Total loan: $10,000
Miami, FL, United States / Wholesale
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A loan helped create and market a new wholesale service to provide independent retailers with an easy platform to order from small press comics publishers.
I grew up in a family of five kids in Rochester, NY. My parents ran a household that valued kindness, cooperation, and supporting others. I’ve been a fan of comics since I was a little kid, and drew them throughout high school and college. In 2003 I moved to Chicago, and started reading self-published comics and zines, and learned how easy it was to publish my own. Soon I was photocopying my comics, selling them at local bookstores, and sharing them with friends! Starting in 2009, I was lucky enough to work at Quimby’s Bookstore for six years, which is a cultural epicenter for self-published and small press books, comics, and zines. Working at Quimby’s taught me a lot about the world of bookselling, and inspired me to work to promote independent voices in print media. In 2010, three friends of mine and I started the Chicago Zine Fest, and in 2012 four other friends and I started the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. I helped run these two annual small press festivals for several years, and took a lot of pride in working on a platform for artists to display and sell their work, and build their audience. Last year my spouse took a job in Miami, and we moved our lives and work to Florida! I am currently an Artist In Residence at my local branch of the Miami Dade Public Library System, where I teach art to elementary and middle school students, and work on my comics. For the past five years I’ve been distributing self-published and small press comics through my business, Radiator Comics. I’m working on a daily basis to promote alternative comics and expand its readership. My dream is to help make comics-making a more sustainable and viable occupation for members of my community.