KCU Resource List

This to be a living document that evolves and grows with community input. If there are any resources that have been valuable to you that are not on this list, please leave a comment below 🙂
Table of Contents

Professional Organizations
Online Learning
Accredited 🇺🇸 BFA/MFA Programs
Industry News
Agents and Book Deals
Crowdfunding Sites
Webcomic Sites
Print on Demand Sites
Podcasts
Online Freelance Work
Informative Guides
Books on Craft, Comics, Storytelling
Books on Marketing, Business, and Publishing
Illustration Portfolio Sites
Comic Fonts
Digital Brushes/Texture Packs
Websites to Check Out
Graphic Novel Publishing Imprints

Professional Organizations

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI):
The preeminent membership organization for children’s book creators. If you want to create books for kids, this organization is an invaluable resource.
Authors Guild:
Supporting working writers and protecting authors’ rights since 1912. The Authors Guild advocates for the rights of writers by supporting free speech, fair contracts, and copyright. Offers many services for writers..
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America:
Supports and empowers science fiction and fantasy writers, and now comics creators are welcome to join. Hosts the prestigious Nebula Awards at the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, assists members in various legal disputes, offers the Speakers Bureau, administers grants to SFF community organizations and members facing medical or legal expenses.
Freelancers Union:
Represents the 56.7 million independent workers across the country via policy advocacy, benefits, resources and community. Membership is free and open to freelancers of all kinds, from graphic designers and contractors to entrepreneurs and moonlighters.
Graphic Artists Guild:
The Graphic Artists Guild’s primary purpose is to help our members compete effectively in an ever-changing field. We enable graphic artists and other design professionals to build and maintain successful careers by providing skills and support—from advice on the daily tasks of running a creative business to going to bat for our creative community with business and government leaders. Guild members are creative professionals and those studying to become creative professionals.
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts:
Founded in 1969, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) is the leading legal aid and education organization dedicated to New York artists and its arts and cultural organizations. VLA strives to protect the artistic community’s livelihoods, businesses, and creative works through access to dedicated legal representation and focused innovative education programs.
The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles:
Founded in 1953 by a handful of Southern California advertising artists and designers who sought to promote the professional status of illustration art as well as foster both philanthropic and educational goals.From this small beginning, SILA has grown to a very productive membership whose work is seen locally and nationally by millions each year in all printed media, television, films, the Internet, and gallery exhibitions. The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles is firmly established as the major professional art entity on the West Coast providing significant contribution to the vitality of not only the community itself, but the nation as well.
National Cartoonists Society:
The world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. It was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops. They found that they enjoyed each other’s company and decided to get together on a regular basis.
Highlights Foundation:
For more than 35 years, the Highlights Foundation has embraced the core values that serve our mission: excellence, creativity, diversity, and integrity. Year after year, online and in-person, our programs, staff, faculty, and scholarships help us bring this mission to you. We offer a range of topics and types of courses, from no-cost webinars to week-long residencies to online intensives. These offerings provide education, support, and encouragement for both beginning and published authors and illustrators, and are led by children’s publishing professionals: editors, authors, illustrators, art directors, publishers, agents, academics, and others who are there to help our community realize their creative goals.
Reading with Pictures
Empowers teachers, librarians, parents, creators, retailers, and publishers to engage all learners through the sequential arts. We foster the joy of reading and lifelong multi-literacy through the comic arts at all levels of education. We partner with educators, researchers, and policymakers to identify, develop, and promote best practices. We promote the creation of and access to multi-faceted, representational comics and related resources by a diverse group of creators.

