The Xeric Foundation is going to stop giving grants to small time comic book creators… and it may be ending because of webcomic business model. From Peter Laird, founder of the Xeric Foundation:
Roughly twenty years ago, I started something called the Xeric Foundation. It came about because, with the success of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” property that Kevin Eastman and I had created back in 1983, there were a lot of people asking for money. Many of these requests were legitimate and came from real need, and I wanted to find a way to deal with them in a fair and organized fashion.
I also wanted to help out struggling comic book creators. Having started TMNT with Kevin as a self-published venture, I knew very well how critical even a relatively small amount of money could be for success at that nascent stage.
The Xeric Foundation accomplished all that. The Foundation was able to give many grants to self-publishing comic book creators and local charitable organizations. To date, those grants have totaled more than $2,500,000, and those funds were split equally between the two aforementioned categories.
When I began the Xeric Foundation back in 1992, things were very different. The Internet — and web-based publishing — was in its infancy. This has changed, radically, and the Xeric Foundation needs to change accordingly.
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.
It kinda disheartening. I’ve reviewed a few webcomics that have received the Xeric grant. Knowing how tight finances can be for many creators, I have no doubt that the extra help was much appreciated. Ah, well.
(h/t Robot 6)