British publisher SelfMadeHero has launched the Graphics Anthology Programme (GAP) to find, publish and then promote a group of emerging comic-book artists from Black, Asian, Arabic, mixed-race, Romani/Traveller and non-white Latinx backgrounds.
The call for submissions process is open,and runs to the 26th of March.
Eight exceptional emerging talents will be given the tools to become publishable creators and, starting in May, each begins on a 12-week online mentoring program led by five established graphic novelists;
- Asia Alfasi
- Catherine Anyango Grünewald
- Sonia Leong
- Mustashrik Mahbub
- Woodrow Phoenix
The participants will then be published by SelfMadeHero in an anthology scheduled for October 2021.
SelfMadeHero’s Managing Director Emma Hayley told press;
The UK comics scene is young, vibrant and culturally progressive, yet there remains a lack of ethnic diversity among published artists and writers.
A 2020 survey commissioned by UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry found that Black and Minority Ethnic artists were less likely to be published by traditional print publishers than their white counterparts. The launch of our Graphic Anthology Programme marks an important step in acknowledging, addressing and reducing this disparity.”
The writer development agency Spread the Word will work with SelfMadeHero to identify the eight participants of GAP. Those successful applicants will be given advice on plotting and pacing, to language and layout.
Woodrow Phoenix, who has had work appear in newspapers like The Guardian and The Independent, in TV projects for Walk Disney and Cartoon Network, and who is a GAP mentor, noted;
The lack of professional provision and access for non-white comics creators is very real. It’s great to see a very necessary correction from SelfMadeHero with this new initiative.”
In addition to access to the mentors, the participants in GAP will get eight masterclasses from industry professionals and direct experience of working with a professional publishing team in the form of Emma Hayley, Txabi Jones and Ayoola Solarin.
Catherine Anyango Grünewald added;
“I hope that the Graphic Anthology Programme platform can empower its readers to enrich and expand their worldview, and empower the artists involved to trust in the importance of their stories and the beauty of their expression.”
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