Berlin cartoonists eligible for subsidies
Our screens may be overrun with movies and TV series based on comics, but on the whole our beloved medium is not a fount of riches for the average cartoonist. Even in a country like France, where kids practically learn to read with comics, the alarms are sounded because so many lesser known artists and writers are giving up the art in search for a better-paying job (I’m sure many of our writer and artists among our readership will heave a sad sigh of recognition at this point).
Germany has a similar situation, albeit with slightly different causes: whereas France’s output continuously grows to glut-like proportions, in Germany comics are still something of an oddity. Certain superstars like Ralf König notwithstanding, there’s not that much money in the funny papers.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, at least for Berlin-based cartoonists. As of this year the Senate Cultural Administration is offering a “Comics Stipendium”, or comics scholarship. Similar initiatives existed in the past, but they were strictly private endeavours.
The scholarship is available for cartoonists living in Berlin, with one main scholarship (worth some 14,700 GBP) and two smaller ones (some 1,800 GBP). The call for tenders states that “the scholarships are meant for the artistic development of professional comic artists, with a focus on temporary projects, or the continuation or completion of certain works”. Criteria are “primarily artistic or content quality, as well as innovation”.
(based on reporting in Der Tagesspiegel)