Laird announces changes to the Xeric Grant

Max Douglas covers the ending of the Xeric Grant in May 2012 over at Sequential. Many Canadian creators have received Xerics over the years, including Jeff Lemire, Nick Mandaag, Troy Little and Ethan Rilly. The announcement:

The Xeric Foundation’s upcoming 20th anniversary will bring
a changed focus in grant-giving.

“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.

I’d like to thank all of the people who applied for (and sometimes received) those comic book grants, for their participation in an art form of great merit, as well as those who have applied for (and sometimes received) charitable grants. But I’d especially like to thank all the people who have served on the Xeric Grant committees, both those for the comic book grants and the charitable grants, who have worked without pay all these years, giving of their time and energy, reading and evaluating piles of grant applications. I would like to thank them by name, but — as it has been since the beginning of the Xeric Foundation — they prefer to remain anonymous. So… thank you all, from the bottom of my heart!”

–Peter Laird,   July 14, 2011

With this announcement, the foundation celebrates Peter Laird’s legacy and the many innovative comic books that were self-published with the support of Xeric grants.

There will be a final comic book review in May 2012.  Details can be found at the following link: FINAL GRANT APPLICATION. Please note that the November review is cancelled, allowing creators more time to prepare and present their best work.

Good luck to all of the dedicated self-publishers.  Get in there and show us what you’ve got during the last round of comic book grants!