Want to expand your comics education, but can't currently commit to shelling out for university rates? If you've got an e-mail address, an Internet connection and access to certain titles, you're in luck. Yesterday Mark Waid, creator of digital comics site Thrillbent and current writer of Daredevil and The Indestructible Hulk, announced an upcoming free super MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) college class, examining gender roles and identity in comic books.Taught by Christina Blanch of Ball State, Indiana, the free course is open to anyone with Internet access and will feature interviews with prominent comic book professionals such as Kelly Sue Deconnick (Captain Marvel), Matt Fraction (Casanova), Brian K. Vaughn (Saga), Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Jason Aaron (Wolverine and the X-Men).

The only requirement for the class is a valid e-mail address, and the subsequent purchase of the comic book course materials. If you've been reading or collecting comics for awhile now, there's a chance, as Blanch has said, that you may already own or have easy access to the required reading.

Enrolled students will be privy to -- and be encouraged to participate in -- live interview broadcasts with writers, artists and editors from around the comic book industry. For anyone interested in how comic professionals create their work, and how they consider gender in the process, signing up for the class seems like a no-brainer. The class is scheduled to start on April 2, but you could sign up for it right now if you wanted to.

Anyone still uncertain can check out an endorsement video, featuring everyone's favorite "Excelsior!"-prone comic book icon, Stan Lee, below.


[Via Thrillbent]