SelfMadeHero Launches Graphic Anthology Programme to Build Diversity in Comics

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UK publisher SelfMadeHero, thanks to public funding, is starting a mentoring programme (I said they were UK) “designed to find, develop, publish, and promote emerging comic-book artists from Black, Asian, Arab, mixed-race, Romani/Traveller, and non-white Latinx backgrounds.”

Until March 26, they are accepting applications for the opportunity. Participants must be over 18, reside in the UK, not have a literary agent, and not have been published by a traditional print publisher.

Eight artists will be selected for a 12-week online mentoring workshop, running May 18 to August 11, led by Asia Alfasi, Catherine Anyango Grünewald, Sonia Leong, Mustashrik Mahbub, and Woodrow Phoenix. There will be weekly three-hour sessions and eight master classes.

Graphic Anthology Programme

The artists will create short stories that will be assembled in an anthology SelfMadeHero will publish in October and promote at the 2021 Lakes International Comic Art Festival (LICAF). But it’s about more than just the storytelling — while the program will provide guidance on such topics as plotting, pacing, and layout, it will also cover project planning, meeting deadlines, and other career-focused skills.

Said SelfMadeHero’s Managing Director Emma Hayley, “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.”

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