Online Learning

Illustration Department:
Founded by Giuseppe Castellano in July of 2015, The Illustration Department has become a global leader in online education for illustrators of all experience levels. We have worked with hundreds of illustrators from every hemisphere, and from every point on the experience spectrum. Our personalized class offerings are designed around each illustrator—with a focus on their strengths, their areas of growth, and their career goals.
Storyteller Academy:
We teach aspiring kidlit authors and illustrators the art of storytelling and help them get published. Learn everything you need to know to write, illustrate, and submit your children’s book with the option of two membership levels.
SVS Learn:
Will Terry and Jake Parker started making instructional videos that showed their actual working process as professional illustrators. Lee White joined the team in 2014 and together they are building a resource to help anyone who is interested in art and illustration. By hiring the best working professionals to teach, SVSLearn ensures our students get the best instruction possible.
Sequential Artists Workshop:
Is a 501 (c)3 non-profit grassroots comics school and creative community. We teach people how to tell stories and make comics in Gainesville, Florida, USA… and around the world via our online courses and resources. In 2011, acclaimed indie cartoonist Tom Hart founded SAW to help aspiring cartoonists from all backgrounds, identities, and walks of life to make great comics.
Kids Comics Intensive:
Kids Comics Intensive are two courses focused on the Craft and Business of making and selling children’s and YA graphic novels. You can sign up for the first session, the second session, or both. Course sessions are LIVE (dates & times TBA). Replays will be available within 24 hrs afterward.
Domestika:
Domestika is the fastest-growing creative community where the best creative experts share their knowledge and skills through professionally produced online courses. It all started as an online forum and a small but dynamic showcase of creative professionals, designed to help them connect and learn from each other.
CreativeBug:
We’re a team of dreamers and makers who believe that everyone has a creative side – even you! We pride ourselves on bringing the latest in art and craft education to our members, and we work with renowned artists to do just that. By signing up for Creativebug you’ll enjoy unlimited access to thousands of online art and craft classes. Watch our classes anytime, anywhere. Since our classes never expire, you can start and stop projects at your own pace.
Skillshare:
Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and more. On Skillshare, members come together to find inspiration and take the next step in their creative journey.
The Manuscript Academy:
In 2016, agent Jessica Sinsheimer (co-creator of #MSWL and ManuscriptWishList.com) and writing professor and SCBWI organizer Julie Kingsley met after a small mishap on the bus to Book Expo (agent Katharine Sands saved her and invited her to an agent happy hour–she went and met Jessica!). Together, they discussed the expense, inconvenience, and hassle of in-person conferences (especially the food–Jessica needs her daily coffee and cheese) and wondered–why can’t we offer the best elements of writing conferences online? Five years, thousands of consultations, and countless success stories later, The Manuscript Academy, LLC, is a conference, meeting portal, written critique marketplace, workshop hub, event space, and podcast designed to treat you, the writer, as a real person–not one of thousands in the slushpile.

Accredited 🇺🇸 BFA/MFA Programs

Center for Cartoon Studies:
Offers a two-year course of study that centers on the creation and dissemination of comics, graphic novels and other manifestations of the visual narrative. Experienced and internationally recognized cartoonists, writers, and designers teach classes. CCS programs include a two-year Master of Fine Arts Degree, One- and Two-Year Certificates in Cartooning, and annual summer workshops. The school is located in the historic downtown village of White River Junction, Vermont.
School of Visual Arts (SVA):
Has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for more than seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility.
SCAD:
The Savannah College of Art and Design was founded in 1978 by Richard G. Rowan, Paula Wallace, May L. Poetter and Paul E. Poetter to provide college degree programs not previously available in southeast Georgia and to create a specialized professional art college to attract students from throughout the United States and abroad. The curriculum was established with dual goals of excellent arts education and effective career preparation for students. Today, with multiple locations and online distance education offerings, SCAD continues to assiduously adhere to these goals.
Columbus School of Art and Design:
Columbus College of Art & Design is a four-year, degree-granting nonprofit college accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded in 1879 by five women, we’ve been leading the way in educating a diverse group of talented students for more than 140 years.
Michigan State University:
Michigan State University has a Comics Studies program spearheaded by Ryan Claytor, a comics professor and artist who has been a frequent speaker with Kids Comics Studio. MSU’s library archive also boasts the largest collection of comic books in the world.
Boston University College of Fine Arts:
Established in 1954, Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) is a community of artist-scholars and scholar-artists who are passionate about the fine and performing arts, committed to diversity and inclusion, and determined to improve the lives of others through art. With programs in Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts, CFA prepares students for a meaningful creative life by developing their intellectual capacity to create art, shift perspective, execute expansive research, and master relevant 21st century skills. CFA offers a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, as well as a range of online degrees and certificates.

