Boy did I stumble upon something exciting today. The Xeric Foundation, founded by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creator Peter Laird, is a private charitable organization that "offers financial assistance to committed, self-publishing comic book creators." They provide grants to help comic book artists and writers with some of the costs associated with self-publishing, including printing, copying, solicitation, shipping and advertising.
The grants they offer are not intended to cover all the costs of self-publishing and don't generally exceed $5,000. But man, $5,000 could go a long way to getting your work out there, and make a lot of things possible.
Hearing about this actually comes at an exciting time for me, as I've been working at a feverish pace on a new graphic novel. (Yes, this is yet another project.) I'll be talking a bit more about this project in the coming weeks.
But if you are an independent creator or self-publisher, check out the Xeric Foundation Grants. And if you get one, put in a good word for me. : )