-to-peer sharing and learning in the group.)

    Each session has a drawing component, an idea generation component and a context component. All of these complement each other, and each session has a single, shared assignment.

  • If I’ve taken 6 online courses and come to three lo-res weeks so does that mean I get a full-year certificate? Is there a lot of overlap in the content?

    While past classes won't be credited to the certificate program, we want to make sure that every student is receiving new and engaging learning opportunities that meets their needs. Contact us and together we can figure out the best approach for you!

    Our online courses are a kind of 'best of' teaching resources from our faculty so there may be some cross over with past class content. If that's the case, we have a growing catalog of alternative classes that can be substituted for any student who feels like they're repeating a class they've already taken.

  • What’s the difference between the Online Only, Low-Residency and Full Immersion options?

    The biggest differences between the three options is the availability of resources, price and time commitment to study.

    The online only includes, A program of 9 core classes with unique SAW course material, community accountability and personal mentoring to help you achieve your goals and reach the target, optional classes at additional price.

    The Low-Residency program includes these things as well as, 3 intensive weeks at SAW. 2 out of 3 of these workshops are required, with the third Visiting Artist Workshop optional. During these 3 weeklong intensives students have direct access to instructors and faculty.

    The Full Immersion program includes access to all of the above as well as, 24/7 access to the SAW studio, classes with our Gainesville teachers, mentors, and community, with ongoing extracurricular programs throughout the year.

    NOTE- due to COVID-19 we are suspending our Low-Residency and Full Immersion options until April 2021.

  • What online platform will you be using for the online classes? Is there Tech Support? And will I have access to the classes after the year is up?

    Our online classes are run through Thinkific. Each student has access to the course material through a personal portal. Our online forum operates through The Mighty Network. We already have a thriving community there, with a mix of free and pay walled resources.

    As to tech support, we’re still just two people - Tom and Emma - who are an email or direct message away. Whatever issue you’re having, we will respond within 24 to 48 hours.

    And yes, you will continue to have access to the course material through Thinkific when the program is completed.

  • Are these live or pre-recorded classes?

    The classes are pre-recorded and released each week and remain available to you for as long as you need.

    The interaction in the community with Tom, Emma and other instructors is available 24/7 in our network.

    There will be occasional Zoom calls for optional live Q+A with the instructors.

  • How much interaction will I have with the instructors and peers?

    Emma Jensen and Tom Hart will be the main proctors/guides/instructors in this program and one of them will be available in the Mighty Network nearly every day. Our other instructors, namely Justine Andersen and Sidney Davidson will be in and out during their sessions, based on their schedule.

    Each will provide one Zoom call at the end of the session.

  • How can you help me stay engaged and complete the course at a distance?

    Online classes can be hard to stay engaged with, we know that! Facing a computer each day, it can be difficult to feel like you’re part of a community. We have a three fold strategy for keeping students engaged.

    Number 1. A pass, fail system for classes. If you are unable to demonstrate your engagement with the course materials and homework tasks, you are unable to move on to the next set of classes.

    Number 2. The low-residency weeks are intended to bring students together to put faces to the names of the online community and function as a goal during the semester while students are working independently.

    Number 3. Our Mighty Network group is active 24/7, wherever you are in the world. Not only do you have access to your classmates, but you have access to other comics lovers. Each week there will be discussion opportunities, as well as work sharing not only with your peers but with the course instructors.

    We believe being able to work independently and motivate yourself is a huge part of being a professional artist. Our goal is to give our students the tools and inspiration to leave the classroom fold and continue to create comics for themselves!

  • How much does this cost? What is your refund policy?

    What you pay depends on the program you’re taking, and how much you earn.

    SAW currently operates on a sliding scale payment option. Payment is based on your yearly income and is tied to which program you choose to engage with. That means, depending on the program you’re in, we ask you to pay what you can, over and above our minimum tuition fee.

    This system is really important to us as a non-profit organisation, and helps us in our commitment to make comics available to everyone.

    Our refund policy is to return payment within two weeks of the beginning of classes.

FAQs About Time Management

  • Is this good for a beginner?

    We think so! The main thing you need is drive and dedication.

    There is a lot of work. Each 6 weeks has a new 6-page assignment, due in 2 weeks, and at the end is another final 6-page assignment. There are also non-mandatory exercises, not mandatory, but useful.

    It is an intensive course. And a beginner can't learn everything in a single year or 9-months I'm afraid, but you can definitely get a good good head start. That's what we would hope to do for a newcomer.

  • How many hours of study/work per week are people committing to? Will people be able do the program while working full-time? And are there any adjustments for people who want to do the program part-time?

    How many hours of study/work per week are people committing to? Will people be able do the program while working full-time? And are there any adjustments for people who want to do the program part-time?

  • How long do I have for each assignment?

    You will have two weeks to finish each assignment at the end of the three six-week sessions.

    You will have more than 8 weeks to finish the final assignment.

  • No really, how much time do I have to put in?

    Here's what's involved: For the three sessions: About 1-3 hours a week of learning
    About 1-3 hours a week of exercises
    A two week open period to finish the session assignment.

    After that, a fourth session of about 6 weeks to work on an open synthesizing assignment.

    If you have more time for exercises and extra reading and engagement in the community, you'll get a lot more out of it, but we think the above is a pretty good assessment of what you could get away with if you were on limited time.

  • I still have questions!

    We're here to answer them. First check out our general FAQ over at or send us a message via the chat box!