Industry News

Publishers Weekly:
Publishers Weekly, now celebrating its 150th anniversary, is familiarly known in the book world as PW and “the bible of the book business.” Focused on the international book publishing business, it is now a multimedia news platform with full horizontal coverage of book publishing beginning with the author-as-creator to publisher, printer, and distributor to the end consumer. Its varied products are targeted at publishers, booksellers, librarians, literary agents, authors, book lovers, and the media. It offers feature articles and news on all aspects of the book business, bestsellers lists in a number of categories, and industry statistics, but its best-known service is prepublication book reviews, of which it publishes nearly 9,000 per year.
Comics Beat:
Established in 2004, The Beat has been covering the world of comics, graphic novels, comic cons, and pop culture daily to an audience of both fans and industry influencers. It is a two-time nominee for the Will Eisner Award in the Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism category and the winner of the Shelf Dorf Award for Best Comics Blog. In 2017, The Beat was added to the Library of Congress’s historical archives.
Indie Comix Dispatch:
The Indie Comix Dispatch was established in May 2020 with our first Indie Comic Minute and creator interviews. Though it would take time to develop the ICD name and brand, the ICD mission has always remained the same: spotlight small press comic creators with a focus on stories that highlight the experiences of diverse and underrepresented groups. In our first year, we expanded to 16 team members, 4 shows, a podcast, a sister show,  a full newsroom, published a book, produced 2 comics, reviewed over 125 comics, and hosted over 100 guests and interviews. Then, in our second year, we officially became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit thanks to the support of the indie comic community. We are building a bigger, better indie comic community where everyone is welcome.

Agents and Book Deals

Publishers Marketplace:
The biggest and best dedicated marketplace for publishing professionals built on the foundation of Publishers Lunch, read by 40,000 industry insiders and considered “publishing’s essential daily read.” Become a Publishers Marketplace member today and get the enhanced Publishers Lunch Deluxe newsletter plus all the benefits that come with membership.
Nikki Smith’s List of GN Agents:
The following is a list of literary agents who represent graphic novels and comics. Every agency on this list has mentioned an interest in graphic novels either on their website or their blog, or made a GN sale– no second-hand info unless it was well vouched for.

Crowdfunding Sites

Kickstarter:
Our mission is to help bring creative projects to life. We believe that art and creative expression are essential to a healthy and vibrant society, and the space to create requires protection. We don’t want art world elites and entertainment executives to define our culture; we want creative people—even those who’ve never made anything before—to take the wheel. We help creators connect directly with their communities, putting power where it belongs. We are so committed to our mission, we wrote it into our business model. In 2015 we became a Public Benefit Corporation—a for-profit company that prioritizes positive outcomes for society as much as our shareholders.
Indiegogo:
Powered by curiosity, the Indiegogo community has helped bring more than 800,000 innovative ideas to life since 2008. Today, our group of backers is more than 9 million strong, representing 235 countries and territories. Always on the lookout for new solutions to everyday problems, our community thrives on making clever discoveries before everyone else. From live campaigns to ready-to-ship tech, curious humans rely on Indiegogo to find the latest innovations in tech and design.
Comix Launch:
Creators, Superman isn’t coming. So we get to save ourselves. My name is Tyler James and I’m one of thousands of creators who are doing things differently. We believe the creative life and career we want is not only possible, but inevitable….If we’re willing to work hard enough, smart enough, and to commit.
Patreon:
In 2013, YouTube musician Jack Conte was looking for a solution to his problem: millions of people loved his videos, but only hundreds of dollars were hitting his bank account. This didn’t add up, so he drafted up an idea about a website that would allow his fans to pay him directly for the value he was giving them.He brought that doodle to his college roommate Sam Yam (now the co-founder of Patreon) who turned that chicken scratch into a fully-functioning service in only 6 weeks. Fast forward 8 years, and Patreon is the solution to this same problem for over 250,000 creators supported by more than 8 million+ patrons, and creators have earned over $3.5 billion.
Gumroad:
Gumroad is a powerful, but simple, e-commerce platform that puts a wide selection of tools at your fingertips. Now you can sell the digital services you want—books, memberships, courses, and more—right to your audience.
Ko-fi:
Ko-fi is a friendly way to earn an income. Start with a free tip jar for what you’re already creating and offer supporters more whenever you like!

