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MAKE COMICS: Women Webcomicker Grant NAN

make comics
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Please re-post, link to, and propogate at will.)

Women Webcomicker Grant NAN

I am Lea Hernandez. I am committed to being a webcomicker, and have been for over ten years. I put up my first webpage, Pink Radio, in late 1995. On this page was a link to a preview of "Monster Friday," a short story from the Japanese CD-ROM anthology ComicON Vol. 1. The Web is a force for equalizing audience access for women who want to make comics, but face a still-hostile direct market, and many hurdles (mainly financial), in a somewhat friendlier, but still difficult, bookstore and convention circuit markets.

The Web has been my number one tool in successful promotion of my work. I used it in 1997 to get around Big Three-centric print comics coverage and go straight to potential readers with news and previews of my books. A connection between me and readers was the reason why my first two books, Cathedral Child and Clockwork Angels, sold exclusively in the Direct Market (my publisher at the time, Image, had no bookstore distro), sold well enough for third and second printings at a time when graphic novels were not small-format books, nor priced at a now-typical $10 a volume, and in a market where most store buyers (but not readers) were not friendly to manga, let alone OEL manga.

In 2003, I used the Web to finish a series I started in print, Rumble Girls. I withdrew RG from Image, but accomplished my goal of finishing it for the readers who'd supported it in print. The Web allowed me to quit seeking work from comics publishers and still enjoy a readership and financial success. This is quite a change from the start of my career where wide readership was virtually impossible without sacrificing rights in exchange for the exposure afforded by being published by the "Big Two", Marvel and DC.

In order to foster women publishing independently, with economy, and as owners of what they create, I will award three grants annually, of a year's free hosting at WebComicsNation.com, to women making webcomics. The recipients will have unlimited data storage and bandwidth, the ability to choose to support their work with ads, and a storefront for selling merchandise.

The name of the grant is "Nan", after the "digital person" Nan 1^1 from Rumble Girls. In RG, Nan agitates, comments on, and works behind the scenes to help the heroine, Raven, come to the understanding that being her own girl is the key to her strength.

I believe the Web already has what women wanting to make comics need, and that it has and continues to transform American comics from a work-for-hire Boy's Club to a stage for everyone to perform on and be seen. The Web is living up to its promise, and comics can, too.

Details and submission guidelines to be announced in early June.

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
twig_tea
May. 3rd, 2006 12:51 pm (UTC)
That is amazing! I will definitely be sending that info to every female webcomics artist who qualifies when you get those details out. I hope the winners will expose me to some new female comic creators as well!
divalea
May. 3rd, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
I hope you feel better soon. Your LJ reads like Life kicked off one of your buttcheeks and then handed it back.
twig_tea
May. 3rd, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC)
Hahah! What a visual metaphor. Sounds about accurate. Thanks for the well-wishes!
doodlesthegreat
May. 3rd, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC)
Now THAT is putting your money where your mouth is.
divalea
May. 3rd, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)
Walkin' the walk.
takhisis
May. 3rd, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, rock!
divalea
May. 4th, 2006 03:33 am (UTC)
Thenk yeh.
snobahr
May. 3rd, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC)
I look forward to the detail/guideline posting
I had a webcomic a few years ago, but various snippets of life drew me away. I've been making plans on picking up my comic strip once more (thankfully, I left it at a good break-point), or just starting something new entirely, or... gah.

Cool beans, Lea! Cool beans!

divalea
May. 4th, 2006 03:33 am (UTC)
Re: I look forward to the detail/guideline posting
Thanks.
vito_excalibur
May. 3rd, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
Yay, cool!
divalea
May. 4th, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)
Thanks, Vito.
dreamling
May. 3rd, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)
Great idea!
divalea
May. 4th, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)
Thanks. :D

*grinder monkey dance*
cudjo_dog
May. 4th, 2006 04:54 am (UTC)
The Nan grant is one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time.

divalea
May. 4th, 2006 05:17 am (UTC)
Thanks, Dawg.
ocarina
May. 4th, 2006 06:41 pm (UTC)
I'm spreading the word, but I'm curious to know if the grant is going to accept donations. It's a fabulous idea.
divalea
May. 5th, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
I haven't decided yet, because it never occured to me. I'll let you know.
ericmonster
May. 4th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
This is great -- I'm passing it on!
divalea
May. 5th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
Thanks!
crowhen
May. 5th, 2006 02:08 am (UTC)
Thought I'd let you know that I put it on the front page of Manga Punk. We're all very excited about it. Thank you.
divalea
May. 5th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
I saw that! Thanks so much!
jlunar
May. 5th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
very cool! I'm quite willing to donate some design time to the winner if they need it! Dunno if you want to get into that, but there it is, if there's interest.
rustichris
May. 10th, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC)
(This is actually Tintin)

Since it's a webcomics nation account, with lots of space, will fledgeling girl-owned collectives be eligible, not only individuals?

that's a great idea by the way!
divalea
May. 10th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
No, individuals only.
heykidzcomix
May. 11th, 2006 11:26 pm (UTC)
What about an artist/writer pair working on one project?
divalea
May. 11th, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
Yes.
divalea
May. 11th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
But they both have to be female.
heykidzcomix
May. 11th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
Done and done. Thanks!
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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