For virtually every comic book creator working today, self-publishing stories is the necessary first step for a career in comics, whether it's through webcomics or creating and printing your own series or graphic novel to sell at conventions or local stores. Unfortunately, it also tends to not be a very financially rewarding part of the process, and it's full of opportunities to make mistakes that can hinder --- or even stop --- someone with a great story to tell from getting to his or her full potential. Today, though, that process just became a whole lot easier for at least one young creator.

As the final announcement of today's Image Expo, creators from both Image and Iron Circus announced the formation of Creators For Creators, a new nonprofit organization that will award a $30,000 grant to one cartoonist or writer-artist team 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 believe it or not, the money's only half of what the grant will involve.


Photo by Andrew Wheeler


The announcement was made by a handful of the founders of the grant, a group that includes Charlie Adlard, Jordie Bellaire, David Brothers, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Nick Dragotta, Leila del Duca, Matt Fraction, Kieron Gillen, Jonathan Hickman, Joe Keatinge, Robert Kirkman, Jamie McKelvie, Rick Remender, Declan Shalvey, Fiona Staples, Eric Stephenson, C. Spike Trotman, and Brian K. Vaughan, a pretty incredible roster of successful talent that includes people involved with every aspect of comics publishing, from creating to editing and marketing. For the recipient of the grant, though, these founders won't just be providing money --- they will offer mentorship and advice.

Monetarily, the program seems pretty similar to the existing Xeric Grant, founded in 1992 by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Peter Laird with similar intentions for helping out young creators, which was awarded to creators like Adrian Tomine, Sonny Liew, and current Superman writer Gene Yang.

The application and guidelines for submissions will be open on May 1 of this year, while the recipient will have a guaranteed publishing deal through Image or Iron Circus if they choose to take it, they also retain the rights to their creation and can publish it as they see fit. For more information, check out