Webcomic Sites

Webtoon:
We started a whole new way to create stories and opened it up to anyone with a story to tell. We’re home to thousands of creator-owned content with amazing, diverse visions from all over the world. Get in on the latest original romance, comedy, action, fantasy, horror, and more from big names and big names to be – made just for WEBTOON. We’re available anywhere, anytime, and always for free.
Tapas:
Once a bestselling novel, now a bestselling comic. Produced by Tapas, The Beginning after the End comic is a fantasy/action series that has found great success on our platform, having been viewed millions of times. It has been translated into 6 languages, topping the trending charts of online publishers around the world. Recently the series has even become a hit audiobook – and all of this began with one person’s imagination and hard work.
Hiveworks:
Launched at the end of 2011, Hiveworks began as a cooperation between longtime webcomic creators Erin Burt, Clover, Isabelle Melançon, Megan Lavey-Heaton, Yamino, and Chris Hazelton, led by Forbes 30-Under-30 Xellette Velamist. An internet-based studio and publisher, Hiveworks supports more than 180 creator-owned webcomics across multiple age groups, styles and genres by majority queer/LGBTQA+ and diverse creators around the world.
Moose Kid Comics:
Is a glorious 36-page, free to read, digital children’s comic. It features over 40 of the best comic artists working today, from well-established heroes to newer talents from the indie and web scenes. Each contributing their own entirely original characters, exclusively for our comic. No-one involved makes any profit, all artists have given their time for free.

Print on Demand Sites

Kindle Direct Publishing:
Self-publish eBooks and paperbacks for free with Kindle Direct Publishing, and reach millions of readers on Amazon. Get to market fast. Publishing takes less than 5 minutes and your book appears on Kindle stores worldwide within 72 hours. Make more money. Earn up to 70% royalty on sales to customers in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, India, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and more. Enroll in KDP Select and earn more money through Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Keep control. Keep control of your rights and set your own list prices. Make changes to your books at any time. Publish in digital and print. Publish Kindle eBooks and paperbacks for free on KDP. Get started today! Self-publish with KDP for free.
IngramSpark: If you’re looking to publish quality print books and ebooks, you’ve come to the right place! We also offer global book distribution and free resources to help you self-publish successfully. Once you write and format your book, we make it possible to share it with the world.
Lulu:
After successfully navigating a record-breaking IPO for Red Hat in 1999, our founder, Bob Young, discovered it was impossible to publish his amazing story through any of the traditional publishing houses. Determined to share his story, he employed a hybrid publisher, but was left frustrated, disappointed, and dissatisfied with the nominal results. It was at this point that he determined no one should have to share a similar experience, and Lulu was born.
GotPrint:
In 2001, GotPrint started out as a small family-run business in Toluca Lake, California, with a goal that would soon become a tradition: to provide fast, economical, and convenient service without sacrificing quality. In no time at all, this steadfast tradition helped us evolve into a continually growing and dependable company. Today, GotPrint’s headquarters are located in Burbank, California, where four buildings, encompassing about 110,000 square feet, support various departments including Customer Service, Accounting, Processing, Pre-Press, Press, Bindery, Quality Control, Direct Marketing, Mailing and Graphic Design.

