Friday, July 22, 2011

The Xeric Grant Says Adieu

Nix Comics Quarterly publisher Ken Eppstein surprised me with the news this week that the Xeric Foundation is ending its decades-long practice of awarding grants to self-publishing cartoonists.

My comic book Reactionary Tales #1, published in 2001, was funded by a grant from the Xeric Foundation (the book is the introduction of the Signifiers Universe).

On the Xeric Grant website, cartoonist and Xeric founder Peter Laird recently wrote: "The advent of essentially free web publishing has forever altered the way aspiring comic book creators can get their work out into the public eye. With this in mind, I have decided that it makes sense that the Xeric Foundation will no longer provide grants to self-publishing comic book creators, and instead devote all of its available grants funds to charitable organizations."

Though I'm disappointed that the Xeric Foundation is no longer supporting and encouraging the publication of artwork on paper (one could argue that web publishing isn't really publishing at all but merely posting/uploading - and the fact that essentially free web publishing was also available during most years of the Foundation's existence (I had a website for my comics work in '96), the Foundation has generously provided more than $2,500,000 to creators and charities over the course of its existence - an amazingly loving accomplishment.
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