Cartoonist M. Dean has been awarded the inaugural Creators for Creators grant for her project I Am Young. Dean is a graduate of the Ringling College of Art and Design, and has previously done the webcomics The Girl Who Flew Away and Coming Soon: Regents Walk. Dean will be given $30,000 from Creators for Creators to work on a new project, I Am Young.
"Since college I’ve been tossing around short stories about young people from a long time ago in my head and I went through various titles to find one that could both tie these short stories but remain universal. Ultimately, I want to tell stories about the foibles of youth, the mistakes and nuances, the people, places, and things that feel important," said Dean. "I realized a title like I Am Young reveals both naïveté and an acknowledgement that everyone grows older and changes. These stories take place beginning in the mid-century, go throughout the remaining 20th-century and end in the 2000s. By the end all the characters that were seen as teens would be middle aged or older, they have changed as the world has changed. And we as individuals and the world around us continues to."
Creators for Creators was established in 2016 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to award an annual grant for original comic book work from new creators. The organization was jointly established by Iron Circus Comics and Image Comics, and has received funding from founders including Charlie Adlard, Jordie Bellaire, David Brothers, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Nick Dragotta, Leila del Duca, Matt Fraction, Kieron Gillen, Jonathan Hickman, Joe Keatinge, Robert Kirkman, Jamie McKelvie, Rick Remender, Declan Shalvey, Fiona Staples, Eric Stephenson, C. Spike Trotman, and Brian K. Vaughan.
"I would like to close just by saying how very thankful I am to everyone has has picked up, read, and shared their enjoyment and appreciation of my work," said Dean. "With this grant I’m so grateful that I will be able to create more of it and do something that I love and means so much to me personally. Thank you so much!"