Dundee, Scotland, is home to D.C. Thomson & Co, the publishers of Dennis the Menace, Desperate Dan, and other comics. So it’s fitting that Dundee University is now the first university in the UK offering a degree in Comics Studies. The year-round, one-year program will launch this September, led by Dr. Chris Murray, the editor of Studies in Comics and the Secretary of the Scottish Word and Image Group, which captions pictures of Sean Connery with sick burns about Alex Trebek’s mother. Okay, I made that last part up, but there needs to be a Scottish word and image group which does that, too.
Besides covering the history of comics and genres of comics, the courses will also include scriptwriting and artwork workshops as well as “practical advice on publishing and developing a career as a comics scholar, or a writer or artist, including access to industry professionals” [source]. Classes on creative elements will be led by Phillip Vaughan, a lecturer in Graphic Design. As with all classes taught in Scotland, Murray and Vaughan will also be assisted by a Scottish Terrier wearing a kilt. My knowledge of Scottish culture is very limited, but I vehemently cling to what I know. And what I know is this: Scottish Terriers in kilts are teaching assistants as is required by law, except on Wednesday afternoons in the summer when they are allowed to golf, traditionally referred to as “the dog days of summer”. FACT.