And the winner is…Sean Ford.

The winner of the first annual First Helpings Scholarship is Sean Ford, a student at The Center for Cartoon Studies. The announcement was made jointly by Mark Siegel, Editorial Director for First Second Books; James Sturm, Director of the Center for Cartoon Studies; and Matthew Murray, Editorial Director of The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. Ford won for his mini-comic entitled “Only Skin.”

“When looking at the submissions, ‘Only Skin’ immediately grabbed my attention, and the humor and playfulness in Sean Ford’s narrative kept me engaged,” said Siegel. “I continue to be really impressed by the quality of talent the Center for Cartoon Studies is spawning.”

Added Sturm, “Sean Ford is a talent to watch, and it’s no surprise that First Second has their eyes wide open.”

“One of the benefits of working at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is participating in events like this, getting the chance to see the development of an artist’s career,” said Murray. “It was a pleasure to read all of the entries, and tough to have to choose one over the others. ‘Only Skin’ is a great read. I look forward to future works by such a talented storyteller.”

The scholarship is intended to give a young graphic novelist studying at the Center the opportunity to showcase his or her work and learn more about the publishing industry. Ford will be rewarded with a five day internship at First Second Books in New York; free admission to the MOCCA Arts Festival; a $100 gift certificate to the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art; and a one year membership to the museum. In addition, Ford’s work will be posted on the First Second website (www.firstsecondbooks.com), and his manuscript will be read by and receive editorial comments from Siegel.

Said Ford, “This is a shock and an honor. First Second is publishing some really interesting books right now that are helping to change people’s perceptions of what comics can be. It will be exciting to learn more about them in person. I can’t wait.”