Podcasts

Graphic Novel TK with Benjamin Wilgus and Gina Gagliano:
Your podcast guide to comic book publishing, hosted by Alison Wilgus and Gina Gagliano, brought to you by The Beat.
Creative Pep Talk with Andy J. Pizza:
The Creative Pep Talk Podcast helps you build a thriving creative practice.Through PEP & STRATEGY soaked monologues and interviews with creative powerhouses like Joseph Gordon Levitt, Abbi Jacobson and Morgan Harper Nichols, CPT is designed to help you reach your creative potential.
3-Point Perspective with Will Terry, Lee White, & Jake Parker:
Tune in as illustrators Will Terry, Lee White, and Jake Parker talk about illustration – how to do it, how to make a living at it, and how to make an impact in the world with it.
You Are a Storyteller with Brian McDonald & Jesse Bryan:
Belief Agency chief storyteller Brian McDonald (Invisible Ink) discusses the elements that make for a good story with Belief Agency executive creative director Jesse Bryan. Watch and listen as they talk through the nuance of structure, stress the importance of the armature (or theme), analyze classic films, and cover useful storytelling concepts like “the dark night of the soul.”
Freakonomics:
Began as a book, which led to a blog, a documentary film, more books, a pair of pants, and in 2010, a podcast called Freakonomics Radio. Hosted by Stephen J. Dubner, it became and remains one of the most popular podcasts in the world, with a reputation for storytelling that is both rigorous and entertaining. Its archive of more than 500 episodes is available, for free, on any podcast app, and the show airs weekly on NPR stations.
Sunlight Tax:
In this show, we’re talking about taxes, money, and careers for creative people who have a big vision for changing the world with their work. I’m your host, Hannah Cole; artist, tax pro, and the founder of Sunlight Tax. If you’re an artist, designer or creative entrepreneur who wants to grow your business sustainably, manage your taxes and build a stash of F***-You money so you can control your time and have a bigger impact with your work, you are in the right place.

Online Freelance Work

Reedsy:
Crafting beautiful books is at the heart of everything that Reedsy does. We’re changing the way books are published by giving authors and publishers access to talented professionals, powerful tools, and free educational content. Reedsy was founded in the summer of 2014 by Emmanuel Nataf, Ricardo Fayet, Vincent Durand and Matt Cobb. Since then, we’ve proudly built a community of over 1 million authors and 2,500 freelance professionals — helping them bring more than 15,000 books to market each year.
Upwork:
Began over two decades ago by pioneering a better way of working, helping businesses find more flexibility and connecting talent with more opportunities. Our mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives has taken us so much further. As a result, we’ve become the world’s work marketplace where every day businesses of all sizes and independent talent from around the globe meet here to accomplish incredible things.
Freelancer:
Is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and projects. We connect over 62,421,996 employers and freelancers globally from over 247 countries, regions and territories. Through our marketplace, employers can hire freelancers to do work in areas such as software development, writing, data entry and design right through to engineering, the sciences, sales and marketing, accounting and legal services.

Informative Guides

Books on Craft, Comics, Storytelling

(Below are affiliate links! All commissions go toward running KCU.)

Books on Marketing, Business, and Publishing

(Below are affiliate links! All commissions go toward running KCU.)

Illustration Portfolio Sites

  • Society Illustrators
    The Society of Illustrators’ mission is to promote the art of illustration, to appreciate its history and evolving nature through exhibitions, lectures and education, and to contribute the service of its members to the welfare of the community at large. Founded in 1901, the Society of Illustrators is the oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration in America. Notable Society members have been N.C. Wyeth, Rube Goldberg, and Norman Rockwell, among many others.
  • Children Illustrators
    Is the leading professional showcase for the world’s most talented children’s illustrators. Established in 2004, CI’s mission is to simplify the process of sourcing artists by offering commissioners a highly comprehensive and inspirational directory of portfolios.
  • Workbook
    Our history is filled with stories of campaigns and imagery that defined its time. And even as we’ve grown from page turning to clicking, we’ve never stopped working to connect the best creative talent with the best ideas. Because that creates the best work.

