At last year's Image Expo, Image Comics and C. Spike Trotman's Iron Circus Comics announced a fund called Creators For Creators that would provide a grant for talented and undiscovered creators, allowing them the the freedom and flexibility to explore their art.

Yesterday, at the final day of Emerald City Comic Con, the fund announced illustrator and cartoonist M. Dean as the first recipient of the 2017 Creators For Creators grant, for their upcoming project I Am Young.

Prior to I Am Young, M. Dean has primarily worked on the webcomics The Girl Who Flew Away and Coming Soon: Regents Walk. In an brief interview at the Creators For Creators website, M. Dean spoke about their history with the medium of comics, and what their plans are for I Am Young:

These stories take place beginning in the mid-century, go throughout the remaining 20th-century and end in the 2000s. By the end all the characters that were seen as teens would be middle aged or older, they have changed as the world has changed. And we as individuals and the world around us continues to.

 

M. Dean

 

As the recipient of the grant, Dean will be given $30,000 to “support the creation of a new and original work of a length between sixty-four and one hundred pages over the course of a single year,” and will also receive access to mentorship from the fellows of the non-profit, which at the time of the announcement include Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman, Image publisher Eric Stephenson, Saga artist Fiona Staples, Bitch Planet writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, C. Spike Trotman, and many more creators who have made names for themselves via creator-owned work.

Check out CreatorsForCreators.org for more information, plus more pages from I Am Young.