I think what you are looking for is an Animation/Illustration degree. I went to San Jose State University and had a lot of my talented friends were in the Animation/Illustration department and went on to companies like, Pixar and Dreamworks. Here's our department link: http://www.sjsu.edu/design/design_programs/ai_design_program
Illustration/Animation are more focused on storyboarding, prototyping, and sketching. Their softwares are usually more focused on rendering and 3D modeling: http://www.animationcareerreview.com/articles/top-20-most-essential-software-artists-and-designers
While, graphic designers are more focused on typography, grid, layout, working with clients, deadline, and proposals. Graphic designers use Sketch and Principle software to do their work, which focused on prototyping and app/web building.
Hope this helps.
Dream big, Vivian
Hello Brendan! While there are benefits to studying graphic design, you'd probably be better off studying sequential art if you're interested in making comics! Sequential art focuses on storytelling in a visual medium, and will be right up your alley--it's basically a major in comics! A few colleges out there offer sequential art degrees. I've even seen an online/distance learning sequential art program from a pretty reputable art college, which can save you a lot of money on rent/dorms, but it's also very important to make connections and network with people who will be working in the same industry as you! The sequential art major will give you more of the type of education you'd want than a graphic design major would. Hope this helps! :)
I would definitely say that you should think about the medium you are going to use for your comics. If you are going to go into digital comics then I would definitely say that Graphic Design could not hurt however not so much if you are looking to get into print format.
Some design programs include illustration as a discipline, but they tend to focus more on editorial and book illustration as that's the sort of work a lot graphic designers and art directors might commission or even do themselves.
I attended a program like this and comic book art and what ended up being my area, technical illustration, never came up. That said, having a design degree doesn't hurt.
Definitely agree with the above comments. Illustration degrees in general and sequential art degrees specifically will be more useful for graphic novels and comic book work. It's true that some graphics designers are also great illustrators, that doesn't tend to be the focus of graphic design coursework.
And while it can be difficult to make a living as a comic book artist, illustration degrees can translate to many other art fields such as concept art and storyboarding for other entertainment fields like video games, tv, and movies.
Good luck with your education and career pursuits.
I can't speak to majoring in sequential art, but I do know that Art Directors and Graphic Designers that can draw comics are find a nice niche for themselves because they can create storyboards. Very useful for advertising. My assumption is that it's very difficult to make a living as a graphic novelist so having some design skills might be a good way to augment your income. Good luck! The creative life is a challenging life but it's worth it.
The best choice for you will be Illustration. I majored in illustration, and several classes from my school, focused on comic books. To get a better view of what, and where you can go, research the professionals that are out there making comic books. Stan Lee is a good start, I know Ashley wood is an illustrator, and one of his focus is comic books. Fiona Staples and Sean Phillips are also good to start with. If you can't find out what their major was or where they went to, sending them an e-mail never hurts. Also researching schools that offer illustration, and asking if they offer comic book classes. I hope this gives you a better view of what to look into.
Good Luck, and keep at it, you will get there.