Bedside Press to launch mentorship and publishing programs for new comics creators

Innovative small press publisher Hope Nicholson is making big waves to shake up the Canadian comics industry

Bedside Press, the Winnipeg-based small publisher, made a big announcement in the Hollywood Reporter today introducing a collaborative project to boost books and comics that have strong potential but no current access to the market.

Publisher Hope Nicholson formed Bedside Press in 2014 and spent the last five years navigating the comics publishing world and beyond, using already established publishers, Canadian arts grants and internet crowdfunding sites to help bring her books to print. Bedside Press is responsible for many books coming to print, including Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, and two Eisner Award-nominated anthologies: Enough Space for Everyone Else and Trina Robbins’ A Bunch of Jews (and other stuff) with various artists.

In a Facebook post on her personal wall, Nicholson stated, “After many months of hard-work, inspired by all the stories of projects lost in development hell, of post-Kickstarter books languishing in publication limbo, and of creators frustrated by the opaque nature of the Canadian grants system, I’ve created a new initiative to help use my knowledge of the comics and traditional publishing world to get these stories onto shelves.”

The requirements to be considered for this new initiative include:

  • Books that will be crowdfunded that need in depth mentorship.
  • Books that have been crowdfunded that want to reach the bookstore market.
  • Books that are in development limbo or in publishing hell (I know, mixed metaphors).
  • Canadian-created content where grant mentorship is required.

Those interested in submitting for future rounds are invited to email, with Nicholson and Bedside Press promising that all pitches will receive feedback, even if not accepted into the mentorship or publishing programs

Projects so far accepted include:

  • Broodhollow, collecting the webcomic about an anxious man in a town filled with monsters by Kris Straub.
  • Jed the Undead, a YA graphic novel about a zombie just trying to live his life, by Andi Santagata and edited by former Oni Press editor Desiree Wilson.
  • Awkward Pause, which collects strips from Ryan Harby’s Honey Dill webcomic.
  • Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures, a romance/SF anthology curated by S.M. Beiko, who also brought Gothic Tales of Haunted Love to press.
  • The First Saturday in May, a photobook featuring in-depth looks at fashion worn at the annual Toronto Comic Arts Festival, curated by Tia Vasiliou. 

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