Grant Money to Self-Publish Your Comic Book

You’ve just completed your first comic book, and you know that you don’t want to subject your work to the soul-crushing scrutiny of editors and other middle-men as well as the anonymity of a publisher’s slush pile. But then you also realize that, while the self-publishing route can be highly rewarding, it can also get expensive. This is where the Xeric Foundation could help. I first found out about the Xeric Foundation through Bebe Williams, a web comics pioneer whose “Bobby Ruckers” comic book was the recipient of a Xeric grant. Founded by “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” co-creator Peter A. Laird, the Xeric Foundation has offered financial assistance to “fully committed, self-publishing comic book creators and nonprofit organizations” since the early nineties. Note that Xeric’s assistance is expressly not intended to fully finance the artist/writer through the entire process of self-publishing. Also note that Xeric grants usually don’t exceed $5,000.

Things You’ll Need:
#1. Six “Clean” Copies of a Completed Comic Book (art and narrative)
#2. Six Copies of Completed Xeric Foundation Application Package
#3. Talent

Step 1:
Fully understand the nature of the Xeric grant before you apply. While the grant can be used for the physical production and distribution of your comic book, it cannot be used for obtaining services from other publishers, or for travel, business or living expenses. It also can’t be used for art supplies, web sites, T-shirts or any other promotional items.

Step 2:
Determine if your artwork and narrative are complete and at their best. Note that the Xeric Foundation will only review art and narrative together, not separately.

Step 3:
While Xeric Foundation grants aren’t awarded on financial need alone, need can play a contributing factor in receiving it. A financial statement is part of the application package. Gather your information. Even though the whole application process may seem daunting, don’t give up. See cartoonist Donna Barr’s account of going through this process.

Step 4:
Write a cover letter that includes the project title and the money amount needed.

Step 5:
Write a statement of purpose separate from the cover letter. In other words, briefly answer why you are applying for a Xeric grant.

Step 6:
Prepare a detailed budget of expenses that will occur within your specific production time period.

Step 7:
Make six copies of the application package, including copies of the artwork. Put each package in a separate envelope.

Step 8:
Send the application packages to: Xeric Foundation 351 Pleasant St., #214 Northampton, MA 01060

Tips & Warnings
Xeric Foundation grants are also available for Canadian citizens.

According the Foundation’s web site, “there are no strings attached regarding copyrights, trademarks, etc.”

Be aware of submission deadlines.

Charitable grants are only available to nonprofit organizations in Western Massachusetts


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