- Posted by Johanna on October 1, 2010 at 10:52 pm
- Category: Comic News
Tomorrow (maybe today by the time you read this) is this year’s 24 Hour Comic Book Day (shouldn’t that be hyphenated?), the artistic exercise that became a sponsorship event for ComicsPRO, the direct market comic book retailer trade organization.
It appears that, now that it’s passed on from About Comics, a small publisher that put out several collections of comics created in this fashion, maybe it’s not getting as much attention as it used to. I say this based on two things: 1) the official press page, at the time of this writing, hasn’t been updated since 2009, and 2) I only found out about it this year by reading Thom Zahler’s blog. So my apologies for not posting this early enough for artists to decide to participate.
Zahler, artist of one of my favorite comic series, Love and Capes, is appearing on stage at a local mall:
On October 2nd, I’ll be at the Great Lakes Mall on a stage down by Macy’s and my mall-sponsor Comics and Friends. Wacom is generously loaning a Cintiq to me (that they’ll probably have to pry from my cold dead hands to get back). Mentor TV is providing the big screen. I’m going to start at Noon on Saturday, and draw all the way through Noon on Sunday. I’ll also be Twittering, Facebooking, and uStreaming throughout the whole process.
That’s a very creative way to turn the artistic challenge of making a 24-page comic in 24 hours from internal experiment to external demonstration of how a comic is made.
Update: Thom posted his writeup of how the day went at his blog, as well as a link to his final comic.
If you’re not in the area, you can follow event reports from all over online at the official blog. Or see if any nearby locations are participating — stop by and support your local artists with good wishes if you can. (Unfortunately, in my home state of Virginia, there’s only one location, it’s two hours away, and it’s not even in a comic store.)
Here are a couple more clever approaches I found at this year’s Small Press Expo that I wanted to mention. First, Alec Longstreth, a Vermont cartoonist, has been creating 24-hour comics for a decade, and he’s collected six of the best in 24×7: A Decade of 24-Hour Comics. In fact, the book itself is a 24-hour project! As Alec says, the book also includes “24 pages of commentary comics, which were drawn, along with all of the endpapers and covers, in one 24-hour period on March 21st, 2010.” You can see samples of those comics, as well as his other work, at the book link. Although heavy on the autobio, a common choice in quick projects as artists stick with what they know best, the art appears strong and diverse, with good character work.
Or, going in another direction, Colleen Frakes was inspired by National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which happens in November, to create a 118-page often wordless minicomic called The Trials of Sir Christopher, about a knight questing to kill a dragon. It’s been well-reviewed by Kristy Valenti and Rob Clough. It’s sparse, as you come to expect from these kinds of projects, as niceties like shading or coloring or even backgrounds (although that’s not the case in Colleen’s comic) tend to go by the wayside as artists concentrate on the basics of art and story — but it’s entertaining. You can see the pages here.
If you’ve ever tried to make a 24-hour comic, or a related project, how’d it go? What’d you learn from it, and would you recommend others do it?