Another day, another comic!
At Darlene’s suggestion, I spent the last day of September and the first day of October creating another 24-Hour Comic.
What is 24-Hour Comics Day, you may be asking yourself? It’s an informal challenge thrown to comics creators — professionals and amateurs alike — to create a 24-page comic in 24 consecutive hours. And it has to be totally inclusive, start-to-finish within that time frame. That means no thumbnail sketches or layouts, no pre-made panels or dialogue, and no helpers! (Well, maybe you can have a helper. I’m not 100% certain about that. Regardless, I didn’t!)
This wasn’t my first 24-Hour Comic. I created one in 2007 (featuring Doc Splatter, .pdf available here) and it was grueling. This year’s was no easier. I went the autobio route and made a comic that discussed at length the myriad of musical influences that have shaped my tastes since childhood.
Many people who accept the challenge flock to neighborhood comics shops on the designated day (this year it was Saturday, Oct. 1) and participate amongst their peers. Me? I’m a recluse when I create comics. I like the solitude and things like “conversation” and “camaraderie” just get in my way. I’m in it to win it! So like the comic I created in 2007, I worked at home.VIDEO: Three seconds out of 24 hours! (Click on the inset)
I started at 8:00am on Friday and had the final page scanned into the Mac a few minutes before 8:00am Saturday morning.
My process: Similar to how I create Cool Jerk, I would write the dialogue and captions on the Mac first, then print those pages out and rush them over to the lightbox. There, I would quickly pencil the layouts. Once I was happy with the page, I’d make any necessary changes on the Mac and reprint the dialogue and captions and then ink the final artwork.
I used Sharpie markers and Sigma Micron pens for the inks (I did the same in the 2007 24-Hour Comic). If I had used a brush and ink (like I do for Cool Jerk), I’d have surrendered after the third or fourth page. You maybe wouldn’t think so, but it takes A LOT more muscle control to use a brush. Hell, I get hand cramps when I ink Sunday-sized Cool Jerk strips, which usually takes about three hours. I’m happy to say I didn’t need to do any significant white-out corrections, and any major goofs were quickly edited either with Pentel correction fluid or in Photoshop.
So that’s the artwork. As far as the story, you’ll have to read it yourself. I admit it won’t be nominated for an Eisner Award anytime soon, but I’m pretty happy I wrote a cohesive story and illustrated it in one day. (And Darlene teared up when she got to the end.) As I said, it’s autobiographical, so it features Darlene, my sister, a fair chunk of my friends, many musical performers and chronologically accurate depictions of my hair. Plus two locator maps. And several poorly drawn vehicles. And a tampon.
BONUS! I live-Tweeted the whole day, at the top of each hour. Take a rare glimpse into the creative process!
Prepping to start 24-Hour Comic Day in 30 minutes. Extra coffee made and Sharpies laid out. #24hourcomicday
Officially starting #24hourcomic with this Tweet. You know, instead of actually drawing. #ohshit
Hour 1: did imposition and thumbnails for all 24 pages. Also saw @darleneeats off to work. THERE GOES MY SUPPORT GROUP! #24hourcomic
Hour 2: Busted out source material (calendars, concert tickets). Wrote dialogue for four pages. Stress Level CODE BEIGE! #24hourcomic
Hour 3: Wrote dialogue for another four pages (dialogue for 1/3 of the comic finished). Off to the drawing board! *fart* #24hourcomic
Hour 4: Penciled four pages, ready for inks! Also tried to reheat a burger from yesterday using the lizards’ sunlamps. FAIL. #24hourcomic
Hour 5: Penciled another four pages. Think it’s time to bust out the Sharpies. That burger sucked, btw. #24hourcomic
Hour 6: Wrote dialogue for another 5 pages, can’t tell if I’m kicking ass or if the ass is kicking me. Switching to inks next. #24hourcomic
Hour 7: Dialogue for more than half the book written, 1/3 penciled. I think I’m on track, but can’t tell. WHERE DID THE DAY GO? #24hourcomic
Hour 8: Fourteen pages penciled. I fear I’m making this harder than I need to. MUST DRAW SILHOUETTES AND BLACK SPLASH PAGES! #24hourcomic
Hour 9: Bit of a snag— had to redo 3 pages because I was unhappy. Thank God I’m not on a deadline for the world to see. #24hourcomic #ohshit
Hour 8: I’m one-third through my day, have 18 pages written (16 of them penciled). @darleneeats is home with foods! #24hourcomic #punchy
Hour 11: Nineteen pages written and penciled. WHOOPS— last hour was really Hour 10. I’m getting kinda loopy. #24hourcomic
Hour 12— the halfway point. I’ve written every page and have 21 of the 24 penciled. That’s the heavy lifting; Sharpies next! #24hourcomic
Hour 13: All pages penciled. Little bit behind because I needed to eat. Mild headache, sore ass. Tylenol to the rescue! #24hourcomic
Hour 14: I just finished inking my third page, minus some detail work that’ll have to come later. i.e. drawing The Smiths. #24hourcomic
Hour 15: Pretty sure I inked another three pages. Left wrist shot… and I’m right-handed! Coffee, please. #24hourcomic
Hour 16: Two and a half more inked pages. Wrist killing me; I think it’s time for TYLENOL! (and stretches) #24hourcomic #neveragain
Hour 17: I have 11 and a half pages inked… almost halfway finished! Getting fatigued— 5 Hour Energy Drink come to papa! #24hourcomic
Hour 18: Lost count of inked pages; need to go back into several of them for detail work. Surprisingly still awake and alert! #24hourcomic
Hour 19: I think I’m down to about seven pages needing inks… then it’s time for detail work. Shoot me now. #24hourcomic
Hour 20: Four more pages to ink, four more hours to go. Hand is dying. Remind me to NEVER DO THIS AGAIN! *slams head into desk* #24hourcomic
Hour 21: Twenty-three pages inked, but plenty of work still ahead. Losing muscle control in hands, bladder. #24hourcomic
Hour 22: All pages inked! Six pages require detail work and/or fixes. I can see the light at the end. Or is that the sunrise? #24hourcomic
Hour 23: The final stretch, firing up the scanner…. #24hourcomic
At the 24 hour mark: all pages scanned. Just a little post-production to make it all purty. CONQUERED!! #24hourcomic