Getting grants for your comic book project can be an incredibly helpful way to support your work as a creator. In my experience with “The City”, it was invaluable. While we were disappointed to be rejected by our city and provincial art grants (in Toronto and Ontario, respectively), we were ultimately successful in securing a national grant from the Canada Council. This grant helped us take our project to the next level, as we were already financially in the green from print sales.
The additional funding allowed us to invest in marketing, attend more conventions, and even pay ourselves a small stipend for our hard work. By receiving the grant, we were able to not only continue producing high-quality work but also grow our audience and reach new readers. I cannot stress enough how much this grant helped us in making “The City” a success.
If you’re a creator, I highly recommend looking into grant opportunities to support your comic book project. Even if you’re not successful in securing a grant right away, the experience of applying can help refine your project and strengthen your creative vision. And, as in our case with “The City”, a grant can make all the difference in taking your work to the next level.
There are various grants available for comic book creators, which can help provide funding and resources for your project. Here are some steps you can take to potentially secure grants for your comic book:
- Research grants: Look for grants that are specifically aimed at comic book creators or graphic novelists. Look at all the grants available in the city, state/province, then federal level. Call their offices and ask if they know of any other ones. You can also search for grants from private foundations, organizations, and government agencies that support the arts.
- Here are some government options for Canada:
- Look into your local municipal grants. For Toronto Arts Council: https://torontoartscouncil.org/home
- Also inquire your provincial council. For Ontario Arts Council: https://www.arts.on.ca/
- Finally, federal level is the Canada Council for the Arts, which all Canadians, I believe including permanent residents, are eligible for: https://apply.canadacouncil.ca/
- Here are some government options for Canada:
- Prepare your application: Review the grant guidelines and eligibility requirements carefully. Prepare your application materials, which may include a project proposal, work samples, and a budget. Make sure your application is well-written and compelling. Take your time with this as grants take time to be processed and you want your application to be topnotch. For The City, I took a month of reviewing and editing my application, getting advice from friends, peers, and also phoning grant organizations. Seriously, call their offices! Everyone I spoke to were super helpful and made my application stronger. Be sure to have all the questions ready.
- Submit your application: Follow the grant submission guidelines and submit your application by the deadline. Be sure to include all required materials.
- Follow up: After submitting your application, follow up with the grant provider to ensure they received your application and to ask for updates on the status of your application. For The City, I followed up via phone to make sure they had the application and it was being processed. This step is important, because for our application, there had been some errors in the system that resulted in a 1 month delay in receiving the funds!
- Keep applying: Even if you don’t receive a grant the first time you apply, don’t give up. Keep searching for grants and applying to those that you qualify for. Mark down all the important dates so you don’t miss the grant window!
For Americans (USA), your best guide is probably looking into private foundations. A friend of mine applied for a state grant but from my understanding not all states have an arts grant. One thing for sure is that USA has loads more private foundation grants than Canada. You may need to try your luck on a bunch more and be more time wary than us up in the North. Perhaps this Google search can be a good start: https://www.google.com/search?q=comic+book+arts+grants+USA&oq=comic+book+arts+grants+USA&aqs=chrome..69i57.4125j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#bsht=Cgdic2h3Y2hwEgQIBDAB
Remember that the grant application process can be competitive, so it’s important to put together a strong application that highlights the uniqueness and potential of your comic book project. Good luck!
PS. To those interested, I’ll go over my applications for my Toronto, Ontario, and Canada grant on a video some time in the future. Although it wasn’t accepted for Toronto and Ontario, it may help get a good idea on how to answer some prompts. Make sure to signup to our newsletter (below in the footer) to stay updated!