Comic Fonts

Digital Brushes/Texture Packs

Websites to Check Out

  • KidlitGN
    Is the premiere annual pitch event for writers and illustrators of middle grade and younger graphic novels, designed to get their manuscripts in front of agents and editors. The pitch event starts on the first Wednesday of October each year and runs on both Twitter and our website.
  • Epic!
    Epic was born out of a single question: How do we make books more accessible to kids? As parents, it always seemed strange to us that our kids could so easily play games and watch videos on their iPhones and iPads, but the same couldn’t be said for books. So in 2013, we decided to build the first “epic” reading experience, designed just for kids. Today, Epic has grown into an award-winning subscription service, which gives millions of families and classrooms instant, unlimited access to thousands of books, videos and quizzes from leading publishers to help kids everywhere read, learn and grow.
  • KidLit411
    Our goal is to organize relevant information about writing and illustrating for children in one handy spot, right here.
  • 12×12 Challenge
    Is a year-long writing challenge where members aim to write 12 complete picture book drafts, one per month, for each 12 months of the year. Founded by picture book author Julie Hedlund, 12 x 12 has been supporting, encouraging, and educating writers since 2012.
  • Richard Ruddick’s Graphic Novel List
    Graphic novel list for Key Stage 2 classes & above.
  • Kathy Temean Blog
    The goal of this blog is to bring and share information about Writing and Illustrating for children to published and unpublished authors and illustrators. I will post information I acquire from my interactions with editors and agents in the industry and share thoughts and techniques of other writers and illustrators in the field.  Please send me your articles to help Children’s book professionals in the process of getting published.
  • Manuscript Wishlist
    Manuscript Wish List® and #MSWL are designed to answer one crucial question in the submissions process: “What do you wish you had in your inbox?” We’re thrilled to announce that agents and editors can now add and update their own listings—and each page will automatically link to each professional’s #MSWL tweets. Searches are more comprehensive and customizable. And we have plenty of new features on the way.
  • Simon & Schuster Submission Selector
    A database of S&S editors by category and interests.
  • Comic Control
    ComicControl is a CMS (Content Management System) built as a solution to bulky, buggy WordPress-based solutions for managing comic websites. With ComicControl, creators can build and customize their own sites without worrying about the many individual parts that go into a WordPress-based site. It’s lightweight, fast, and allows a high level of customization for advanced users.
  • Author, Author!
    If you’re traditionally published and need a reliable place to get your own books, please contact us for an author purchase quote for bulk quantities of your book. We have accounts with all major publishers as well as Ingram and we can offer you your books at a deep discount and with very attractive shipping rates.
  • ICAF
    Dedicated to the study of comics from around the world. The International Comic Arts Forum is an academic conference dedicated to promoting ​the scholarly study and appreciation of comic art, including comic strips, comic books, comics albums and graphic novels, magazine and newspaper cartooning, caricature, and comics in electronic media. 
  • Procreate for Beginners, Art Makers Club with Lisa Bardot
    In this comprehensive class, I’ll cover everything that new users need to know: brushes + other essential tools, gestures, layers, masks, working with color, even Procreate animation, the best file formats for sharing your artwork, and organizing your files. This Procreate tutorial is perfect for people that have no experience with Procreate, but even skilled users will pick up some useful Procreate tips and tricks.

Graphic Novel Publishing Imprints

  • Graphix – Scholastic
  • Random House Graphic
  • Macmillan Publishers
    • First Second
    • Feiwel and Friends
  • Candlewick Press
  • Yen Press
  • HarperCollins Publishers
    • Harper
    • Harper Alley
    • Harper Teen
    • Quill Tree Books
    • Balzer + Bray
  • Etch – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Amulet Books – Abrams
  • IDW Publishing
    • Top Shelf Productions
  • Flying Eye Books
  • Drawn and Quarterly
  • Boom Studios
  • Tu Books – Lee & Low Books Inc.
  • Little Bigfoot – Sasquatch Books

Do you have a graphic novel ready to pitch to agents or publishers? Submit your work to our Pitchfest competition!!! The deadline is Nov 6th.

If you want to add anything on the list please leave a comment below! We will update the archive 🙂

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