Tuesday, November 20, 2007

24 Hour Comic Challenge

I got an email from the director of one of my dance troupes. She saw an advertisement for the 24 Comic Challenge to be held at the Comic Shop. She had this crazy idea to contact the facilitator to see if they needed any performers for this event. I was excited…not to be performing because she didn’t know that it was going to be held at the comic book shop & it wasn’t an ‘event’. I had read about the 24 Hour Comic Challenge happening when I was in Denver but I had never been able go. This was the first time that the challenge was to be held in Alaska & it wasn’t going to be in Anchorage.

My work has always been narrative; it only seemed natural to head towards comics. A comic book is so daunting if you’ve never had any training, so I hadn’t even tried. Doing the 24 Hour Comic Challenge seemed like a good way to test the waters.

The idea is to make a 24 page comic in 24 hours, you can’t bring any prepared images or reference images & its better to have no set idea. I did just that but with one exception, I made a stapled dummy- A blank version of the final comic so I could get the layout correct. This was wonderfully helpful during the challenge because I was able to come up with a story, see how many pages it was going to take up and layout the story from there. Other than that I brought black drawing paper, white drawing paper, some circle templates, Pitt pens, graphite pencils, white chalk pencil, charcoal wash pencil, electric eraser, white out & a brand new MP3 player. Okay, I got the MP3 player that morning, ran to work to add some files……but I added folders which don’t read and ended up only having three folders- Frank Sinatra, Devison & Zombie Girl to listen to for 24 hours…..Luck Be A Lady to Night……

I still felt under prepared compared to the other participants. Compared to the other 7 adults, I was the only one that didn’t take the Making Comics course @ UAF or have my own comics in print. Then I used my electric eraser & it was like showing matches to cavemen. No one had a clue what it was & freaked out every time I turned it on. I guess different trades do use different tools. Everyone had one in architecture school.

I’m so slow at drawing so I didn’t expect to finish at all. Maybe a couple of pages to get me warmed up. Then every hour I was finishing one page & before I knew it 24 pages in 24 hours. Of course I cheated….a little. Two pages were taken up by a cover and back page. Then one page was for Dedications and another was a Thank You sheet. Plus I was able to finish by putting some of my lettering off for another day (still to be determined).

While we were at the Comic Shop they still had the weekly card games going on all around us. Loud and obnoxious at times but great entertainment during the late hours. A conversation at three am would be about some super hero game, “How can you fight Superman against Double-Jointed Guy?! What, is he going to kick Superman’s butt by bending his elbows backwards?!” Then plenty of local artists came in to run errands & bring home-made treats. Plus the store made a great profit that day so they’ll do it again.

To recap the 24 hours: I drank 24 bottles of water, three donuts, four cookies, one bagel, two slices of pizza, went to the bathroom 24 times, one white out stain on my cardigan, 6 hours of snow, listened to three albums numerous times, had four hand cramps & inhaled Sharpie fumes from 15 different pens all at once. Good times!

Miss you more than free, late night photo coping, Victoria