§ Happy self-isolation everyone. News is coming in faster than I can catch up with even in the comics world. Book delays, conventions cancelled, TCAF cancelled, job losses, comics companies putting everything on hold, etc. Not only this, but items related to comics and arts tend to drown under the rest of the news related to the coronavirus pandemic. I’m trying to keep up with comics news, but a lot of what I’m seeing is people needing help. I’ll try to focus on this in the coming columns. If you see people needing help, financial or otherwise, send them my way, either in the comments or on Twitter. Let’s help each other during these bad times and keep following The Beat for all of the latest comics news.
§ Shortbox doesn’t typically have digital releases of their books, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are making some of their publications available as PDFs for free on Gumroad. They’ll be adding things every week, so keep an eye out. So far, the excellent Beneath the Dead Oak Tree by Emily Carroll and a fanzine on the animated series Pingu are available. If you can, consider paying for those comics, I’m sure it would help them.
§ Radiator comics could use some online orders.
§ The staff of the Beguiling and its sister stores Little Island and Pages & Panels have launched a GoFundMe. The goal is to keep the staff afloat during the ongoing closures. Helping them make ends meet so they can keep working there and keep providing the comics community healthy.
§ Zack Soto‘s long-running series The Secret Voice was compiled in a stunning hardcover collection in 2019. It’s available on the Floating World website AND, Soto has discounted the digital version of it. Please encourage him, besides, the series is really good.
§ Camilla Sucre is looking for work. Please consider asking her for a commission, her work is excellent. Below is a wonderful Samus Aran she drew for me a few years ago.
MONEY, EMERGENCY FUNDING AND WHERE TO FIND IT
§ The Toronto Arts Council made an emergency COVID-19 grant. This is good, but you have to apply BY APRIL 1st, so the time is of the essence here. You can find the eligibility criteria over at the Toronto Arts Council website. You have to live in Toronto, be self-employed, and provide documentation of lost revenue (like a client confirmation that work is being halted or something along those lines) — see the full document for details. The application is HERE.
§ Canada Council for the Arts has extended many deadlines for its grants and funding opportunity. Obviously, none of the funding applies for travel and accommodations anymore for obvious reasons.
§ The Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec has also extended its deadline for funding to April 15 and adjusted some of their requirements. Would it surprise you to know they aren’t funding any more travel?
§ The British Columbia Arts Council also updated a lot of its requirement. Again, no travel, but there are other possibilities for BC residents.
§ The New York Foundation for the Arts also has so far the most comprehensive list I have seen of ALL available emergency grants available in the United States. It’s not just for New York residents either, as they highlighted opportunities for funding in North Carolina, Washington, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Texas, Minnesota, Georgia and plenty of other states. Some may not apply for comic artists, I haven’t been able to process and look through every grants (there’s too many to count), but you should take the time to look through those that relates to your states AND the national ones as well.
§ The Boston Arts & Culture Council has an emergency $500 grant available for artists in Boston negatively impacted by COVID-19. Details at the link.
§ The Marguerite London, a networking group for women who work in the visual arts has put out a call for freelancers who may be looking for work. They will try to connect artists with potential work opportunities.
§ 4 Culture will be opening application for emergency funding for artists ON APRIL 1st. Up to $2,000 for individuals, and up to $5,000 for organizations.
§ Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) has emergency grants for up to $2,500 available for women in the arts who have experienced financial hardships as a result of the Coronavirus. It’s only open to women over the age of 40, but it’s a good grant. Applications open ON APRIL 6th.
§ Arts Administrators of Color has launched a GoFundMe whose funds will go towards providing emergency relief to artists. I believe (unless I’m crazy) that the applications are done through google docs at this link
§ The resources above are just the ones I’m aware of, but there are plenty more that I don’t know about. Looking for an artist for a project? Saw a funding opportunities not listed above? You’re aware of job opportunities for comics folks? Send me any other opportunities you feel are relevant and I’ll post them in the next column.
§ Bryan Talbot made some of his work available for free online. There is some really good work in there for those who are looking to pass the time while staying home.
§ Gil Roth started a series of short podcasts called COVID Check-In, where, much like the title indicates, he checks in with artists about how they’re coping with the current pandemic. The first episode is with Kate Lacour.
§ Elise Gravel made an easy comic to explain the Coronavirus to young children. It’s great and really helped my son get a better understanding of the importance of social distancing. It’s free and printable.
§ Bob Q has made some of his comics available for free online.
§ Julia Wertz described the origin of toilet papers in Tenements, Towers, and Trash
§ It should come as a surprise to no one, but everything is cancelled everywhere until further notice. I don’t know what indie comics events are or aren’t taking place, when things will restart and things are changing on a daily basis. Visit the website of the events you are planning to attend for the latest updates, and stay safe everyone.
§ James Stokoe made available 30 unpublished pages of his series Orc Stain. Stokoe’s art is a wonder to marvel at, even if you don’t know the series, it’s worth a look for the level of details he puts into his work.
REVIEWS AND OTHER NOTABLE THINGS
§ If you see something I should know about, tell me about it. You can email me, tell me in the comments or tweet at me @Leblanc_Phil. I’ll be back in two weeks with more small press & indie comics updates.