Monday, October 6, 2014

24 Hour Comic Day Wrap Up

So, I finally did it. I finally sat down and took the 24 Hour Comic Day Challenge and I finally feel like I succeeded!

The challenge was created years ago by comic artist Scott McCloud and the idea is to write, draw, ink, and finish a complete 24 page comic book story in one 24 hour period.

I tried the challenge once a few years ago in my home with a bunch of friends. I think I got through five pages and four hours before everyone started giving up. It's always been something that bugged me, not actually getting my comic done for the challenge. So, this year, I tried it again.

I joined a bunch of local artists at my local comic book shop, Time Warp Comics, for their annual 24 Hour Comic Day Challenge. The owner of Time Warp, Wayne, is generous enough every year to turn his store over to a bunch of artists and keep the store open for 24 hours while everyone works on their stories. So, on Saturday morning, at 10am, I entered the store with my paper and supplies, found a seat next to my friend, Liam, and got to work.

The good thing about attempting the challenge before is that it gave me some insight and ideas into how I would go about tackling it this time. This time I wanted to have a really good idea for the story already figured out and thumbnailed before starting. It might be against the rules to even think about your story before you start but I figure this whole thing is a personal quest and there aren't any cash prizes or gold medals on the line so who is anyone else to tell me how I should tackle the challenge? Plus, I really enjoy figuring a story out and I wanted to enjoy the process instead of freaking out and feeling pressured once I was on the clock.

I also decided to draw the pages smaller than I had the last time. The first time around I drew the pages the same size I draw pages professionally, about 150% larger. With speed being the key having less space to fill up really helped and I didn't have lay down nearly as much Sharpie marker to get the job done.

And, finally, I decided I would draw and ink the pages during the 24 hour period and leave the lettering until I could scan the pages into the computer and letter digitally. I'm a competent letterer, meaning you can read what I write, but I really don't enjoy it and I can do a lot better job on the computer.

With those guidelines in mind, I got to work.

I'd love to say it was easy for me, that I just breezed through it, but it was a real ordeal. I honestly don't know if I've ever actually stayed awake that many hours in a row much less spent the majority of those hours working. During the process time felt like it was flying by while, at the same time, it felt like the ordeal would never end. I remember at one point, in the wee hours of the morning, wondering what lesson I was learning by doing this process. At the time all I could think of was, "I never ever ever want to do another comic book again EVER!"

Ha ha! Oh the things we think of when we are sleep deprived.

In the end, of the ten artists we started out with, only five stayed the entire time. Of the five of us, I think only three of us got even close to completing 24 pages. I am happy to say that I was one of the people who got all of his pages done the way he wanted to get them done.

I did it.

I scratched that itch. I no longer need to wonder if I can do it because I just did it. One of the things that kept me going when I wanted to quit is that I knew it was better to grind it out this time than to quit and still wonder if I could do it right the next time.

After some breakfast and a nice long nap I feel extremely proud of myself for what I accomplished. I did a decent job in the time I had and I am really proud of the results. In the middle of the challenge I thought that there is no way I am ever doing this again.

But, now, with a little rest, I know I will do it again. Except next time I might throttle back a bit and only do an eight page story and see how detailed I can get in a 24 hour period. Because, you know, I already proved to myself I could do the 24 page thing in the time I was given. And that feels great.

In the coming weeks I'll scan the pages in to the computer and clean them up. I'll letter them, get them set up, and submit them to the store's printed anthology book which should be released before Christmas. And I'll make sure to post the pages on the OilCan Drive website. The story might not be as good or as well drawn as the regular pages I do but I think they definitely deserve to be seen. And the story does fit into and sheds light on a bit more of the OilCan Drive world.

For now, I am off to bed for real. It's been a VERY long weekend but I am glad I participated in the event and that I succeeded.

One more thing to cross off the list of "Things To Do!" Yeah me!


dylanio21 said...

Really great work here, I love it, can I read it?

Sean Tiffany said...

Thanks Dylanio! I am posting the pages weekly on the OilCan Drive web comic site and you can see those here:

Or, if you can't wait you can see them all on the website of the guy who put together the whole thing:!_by_Sean_Tiffany.html