At the Alternative Press Expo, Prism Comics announced the recipient of the 2013 Queer Press Grant on October 13th during the Queer Cartoonists Panel moderated by Justin Hall. This year’s recipient is Hazel Newlevant for her works Dance the Blues and If This Be Sin. Prism Comics, which supports LGBT comics, creators and readers, established the Queer Press Grant in 2005 to encourage the publication of LGBT-themed comics. It is now the only grant today given to independent comic book creators.
Jon Macy, Prism’s QPG Chairperson said in a statement:
There were so many really talented creators applying for the grant that it was very hard to not love them all. Hazel’s work really hit the magic balance between art, writing, and having something to say.
Hazel Newlevant’s entry, Dance the Blues, and If This Be Sin, are a collection of powerful short stories that take us into “the rich heritage of queer women expressing themselves through blues music”. In Dance the Blues, contestants at a dance competition ignore gender roles and switch partners with ease. If This Be Sin, includes the history of a female jazz pianist who finds success performing in men’s clothes, but faces crushing reprisals in public life.
Prism Comics’ Queer Press Grant is awarded to assist comics creators in publishing comics with LGBT characters or themes. Entries are judged first and foremost by artistic merit, followed by concerns such as financial need, proposal presentation, and the project’s contribution to the LGBT community. They are reviewed by the Prism Board, past recipients of the Grant, and Prism’s Advisory Board.