M. Dean's "I Am Young" Wins Initial $30,000 Creators For Creators Comics Grant
At last year's Image Expo, creators from both Image Comics and Iron Circus announced the formation of Creators For Creators, which will award a $30,000 grant to one cartoonist or writer-artist team "in order 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."
The founders of the grant, including 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 will also offer mentorship and advice to the winner.
And both Iron Circus and Image have pledged to support the recipient by publishing their work, if the recipient so chooses.
And the winner of the first Creators for Creators grant is to New York cartoonist M. Dean and her comic book project I Am Young. She tells the organisation,
I am a very soft-spoken girl from Florida who is in love with rather old things. I grew up with art and history and music and now use it as part of my work as an illustrator and cartoonist. I am a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design and creator and co-creator of two webcomics, The Girl Who Flew Away and Coming Soon: Regents Walk. I now live in New York City, where I collect bromeliads and have learned how to get stuck impatiently behind slow walkers.
As for I Am Young,
Since college, I've been tossing around short stories about young people from a long time ago in my head and I went through various titles to find one that could both tie these short stories but remain universal. Ultimately, I want to tell stories about the foibles of youth, the mistakes and nuances, the people, places, and things that feel important. I realized a title like I Am Young reveals both naïveté and an acknowledgment that everyone grows older and changes. 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.
There were plenty of congratulations to be shared.
And the timing seemed opportune!
Details for the 2018 Creators For Creators grant will be announced soon.